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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Headlines from my life - 23MAY2006

The morning seemed like any other, and I was pretty sure that the rest of the day would fall into the same mould. But man, I guess I couldn't be any more incorrect in my assumptions if I tried! Here are the headlines for today...another day in the life of this Malayalee.

Potential Identity Theft

There was a note in the mailbox on Saturday saying that a letter had arrived for me. When I went to collect it, however, I was shocked to find the post office unwilling to hand it over to me.

I received a note on Saturday stating that a registered letter had arrived for me. The note was supposed to be like one of those messages that the courier leaves behind to let you know that they came by when you weren't there...but I'll let you be the judge of that.

I didn't manage to go to the post office yesterday to pick it up, and I hoped that they would deliver it since everyone was at home...everyone being my aunt and mother, who happens to be in town visiting my aunt. Unfortunately, and I guess I should have known better, this wasn't the case.

So, I trotted off to the post office at 9:40 am in the morning today, as specified in the note, and I walked in and presented it to the man behind the biggest desk; I guess he was the post master. He told me to give it to one of the ladies who was sorting mail at the time, and I followed his instructions immediately. The lady glanced at the note, and told me that she would deliver it home in a couple of hours. What?

"Why can't you give it to me? I mean, I'm here right now aren't I? And I did come specifically to collect this alleged letter, so what seems to be the problem?" I asked in quick succession, my frustrating beginning to spark my anger.

"No sir. I will give it to auntie by 1 pm. She was not there when I came on Saturday," she replied, as cool as a cucumber.

"But I'm here with the note that you left in my mailbox. And I'm here to collect the 'Registered Letter' between the times specified by you on the same note!" I said in exasperation, my face changing color to take on a slightly reddish hue.

"But I haven't seen you before," was her immediate response.

"It says my name on the top of the note!" I almost yelled. "If you want me to show you some identification I will, but I would like to collect the letter and THEN leave, thank you very much!!"

Following this minor outburst, she got up from her seat, said, "Please wait five minutes," and went to locate the letter. I saw her bending down and looking under an abandoned table, then sorting through a pile of papers and envelopes that she pulled out before finally locating the letter amongst the others. I gave her my ID and she glanced at it briefly before conferring with the post master. A brief conference later, the post master asked me if I was studying or working, and where my office was located. I answered him in an annoyedly-choppy manner that seemed to convince him of the authenticity of my claims...namely, that I was who I said I was. The lady soon had a form ready for me to sign on, to indicate receipt of registered letter by "previously unknown Malayalee", and I walked out of there shaking my head, not knowing why that entire ordeal had to be the first order of business for the day.

Real Estate: The "Real" Deal

A man in the Domlur neighborhood has apparently had a run-in with the law over setting up some unwitting tenants to be stars of the next adult film. The facts you are about to read are possibly part of a rumor...but who cares, eh?

It seems that a Mr. Meesha, which is a nickname given by us Malayalees to any man, or woman, God forbid, who possesses a mustache worth the mention, was up to no good recently. He is one of the better known inhabitants of the Domlur area, and is best known for his efficiency when it comes to locating a house or other living space. He is the one who comes to most people's minds when they hear about someone looking for accommodation in this part of town. So where did he go wrong?

Apparently, one such space he rented out was to a bunch of ladies AND gents. There were two storeys involved, with the ladies occupying to top half and the men occupying the bottom half. There were 4 of each, and so it seemed to me, that as my aunt was relating this story to me, that the outcome, or punch line, would inevitably be a mass wedding of some sort. Boy, was I wrong!

It appears that the indomitable Mr. Meesha had set up cameras around the house in the hopes of putting together one of those voyeuristic videos for commercial purposes...well, at least that's what it appears to be. I mean, what's the point of investing in all that equipment because of some habit/personality trait, so to speak, and not wanting to make any money off of it, eh?

Residents of Domlur are on the lookout for Mr. Meesha to see if there are any changes in his routine, or if there are any other telltale signs to verify this allegation. It would be easier to go up and ask him, for sure, but this is India folks. Do I hear any takers for an adaptation of Shakespeare titled the Porn Merchant of Domlur?

Give A Little. Take A Lot!

In a dramatic twist of fate, it seems that an employee of the company that I work for has embezzled funds in the order of Rs. 200,000. No charges are being pressed, and the person, now an ex-employee, is enjoying life in the same city where the crime was perpetrated.

I guess the reason I find this story ironic is that I consider myself to have worked extremely hard for this firm, only to have been taken for granted. But there seems to be some kind of recompense when I discovered that this former employee, whom I had the pleasure of meeting many months ago, had run off with the money. It's weird, but this further goes to show that doing work and slogging it out day after day doesn't really reward you as much as being smarter about the way you work and taking advantage of the system.

Apparently, this former center manager had made several demands for petty cash and was given the same without question. When she decided to "make her move", the only thing the company could do at that time was to try and locate her. As it turns out, she didn't even bother to leave the city. So, the next, wise step that the company took was to ask her for receipts for items purchased with all the petty cash that they'd doled out to her. She duly handed over receipts for things that were purportedly purchased but now non-existent, and that was that. No action was taken, and now she is, again allegedly, enjoying the fruits of her labor.

What do I have to say about the whole thing? Good job! Keep up the good work!
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