Thursday, September 17, 2009


The buzz word for more than a week has been "Austerity". Right from Twitter to TV, this has been the topic of discussion.
There is an interesting editorial in the Economic Times, which refers to the austerity of Mahatama Gandhi and Sarojini Naidu quipping that it "costs the nation a lot to keep Gandhiji in poverty".
The ground reality has most probably been the same in our times too. If a Sonia Gandhi travels economy class or Rahul gandhi by train, half the other seats are taken by their security setup, so there is a high chance that ultimately it is costing the nation more for this austerity drive.

But I have come to believe that COngress is turning into smart marketeers. In General elections, their national positioning was clear - Youth!
Now when state elections in some important states are coming up, they have started another round of marketing campaign and they have been successful in creating that space in the mind of the "aam aadmi" by the blitzkreig of the austerity drive.

The role of the media is also important here. They are news hungry and just have to be fed 'correctly' and they will give you a free of cost campaign (Ideally it is free). May be a lesson for all the corporates out there!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Govt Offices

Well.. a nice start to the day - having dealing with 2 govt offices within a few hours.
First it was BSNL where I was determined to make some progress regarding my landline and broadband connection which I had applied more than 2 weeks back. After meeting with the SDO, I came to know that they didn't have some cable.
And it had to brought from somewhere. And that the officer in charge of that purchase was on leave, returning only next week. Process Stalled.

Next in line was Post Office. I had to send some documents through speed post (DTDC people said they were experiencing some problems in logistics)
So first I went to the neighbourhood post office which was the best small post office I have ever seen. Neat and clean, new furniture - it had a modern look to it. When I said, that I wanted the mail to reach as soon as possible, the lady suggested to go to the office at the railway station where the dispatch happens more frequently. At the station post office, first got into a tiff with the security guard - they are the hardest to please - anywhere. After he did not let me park the scooter near the gate, I went a couple of meters ahead and parked it. On way to the office, the guard gave me sheepish smile and started explaining that there were (unwritten) rules and all. I followed a strategy which I have faced many times - mostly in government offices. I gave a slight glance at him for a fraction of a second, so that he knew that I knew that he was speaking to me and then completely ignored his presence as if nothing existed. I have seen this thing work - not being acknowledged completely frustrates a person.
It hits at the ego - makes him feel totally irrelevant and unimportant. I could see the effect when I came back from the office. He was shouting at someone - may be to not park his vehicle there.
Anyways, after this little encounter, I went in the post office. And asked the pointers to the speed post counter from an employee. His volume was so low, I could hear the buzz of the fly near his face but not what he was saying. After asking exactly 5 times, I got the message that there was another section for speed post behind the building. I went there. It was kind of a warehouse where all incoming and outgoing mails, parcels etc were kept. After getting some directions, I landed up in a office where the concerned person sitting behind the desk asked me to go the front office. I countered with, "unhone hi yahan bheja hai" - they have only sent me here.
He retorted with "Its their job. Not ours. Go to manager saab".
So next task was to find the manager saab.
I was shocked to see him. To an MBA, the word manager is a coveted word. It has some nice images and expectations attached to this word. But this particular manager looked more like a cleaner.. ok. clerk!
He was busy playing with his mobile.
After looking at the envelope from all sides, he called a person and asked him to get the job done. This guy then takes me to the guy who sent me to the manager. Now he knew that he HAS to do the job. So he gives a couple of abuses to the front office guy for not doing his duty and accepts the envelope. And ya, he doesn't respond to my query about when can I expect this mail to be delivered.

I come back home and decide to break the writing block on my blog with today's experience.