Stop Compromising.

14Feb10

2 weeks ago, Bharat Gas decided not to give me my monthly gas cylinder. Or they forgot to. Something like that.

I called up the distributor, and asked her to send the cylinder. And the nice lady that she is, she not only ‘forgot’ to note down my consumer number, she ‘forgot’ to send the cylinder the next day. Not before hanging up on me.

The next day, and the day after that, were spent eating salads, and a takeout or two. A follow up call led the lady to tell me very kindly that she has written down my consumer number correctly this time, and the cylinder will be expected in 5 days.

A 5 day wait for a cylinder that was already 14 days late.

After the appropriate ranting against ‘this country’ and ‘this country’s government’ and ‘inefficient babudom,’ I did what I knew best. I sent Bharat Gas a polite email of complaint, making sure I used American taught words like ‘unacceptable’ and ‘great inconvenience.’ The next morning, at about 7 am, the door bell rang, and voila, there was my long awaited gas cylinder. 2 hours after the delivery of said cylinder, I received a reply to my email, telling me how sorry they were for the delay and they hoped I had received my cylinder.

An hour after the email reply, I received a phone call from a now very polite distributor lady, asking me if I had received the cylinder.

After the incident, I have come to have great faith in the power of email. Especially if they are complaining in nature.

Or even complimentary.

Some months ago, I fell in love with Cadburys Perks Poppers. As I sat in the local train compartment, headed home after work, I looked at the Poppers packaging. Noted there was an email address at the back for suggestions and complaints. Since all was well with the world, I had chocolate in my hands, I sent Cadburys an impromptu email from my trusty handheld. It went something like this – Hello. I love Perk Poppers and they are extremely delicious. They’ve gotten me through stress at work, through wild family outings, and through heart break. Wish they came in bigger packets.

A little corny, sure, but I was feeling warmly towards them. 24 hours later, the Consumer Response Cell from Cadburys wrote back – Thank you for your feedback and we have taken note of the same. Your valuable feedback is of great help to us.

For any more suggestions or feedback, please do feel free to write back to us.

I have this email saved. Till that point of time, I thought email addresses, especially the Indian ones were fake, never or rarely checked, usually handled by some guy in a dusty little corner. But it turns out that email is being considered as a trusted medium of communication in India.

Coming back to the point I originally intended to make. We folks, and by we, I am referring to you guys, who read this blog, we folks do not think twice before we join Facebook groups increasing the number of our Tigers, we immediately fire off a reply Tweet to a favorite celeb like SRK telling him we will go watch his movie, we post inflammatory posts on Rediff message boards telling the more conservative people to back off, we talk of pink Chaddis with pride, and immediately post pictures of demonstration marches for Gay Equality on Flickr. Yet, we  do not question our Government when they take years to sentence one Terrorist, when they continue to ask for talks with certain neighboring countries since 1984 with no results, when they refuse to adapt to technology. We pause for a second when blasts go off in bakeries in lovely sleepy peaceful cities, and do nothing. Maybe there will be the odd blog post like this, but then all is forgotten, all is forgiven, and we like to say life is coming back to normal.

But is this normal? Why are we compromising in today’s world of multiple options, and competition? Why are we OK with a Government that is still so outdated and appears to be so out of place?

Therefore, at the risk of sounding preachy, and self righteous, I urge you guys to visit the links below (since I was unable to locate any email addresses) and write to your Government. Ask your Government what is it doing for you. Ask your Government why don’t most of its offices use email to communicate? Or use English in Electricity bills? (Maharashtra State Board of Electricity, it’s ridiculous to send electricity bills in Marathi to a surname that is blatantly non – Maharashtrian) Or have such poor Health Insurance policies? Or publish reports on how most kids today don’t really know the English alphabet and yet insist on dubbed TV cartoons and kid shows? Or why is it allowing society leaders to practice divisive politics and making people feel like outsiders in their own country. Ask your Government what it is doing for you. And why should you continue to compromise.

Here are the links:

Lok Sabha – http://164.100.47.132/LssNew/others/feedback.aspx

Rajya Sabha – http://rajyasabha.nic.in/rsnew/rsweb.asp

Prime Minister – http://pmindia.nic.in/write.htm

If you have any email addresses, please mention them in the comments section. Let’s give this a try!

Advertisements


5 Responses to “Stop Compromising.”

  1. Brilliant post. I always had to run around asking for someone to translate the MSEB bill from Marathi to English. I think Marathi bills started after some protests from one of the local senas.

    And I also learnt that emails work well – recently emailed to Whirlpool about an Oil filled heater and got a refund from, till then indifferent call centre employees.

    Anna Hazare always says we must question those who we pay – and government employees are paid directly by our taxes, including the ministers who move safely with security that we pay for.
    The blast in German Bakery came as a shock… I fear now there are no places that can be really considered safe or peaceful, Pune had some incidents of stone throwing and bus burning during the last year… 😦

  2. 2 nimisha

    i looooooooowe ur post..i remembr wen u had tld m abt dis..i hv done smthn similar abt a silence zone near JJ hospital..n dey repd 2 m 4 d same.. 🙂

  3. I dont know if these are real, or if they are read by the concerned people, but you may try them.
    presidentofindia@rb.nic.in,
    manmohan@sansad.nic.in,
    soniagandhi@sansad.nic.in,
    advanilk@sansad.nic.in,
    kapilsibal@hotmail.com,
    supremecourt@nic.in,
    contact@samajwadipartyindia.com,
    cc@cpim.org

    About the govt “not doing anything”, I honestly feel its a myopic view. I had written about this at http://chaichaichai.wordpress.com/2009/10/29/how-many-indias/ . And as I navigate through more and more govt channels, the more I am convinced. Inspite of that, recently, I was completely taken aback by the govt websites http://www.mca.gov.in , http://business.gov.in.

    Btw, I was at German bakery 24 hours before the blast. And I stay 500-600m away from the place. And you know what? I feel safer now. Law of averages, you see.

    • 4 Tanushree

      @Sam, as a citizen, getting well planned infrastructure is my right. I am not pretending to be all for a noble cause, all I want are answers, and I want them fast. Also, my point is that governments today should be more adaptive towards technology. There are experts at the IAS level who can worry about long term plans, I’d rather be myopic and be concerned about the price of a kilo of apples.

  4. If I had a quarter for each time I came to tanushreeb.wordpress.com! Incredible writing!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s