mAvErIck spEAks

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Picture this

I am in the middle of the something, in the office, and my phone rings. The caller introduces herself as, say, Natasha…quite a hip name, by any standards. And she is selling me a diner’s card policy, which promises to give me tons of privileges.

Natasha: Good Morning Sir.

Me: Good Morning.

Natasha: This is Natasha from XYZ Hotel. Sir, our hotel is offering a scheme with the diner’s card. Is this the right time to talk to you, Sir?

Me: See Natasha, I am little tied up here at my desk…. too much of work load….so…

Natasha: Ok, sir. So Should I call you after, say, half an hour?

Me: Make that an hours or so, Natasha.

Natasha: Ok, Sir.

Me: Thank You Natasha.

The story doesn’t end here. Natasha calls back again, exactly after one hour. Must say, she is worth every penny for her company.

My phone rings again.

Natasha: Good Afternoon, sir. This is Natasha from XYZ Hotel. We had a talk in the morning.

Me: Ya Natasha, we did.

Natasha: So sir, I was telling you about the new diner’s card our hotel is offering and which has many privileges attached to it.

(And this time, she doesn’t even bother to ask whether this is the appropriate time to offer me schemes, I am least interested in. Assuming my time is at her disposal, she goes off, blurting things non stop, at a speed which is far beyond my comprehension. With the usual hmm…aww…hmm…from my side, she dominates the whole conversation and after the end of it, she takes a deep gasp and asks me…)

Natasha: So sir, these are the benefits you get once you are a member. So sir, what do you say?

(At this, I wanted to scream at the top of my voice and say, “poor lady, I neither understood a single piece of what you have just vomited out nor am I interested. It was out of sheer politeness that I let you speak. You have just flooded me with information, I never wanted”. But my sense of magnanimity told me to be calm, for a little more while as it was almost over)

Me: Well Natasha, thank you for the information. But do I have any choice of saying no to it?

Natasha: (Giggle) Yes Sir, you do have but may I know why? (How absurd and ill mannered)

Me: Well, see Natasha, I am not much into dining out. Moreover, at this moment I am not in a condition to subscribe to any offers.

Natasha: But Sir, we are offering heavy discounts. I think it is quite affordable…(Thank you. But did I, at any point, give any hint that I am in a financial crunch. Then where does the question of affordability come from)

Me: Ya Natasha I agree that this is “the offer”, I can ever get but I am not in my best of my minds to go for anything…..(and if u don’t hung up soon, I may lose my temper right here)

Natasha: But sir, this is once in a life time offer and you can’t say no to it so easily.

Me: Natasha, see I am getting late for a meeting. And thank you for the offer but thank you, I am genuinely not interested.

(Of course this was a way to escape. There wasn’t any meeting lined up. I was just having a real tough time with her. But she was, it seemed, having fun at my expense)

Natasha: Ok Sir, if you say so. By the way, could you please suggest me some of your friends or colleagues who may be interested in the offer.

Me: well………

(what…now she wants to call up my friends and torture them too….no. I can’t do this to my friends. Why must they be subjected to a cruelty like this….but hey wait….how about my foes. This is one lethal weapon, they can’t escape at all. Ok, here’s my chance to seek revenge)

Me: Well…..ya Natasha, I have few colleagues of mine who may be interested in the offer as they quite often dine out.

Natasha: So sir, can I have the numbers.

Me: Ya you can. But please don’t reveal them that I have given their numbers to you as they are my BOSSES.

(Man you are great. What revenge. For all those late nights, for all those salary delays, for all that professional hazards you am exposed to everyday, for keeping your super ego in good humor, for faking a heart felt laugh at every jerk joke your bosses crack, for every stupid suggestion they shove on you regarding your work and for all the so called professionalism, you bear with everyday, this one seems a good revenge. Finally…great man. What presence of mind)

Natasha: Ohh…Sir. Don’t worry about that. …….(ya, really, so sweet of you……@#$% you.….)

Me: well ok…the numbers are – for Mr………

Natasha: Thanks Sir. Thanks a lot. Bye.

Me: Thank you. Bye……………..
(The next post will feature the conversation between Natasha and one of the guys, whose number I passed to her. How do I know about it….well….I overheard the conversation when this lady was calling that moron and his speaker was on)

Monday, October 10, 2005

Hello sir, Good morning. This is Rashmi.

The Prelude.
Ok, this was in my mind since many days, only the appropriate motivation was needed and since I am writing about it today, that means that it had to be either today or never. In fact previously on two occasions, I started it and left it unfinished. But now no more.

The Call Centre Menace.
Picture this – You are in the middle of a meeting with your client and your phone rings… You pick up with much hesitation and apprehension as the number isn’t familiar to you. And there you have it…a fake accent and a hyper sweet and sassy voice greets you. “Good Morning sir, I am Sakshi, on behalf of XYZ Bank. Sir, our bank has selected you for a loan approval for 19,500 Rs. and for that…blah…blah…blah”.

All hell breaks loose and your temper gets to a soaring heights.

Now picture this – You are catching your noon siesta on a sultry day and your phone goes... “Hi Sir, This is Ritu from ABC Cellular. Sir, our company is offering this new cell phone scheme to only a select few and you are the chosen one for today… blah…blah…blah”.

And you are again at it.

Sometimes I feel that these Telesales bring much hatred to the company instead of business. Who would give a company, business, who so daringly intrudes anyone’s privacy? But well…the figures show otherwise. The number of call centers mushrooming up on the out skirts of the city, building a new city on the suburbs, hefty pay packages to the employees, numerous facilities, perks and an independent life style. All this hints that here is an industry on rise.

But like any other industry, shouldn’t this too follow certain rules and stick to ethics or no one has laid any norms for them?
I have few anecdotes to narrate featuring these Tele-callers and my friends who receive numerous numbers of calls everyday. I would post it from tomorrow. Just keep looking the space.