Thursday, September 11, 2008

what works and what does not

After almost five years I traveled on a train for a night. Of all the things that have changed in the five years - more mobile phones, more Atms, more Cafe coffee days and Pizzho huts ( I really do not know why the average Gujarati insists on calling Pizza, Pizzho!!!), I did not expect the railways to have changed much. I expected the same stinking railway stations full of strays and homeless people and the staff on the trains to be the same 'I am doing you a favour by talking to you' kinds. But pleasantly things have changed. The food is infinitely better. The staff is fast and efficient and the loos in the train actually have deodorants which work! I was just about to thank Laloo Prasad Yadav and praise his legacy when a whole bunch of Ticket collectors came by and paid their respects to a gent traveling in the same 6 sleeper 2 tier ac coach cubicle as ours. He was from the Comptroller and Auditor General's office doing an audit of the services on board. And it made sense. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

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Airtel has great coverage but the GPRS will not work in Baroda try as much as you want. Oh and try calling up the call centre and you will have a distinctly disgruntled woman telling you it is the fault of the cell phone / laptop / or the fact that you were born.

In Ginger Hotel the Tata Indicom Wifi which the proudly poffer as proof that they are indeed right there as far as being there is concerned. They even have dragged dear Mr Prahlad into the saga as insist that he has been responsible for whatever they do. But the @##$#%^^ wifi does not work - reception says because of some problem outside with Tata Indicom. Err what about the flies in The Square Meal (tm) area? They say that they cannot help it since people drop sugar on the floor and since they sweep up once a day sometimes it gets messy and hence the flies.

The floor on which I stayed does not have the so called Pantry where i can fill water. Instead the reception was helpful by sending in bottled water free of cost. The iron was not working and the gym had someone rather sleepy sleeping on the floor at 6 am.

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Cafe Coffee Day on the other hand topped the service quotient - I wanted plain milk for my 2 year old who insisted at 11 30 in the night that dinner would be chocos and 'meelk'. The guy behind the counter wanted to know why I wanted just milk and not Cappuchino, I explained and presto he said you can have the milk but no you cannot pay for it. I insisted on it but the guy said no milk if you pay. I said ok give me the milk and thanked him for the generosity. He said there is no way to account for just milk without the coffee. I dont want to charge you for just milk and it is not correct to charge someone for milk for a child. I smiled.

The guy was there till 1 in the morning and was back at 7 am when I landed up at the coffee shop for my morning dose of Caffeine. Someone in CCD must be doing a great job.

If you guys have an award for excellence in service please give it to this young man. He mans the CCD at Ginger Baroda.

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Maybe the railways should just hand over their operations to CDD. And Ginger should take a crash course in keeping the floors clean from the staff at In Orbit Malad.

Cheers.

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