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Will This Ever Happen In India....

I read an article in today's newspaper. A former head of the food and drug agency in China was sentenced to death by a Chinese court for accepting bribes. He was found guilty of accepting bribes in the form of gifts and cash worth over 6.5 million yuan ($832,000) from 1998-2005 during his tenure as Director of state food and drug administration. The official approved production of untested drugs and lowered quality standards to be met by pharmaceutical companies to secure approvals in return for a bribe. No wonder, China had to face the worst food and drug related scandals during his tenure.One incident is that of thirteen babies dying after consuming fake milk powder. China is now in the international spotlight for making fake goods and selling them.

My question is will we ever get to see such a court ruling in India?? The moment I thought of a similar hearing in India, I could not help smiling since if such sentences are given in India, the population of the country will drastically reduce... (going by the rampant corruption here). But, it could help in solving the unemployment problem since government offices would start putting advertisements for recruiting people as they are the ones who would face a heavy staff crunch.Lets hope that such court sentences create an awakening in the minds of people doing favours for a bribe and change their attitude.

Electricity Meter...

When the meter reading for our electricity bill was taken in February 2007, the staff realised that the meter was not functioning and so asked us to pay proportionate amount as the bill which we did. They were supposed to install the new meter shortly. We let out the house for rent but the house was lying vacant for 2 months when the next meter reading was due.Inspite of giving a letter about the house lying vacant and then another letter when the tenants shifted in, we were told to pay the proportionate amount again since the meter was not replaced.Couple of visits to the local Electricity Board office followed. I was told that since the auditor will suspect that the Electricity Board staff have taken a bribe from us for showing a Nil bill, I have to and must pay the proportionate amount even when one single unit is not used.

My question is does it mean that all meters are functioning correctly at all times without any single meter breaking down. I did not know that our electricity service is so efficient.... The staff might be showing atleast some number of meters as defective and to be replaced else the auditor would have suspicions in this area too. Replacing the meter is the task of the EB board, why must I pay money unnecessarily when they have failed in their duty? On top of all this, they say why did u give a letter stating that the house is vacant?

None of my arguments could change the mind of the staff and I reluctantly shelled out the money.All I wanted to know is that why should I pay money when I am not using a service?? Okay, it goes to our government, but if that is the case I can spend the money on some good cause and get some satisfaction atleast.After all, money does not grow on trees.

Finally, I had to meet the Assistant Engineer (AE) who yelled at his juniors and promised me that the meter would be replaced shortly. I had to meet this gentleman once again to remind him and as usual he just passed the buck on to the juniors. As per my last meeting with him about two weeks back, he was supposed to replace the meter the next day itself since the staff in charge of replacing the meter was on leave that day.

I am still waiting for them to come and replace the meter.....I will surely update the blog once the meter gets replaced that is if at all it gets replaced...

Career Decision

I have always seen this comparison thing going on whenever people meet. The first question cropping up will be what are your kids doing, which college they studied, where do they work, why are they not in software field, don't they have any chance of going abroad, try to get kids admitted for this course, send them to this college it will fetch good returns in future etc etc. Is software the only field on earth which gives good money or is it a must that all must study at XX college and work at ABC and go abroad. somewhere in the 80s where was this software field??? were people not earning money then or enjoying life?

Parents often fall prey to these questions and do the mistake of comparing their kids with others and enforcing decisions on them. As far as I feel,each person in unique and special and cannot be compared with another person at all. People must remember that there is always one first rank and not hundreds of first ranks. Not everyone scoring 100/100 in studies becomes successful in life. Have we ever thought that what happens to the 10th and 12th toppers whose photos are flashed in all newspapers the day after the results? Five years down the lane, I don't think all the toppers would have maintained that top position. We must always know that there is someone out there who is better than us in something or the other. At the time of the results, we see advertisements for helplines in newspapers. Many students are resorting to talking on such helplines to share their anxiety about exam results and the outcome if they do not get desired marks. These helplines are said to have prevented students from committing suicide. Parents must encourage children to take up a career of their choice and liking and support them wholeheartedly in that decision.

There was a time when Hotel Management was not considered as a good profession, students opting for it were teased as future cooks. But now, the field is doing so well and offers good career opportunities in the sea (cruise ship liners), on land (hotels) and on air (aircraft catering service) as well!!! In what way is it inferior to any other profession since it offers good salary, perks and even postings ABROAD. It is heartening to note that even today there are many takers for the IAS exams.

I wish to say that career decisions are decisions of a lifetime, ofcourse opinions from others are always welcome but the ultimate career decision must be made wholeheartedly and without external pressure.

Here comes the first complaint......

I had been to an insurance provider's office for paying vehicle insurance premium.As the office opens at 10 am onwards, I planned to get there by 10 am so that I would be among the first persons to stand in the queue. I was there at sharp 10, but what do I see on entering the office??? There were two rows of seats, the first row being for enquiry and payment of premium, the second for backup work i assume. The whole first row was vacant till 10.20. Slowly, customers like me poured in and waited patiently. Finally, one staff came up at the counter and calculated some premium amount and asked us to pay the premium at the cash counter which was unmanned.Slowly, the queue at the previous counter joined me at the cash counter. By this time it was past 10.30 and two more staff turned up on the first row. Suddenly one staff decided that they have to take the initiative and came to the cash counter and searched for keys and put on the system. Good, atleast they felt that customers are waiting for someone to accept the payment!! But this was not to be... the good old printer decided to take a break at this rush hour and refused to co-operate. So another 10-15 minutes were spent in discussing what to do to solve this problem and later on they decided to replace the printer with the one lying next to it. By the time this decision was taken, another 10-15 minutes passed and some 15-20 sheets of stationery found their way to their favourite dustbin. Finally, the printer started working but but... on collecting the receipt I was told to collect the new policy document from another counter where again the good printer stopped functioning. Finally by the time I got the policy document it was 11.20. A good 100 minutes spent on a task that would take just about 10-15 minutes maximum. Sheer waste of time and stationery of course...

One guy had taken an hour's permission from office which was a good 15 km away and was waiting for someone to inspect his vehicle. He was rudely told that the inspection would be only after 11.15 which resulted in lot of discussion. Finally, the harassed guy decided to wait but not before telling the staff " This attitude is taking away your customers from you". As usual, he was told to speak to the boss about complaints IF ANY!!!

This episode made me think of two things.does the good old manual entry system need to be reintroduced maybe that would save time..but who can change the attitude of such employees who come in late and have a laid back approach?

Why this name

This blog will feature some complaints about the happenings in daily life and in between will also feature a good thing or two!!!! Can't wait to start complaining..... see you all soon...