The Petrol Pump
A long queue. The petrol filling guy is trying his best to save time. Not everyone thinks he is on a great mission though. This biker hunk thinks he is the VIP here. So while the girl before him is getting the fill, he is busy checking her out. By the time his turn comes, he hasn’t yet made up his mind if he wants a litre or half a litre petrol. So when the petrol man is just ready with his apparatus, our biker is wondering. Umm accha aaadha hi daal do. While the filling happens, the guy is still checking out the girl in the front. When there’s time for him to pay, he reaches for his purse on the left. Or was it right? He checks and finds it on neither side. It was actually on his front pocket. Finally he makes the payment. The petrol guy is relieved, ready to do the next filling. But there’s not enough space to extend the chord as our biker is still there. What exactly is he doing? Oh yeah, trying very hard on the kicks. The bike wouldn’t budge. A few more kicks. The queue is longer than before. Seconds before someone from the last row is about to shout at him, the bike engine is ready to go. While he filled a litre of petrol, many litres of blood boiled into the veins of waiting people. But our Dhoom-guy looks completely oblivious to the angry faces staring back at him. Worse, his attitude is contagious as most waiting people repeat the ceremony.
TIME REQUIRED FOR PETROL FILLING PER PERSON: 30 seconds- 2 minutes.
TIME TAKEN: 5 minutes
The Toll Tax booth
On the big green stripe over the bridge, there are WRITTEN in BOLD the words: CAR: Rs 18; TRUCK: Rs 50.
Long queue. Apart from the horns, the loudest of sounds is the grumbling. Drops of sweat, collective smell of fuel, August humidity, the honking and the queue – everything makes a perfect setting for frustration. Unfortunately, it also makes a perfect setting for not using one’s brains. A Polo driver’s turn. He asks the most obvious question: How much? This was the golden opportunity the person behind the toll window had been waiting for the whole day. His reply: Wo upar likha hai bade aksharon mein. Our Polo guy’s ego is hurt but he just shoots an annoying look at the time. He is now frantically searching his wallet amid the horns. He doesn’t have change. So he gives a 50 buck note. Our toll guy gets another million dollar chance. Kya sir change lekar aana chahiye. The Polo guy gets back 30 bucks and two éclairs. Just the opportunity he was looking for. Honking seems to have become more aggressive now. A few drivers are arguing with the ‘manager looking’ guy on the lack of management at the booth. The manager is trying to reason with them that it is basically the mistake of the drivers/ travelers who are not ‘prepared’ for the poll booth. They don’t read the signs, break the queue, never have change etc. In the meantime, a mini truck is making its way into the Cars Only queue as he finds a little space there. This enrages the rest of the car drivers who missed the bus, uh actually the truck. A car driver is now pointing at the manager guy on his lack of inaction on the mini truck driver who basically broke a rule right in front of everyone. The manager guy suddenly finds a chance to ‘do some management’ here. So enthusiastically he heads towards the mini truck. They both are now arguing. Thankfully the honking has muted their voices. All these noises just wonderfully FAIL to discourage our Polo driver who is practically responsible for each of these repercussions. A college guy sitting inside one of the cars is inevitably reminded of one of the Final Destination series incident. He flashes an amusing smile. So our Polo guy seizes the first opportunity against his opponent and spits: Ye kya éclairs. Ye koi paisa hai kya? Mein aapko éclairs doon to chalege kya? He takes out a dozen old, rotten, stinking, wet éclairs and shows them off to the toll guy. Kya use hain inka? Ye sad chuki hain. Aap ye janta ke saath lootmaar nahi kar sakte………..After ranting for the next few minutes that look like the eternity for the rest of the queue, the Polo guy concludes. Khair chhodo, tum jaiso se kya behes karna. Eureka, you found your brains! His ego lives happily ever after.
TIME REQUIRED AT POLL BOOTH PER VEHICLE: 40-50 seconds
TIME ACTUALLY TAKEN: 15 minutes.
Her Internet is not working for the last four days. The company has accepted a complaint that she lodged online. Yet her work depends on the net so she has to find out what is happening. She calls at their helpline. It takes her at least 3 minutes to realize what exactly is the extension that she has to call. The options ranged from language selection, service selection, phone or internet connection, post or pre-paid selection, monthly plan or quarterly plan selection and the rest she cannot remember. All she knows is that she had to go through the whole menu atleast twice to figure out which option she really wanted. So she then pushes the number 8 which is supposed to be their ‘customer care executive’. What she hasn’t thought of is that the machines ofcourse are better than people when it comes to service. The customer care executive sounds worse than an answering machine. After barely listening to her problem, he directs her to another helpline number. The number is busy for the next 10 minutes. She makes chai for herself in her bid to kill time. After a few more minutes, the number finally rings. This number has another set of 10 options that were extremely different from the previous number. Another 5 minutes to know she needs extension number 6 to solve her problem. This customer care guy listens to her problem at length and assures her that if the complaint is lodged, the connection should be back by this time. She repeats her problem, he repeats his solution: Lodge the online complaint again. She refuses to let go this time and demands to speak to a senior. So he directs her towards another line. After listening to the company’s signature caller tune for 3 minutes, she finally has a listener on the other end. The senior sounding guy assures her and hangs up with saying: thanks for giving us an opportunity to serve you. Her Internet is still not working. She is taking a leave from work today to visit the company’s office in person.
TIME REQUIRED TO HEAR A COMPLAINT OVER PHONE: 5-7 minutes
TIME TAKEN: 30 minutes.