The Man from Madras Musings is not much of a shopper whether it be the real or the virtual kind. He rarely buys anything except for books, the rest of this activity being taken care of by his good lady, also known as She Who Must Be Obeyed. And so when she announced that a new sofa had been ordered MMM merely nodded acquiescence and awaited the new arrival with bated breath.
MMM’s good lady had ordered it the e-way, though not on ebay but one of those sites that has a name that sounds like a spice being sautéed. And so in due course the sofa duly arrived, delivered by a man who wore a company T shirt – black in colour with the sautéed spice logo and name emblazoned in white. MMM was most impressed. He was even more so when the man unpacked, duly assembled the sofa, cleared the packaging away and left, without expectation of a tip. Aha, here we were in the 21st Century at last reflected MMM and on that happy note decided to curl up on the new sofa and snooze.
It was only on waking up with a sensation of leaning to one side that MMM decided that matters needed to be investigated. After having ascertained that the problem was not with MMM but the sofa that he began looking at it more carefully. Sure enough, the problem was soon revealed – the sofa had six legs of which only four had bushes. The man had clearly overlooked fixing them on the other two and so the entire sofa had a distinctly lopsided feel to it.
This having been ordered the e-way, the remedy too had to be via the same route. In the old days, a phone call would have been made and someone you knew at the other end would have assured you of service. MMM guesses that in earlier times a letter would have been sent. Anyway, MMM, with enough experience on other websites of not receiving any response after registering complaints the e-way, opted to put out a tweet on the problem instead, tagging the sautéed spice company in the message. That, as is invariably the case, produced an instantaneous response and within a few hours the man who had delivered the sofa was back.
His first reaction was one of awe. How did MMM notice that there were only four out of six bushes he asked. MMM smiled modestly. He, the deliveryman that is, then declared that he did not have any spare bushes with him. MMM, smiling a lot less by then asked the man as to why he had come to attend a problem of bushes without any spare ones. To this he had no answer. He did acknowledge that MMM had a point there and promised to be back soon, with a bagful of bushes.
He was back soon thereafter, with a triumphant smile – the bushes had been found but the new ones would be black in colour, while the old ones were white. And so he proceeded to fix the two new bushes and having dusted his hands, beamed at MMM triumphantly. Finding that MMM did not sport an equally gratifying smile he was concerned and asked if anything was wrong. MMM had to tell him that he did not fancy going through life with a sofa that was piebald in the legs. The bushes had all to be of the same colour said MMM. The deliveryman gave in but not with good grace and made the replacements. MMM noticed that he did not clean up the debris before leaving this time.
Perhaps the sautéed spice does cause some temper but the episode did bring home to MMM the fact that we were not yet in the 21st Century when it came to perfection in delivery and after sales service.
I wonder how the guy in the corner seat sits.? Must be awkward?
We live in a country where by default if there are spaces for four nuts, only one or two will be fixed and that too, not tightly. This attitude caused a certain royal at the Buckingham palace to ask of a shoddy job, if an Indian electrician had done it. While being Englandistan, it may have been a Paki for all you know but the point still remains that the lackadaisical attitude in India seems to be a given, cultivated from young years having seen the lethargy of the seniors but what seems to be getting worse is, when this slack lethargy is confronted by paying customers in Chennai and even other places, it touches a raw nerve to get a response of ‘ I know and do not tell me how I must do my job’.
Contrast this attitude, behavior and approach with Japan and we will know why that country is where it is now. It will even be tolerable if the shoddiness only results in poor appearance but it actually costs lives if you look at the fires caused by short circuit, where the whole electrical wiring be it a small house and or a huge building hinges on duct tape, that too cheap Chinese ones that barely stick or only for a short while. If the country must progress, first the attitudes need to get better and the rest will follow.
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