Thursday, February 22, 2007

50 ways to Peeve/Grieve/Cleave your caller !

Excerpted from the yet to be published book of “50 ways Peeve, Grieve and Cleave your caller – how to handle the Tele-marketeers, who call you and solicit to sell something that you told them that you didn’t need yesterday morning, evening, today morning and 5 minutes ago”. Randomly picked a few of the methods, the same way my phone number gets randomly picked by the Soliciting Sally (aka Sai Lakshmi). The more and more these methods are adopted my more and more folks, we will hopefully see a drop in calls and these tele-marketeers truly forming "do not call registry" amongst themselves.

#5: Seek every bit of info
Ask Sally for all the information about the product – each and every bit…every bit. AND the bit, OR the bit and XOR it, then ask again. If it’s a credit card, ask her to read out the rules and instruction at the back of the form and explain each and everything of what it means. Ask her for comparisons between various credit cards. If you feel like, ask her about the origin of credit card – if possible quickly google for it and set out to educate her. Here Sally may insist someone could meet you, politely decline, saying unless you understand of what it mean you could not waste time meeting anyone. But ensure that Sally understands that you are interested in the product. At some point in time in this analytical detail conversation with a scientific bent, Sally is bound to give up.

#15 Sell back to them
Pick a favourite product of yours or the product of the company that you work for. Pick a product that she is very unlikely to have – like a parallel processing computer – Ask here if Sally has one. If not, launch into a monologue as to how that would change her life and make her look good in front of her husband or boyfriend or both. Get to every detail. Ask her name, age and her address, so that you can send a sample. Sometimes these details can help transition into method #21, particularly if you are jobless on that day.

#21 Ask her out
Very effectively used by someone I knew. Patiently hear out all the details of the product and then finally tell her that you would buy the product only if she were to come and meet you personally and sell it. Feign innocence – tell her, you were interested in buying the product, since she was so interested in selling it. Insist that it is something called an “unique buyer-seller relationship”, that Peter Mucker talks about; and that is something pious that cannot be broken. Quote from some holy and quotable quotes of how such relationships are pure and blah

#28 Can you hold Please ?
Tell Sally that you are very interested with the product. Exclaim excitedly, “wow, that’s exactly what I was looking for… great, great, great”; sound a bit distracted and ask if she could “hold please”? Then leave the receiver on the desk for a while and go on with your work; after couple of minutes, repeat the “can you hold, please”. Repeat until Sally gives up; or alternately, you could be cruel and after the 3rd hold, you could tell Sally that you just realized that you already have the same credit card. If you really want to have more fun, quickly glance at your mobile, note the number where Sally is calling from (most likely a board number) and give it back to her as a friend’s number who would be interested in the card.

#33 Indulge in Babble
Hear Sally out for 30s and ask her if she could answer a question – then pick up the nearest newspaper and continue to read a news item unhindered and without a break. Just go for it. Somewhere, you would see that Sally had disconnected

#42 Run a Survey
As soon as you figure out that Sally is a tele-marketeer, profusely thank her for calling you and tell her that you are doing a research on Tele-marketeers for your PhD and you just need to get a few details – ask Sally about whatever you want to from then on – her education, her location, what shampoo she uses, why she uses it, what other product she considered before making a decision – go on for a while, then profusely thank her and disconnect.

#48 The old and Trusted Method
Get angry that you were called in the middle of something that you were doing, shout at Sally, increase a blood pressure and stress level. The author apparently does not recommend this at all.

#50 Register your number in the upcoming TRAI’s “Do not call Registry”
You could do this and hence publish your number to every other telemarketer, who due to some quirk of fate or stroke of luck, haven’t laid hands on your numbers.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Strains of Silence!

I woke up this morning at around 7.30AM – there was something disturbing (for the lack of better word) that my morning sub-n-half-conscious-mind was not used to – I guess, that woke me up. I heard a myriad of voices - fortunately, those weren't in my head :) ; they were various calls of variety of birds. As I lay listening to those, those that seemed to morph into a rhythmic symphony, I could pick out the streak of various birds calling out. There was this long and plaintive call of the mynah; the hoarse caw of the crow – some unidentifiable voices of the birds – it would have been the perfect setting for an ornithologist. The best was yet to come; I walked out to the balcony and the air was s-t-i-l-l and fresh. There was this indescribable crispness to it – a cool whiff that touches you softly and washes over you. In the cusp of summer, the morning sun was gentle and trying to break through a light fog.

I stood enjoying, this musical in such a wonderful setting; then as wakefulness set in, it dawned on me. The usual cacophonies were conspicuous by their absence – no acrid smell of the exhaust smoke, no horns blaring, no sound of a macho-biker revving up, no bedlam of huge buses, and most importantly, no jangling of the nerves. The strains of the perfect morning had taken away any signs of stress.

As I enjoyed the moment, I realized this was how the world was before the industrialization took over; perhaps this was how my forefathers woke-up every morning in their villages when they took off to till the lands. It occurs to me now, that it is really not a very bad idea for us to have bandh, at least once a month, that closes down our city and opens up the world, instead.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Rebel's End.

My soul has always been
A lush lawn of green
Tended and watered by
My perennial dreams -
Dreams of promises and freedom,
For all, plenty and then some.
Then came the summer
Of hard truths
The drums of gunner’s
beating to shattered myths.
Incarcerated, cruel reality
Stared back hard at me -
The facts, pinning me down,
With a cruel frown,
Buried the faith in me
deep into the barren brown.
Broken, regret swells up to choke
down my fears
My Utopia dissolve up in smoke
In Triumphant's boos and jeers.
The hope, after a wait in vain,
trickles out of my heart;
Only the silt of sorrow remain
(with a noose) To rend me apart.