Posts Tagged ‘Dealing with people’

This really funny thing happened to me a couple of days ago. As I had mentioned in one of my earlier posts, one of the delights of being a writer is that you get to meet some interesting and whacky characters – and not just the ones you create.

Okay, so there I was at a party when this producer, let’s call him Rajinder calls and says that he read about me in some paper and that he was looking for a writer to pen his film and would I be interested? I said, “Sure.” I never say no.

So the next day, I went to meet him and was promptly shown into his office. There sat Mr. Rajinder along with a colleague of his, who after the introductions were over, promptly closed his eyes and fell asleep.

Mr. Rajinder (he’s a kinda middle-aged dude so it doesn’t seem appropriate to call him just Rajinder or Raj or Raju) started by congratulating me on my achievements and commended me on the fire-in-my-‘bally’.  At that moment the only fire-in-my-bally, sorry belly, was acute hunger and I wondered whether he had heard the rumblings in my stomach since I don’t recall ever giving any interview where I or indeed the journalist has accused me of having fire in my belly.

On a more serious note, I knew what that prologue meant. That the producer was unwilling to pay and wanted a sucker. I decided then that it was no go and moments later my decision was endorsed when he named an erstwhile-great-but-now-senile director.

But since I was already there, I decided to sit it out for a while and politely listened to the one line the geriatric director had in mind. The other sleeping partner snored louder through the narration. After he was through, he asked me for my opinion. Several thoughts came to mind, none of them polite.

But I pasted an eager smile on my face and told him I that the idea was ‘mindblowing’ (an adjective that is very much en vogue in the industry). I told him that I really looked forward to writing it if the director’s and my wavelengths matched (having decided to commit suicide if it did). There was no point in wasting anyone’s time if the director and the writer were not in sync.

He looked a little nonplussed, but recovered and said affably, “Nahin, wo toh hum match karva lenge.” I wanted to tell him that it wasn’t exactly a sari-petticoat-blouse matching centre but he wouldn’t take no for an answer. The phrases ‘fire-in-the-bally,’ and ‘humne socha is ladki mein kuch karne ki tamanna hai,’ were used several times. It seemed he had set his cap on me as the writer for his film.

This is a hilarious account and too much for one post. Read more about Smita’s exploits with Mr. Rajinder (yeesh!) tomorrow.

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Finally, after a week of head banging (and not to heavy metal either) my internet’s up again!

My Internet went down last Wednesday. At first I tried to fix the problem by calling the help centre. I don’t know what possessed me to call technical help centre, but I did.  

They asked me to try removing the programme and reinstalling it, then call if the problem persisted. So I told them to back up a minute. “How do you do that?”

Very patiently they walked me through the control panel, into add or remove programmes, and helped me do the needful. It didn’t work.

So they muttered something about ports and com 4 and 5. The subsequent conversation led me to some very dark places like device manger and my network connections. It didn’t work. I panicked. So did they, but only when I screamed profanities like suing and litigation.

They asked me to go to the nearest Reliance web world to sort out the problem.

Now I had some pressing assignments to finish so I decided to put off the impending visit till Sunday.

I was a little unsure about whether their technical team would be working on Sunday so I tried calling them. No response on any of the four numbers. I decided to take a chance anyway. I figured that Sunday was the only day people had time to sort out their problems and they knew that.

They did. And conveniently took off to avoid irate people. I was told to come back the next day.

So I did some more yelling and screaming about wasting people’s time and them not answering calls. They let me rave and rant figuring I would run out of steam eventually. After precisely five minutes, I did, and skulked out with my tail between my legs.

The next day when I went there I was told that the technical guy doesn’t come in until 2. “But, Sameer (name changed to protect identity) will help you,” the floor manager muttered hastily when he saw my nostrils beginning to flare. After yesterday’s performance he was clued into tell-tale signs, I guess.

Sameer took over one hour to fix a problem that should have taken ten minutes at most. But that’s because he had to undo everything I had done earlier. “No wonder it’s not working. The settings are all wrong. Did you, by any chance, fiddle with the settings?”

I put on my most innocent face. “Me?”

He looked suspicious but let it pass. The problem was fixed.

Or so I thought. Imagine my chagrin when I booted it up at home and the screen flashed, found new hardware…if you have the relevant disk, please insert now.

At that moment I felt like packing some harware myself and shooting someone, myself, in the head, since I had already shot myslef in the foot by subscribing to Reliance.

The next day, which was yesterday, I went again. From the outside I thought I detected some frenetic movement inside.

But when I went in there, all was calm. Sameer wasn’t there but I was referred to a girl called Nausheen (again, name changed…you know the drill). I had my suspicions that the frenetic movement I thought I had detected was Sameer beating a hasty retreat.

As soon as I booted my laptop to show Nausheen my problem, I was forcibly reminded of a popular saying by a cheery pessimist called Murphy. And the saying goes, “a system will work at the exact same time you’re trying to prove it doesn’t.”

This of course enabled the unflappable Nausheen to say, “It must be a hardware and / or a network problem.”  No amount of arguing would convince her to change her apathetic stand or even lift a finger to help. She just stared expressionlessly at me with coloured contact-lensed eyes.

I realised one thing. In a service industry, even if you aren’t, you must be seen to be doing something. It makes customers happy that something is being done about their problem. I guess politics and business are not so different after all, huh?

I was defeated. Short of subscribing to another ISP, there was no other option. I took that option.

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