Monday, October 31, 2011

One shop to love!

So my mom called me up Saturday morning with bad news. The shop I had been going to for the last eight years to buy salwar kameez closed down. She tried enquiring around if he had shifted but nobody at Alsa Mall had any idea where the shopkeeper left. We had the landline telephone number which is not working anymore. So there! One more shutdown of a location I used to frequently visit. First it was the Woodlands drive in hotel , then the beauty parlour and now this. While the hotel was shutdown for a garden being built in its place. The other two was mainly because of bad business.

Just a week back my boss was talking to his colleague about the MBA student who had not paid his fees yet. Apparently the guy was the son of a small grocery store owner. And basically due to poor business the boy could not afford the fee any longer.

Running a shop is no joke. Even if it is a small one. In fact I believe its harder if you have a very small shop. You not only have competition from the smaller shops nearby, but huge gigantic hypermarkets can easily weigh you down in a jiffy. So in what way can you set your shop apart? Good customer service! But I have always felt the staff at Lulu and Carrefour more friendlier than the people in smaller shops. Could it be because of low wages? I really dont know.

But all the same I still feel sorry for the owners of small grocery stores especially in major cities.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Are these gadgets really necessary?

So Steve Jobs passed away last week. Zillions of people mourned over his death. People whom he never really knew. But seriously, if you could take a look at all the three famous products from the Apple in the last decade, they were all gadgets that we could easily do without. And basically they were stuff meant for just show off.

Let's start with the ipod. There are so many lesser known mp3 players which are much more user friendly than the ipod. Then came the iphone with its oh so many add-ons for social networking. It just increased the number of useless status updates in my Facebook page. Because people bought this phone paying so much that they had to let the whole world know that they were using it. And then they started using it for all features except for making a phone call (which is what a cellphone was invented to do in the first place)! After that came the ipad. Now we have laptops, desktops and practically all internet browsing tools now on the phone itself, so why one more six-inch tablet PC whose functionality could be easily replicated by all the afore mentioned devices?

So people land up spending money on stuff that they dont really need to begin with and made the company bigger and richer. I have survived ten years without purchasing any of their products. And I am sure that if I can survive without this for so many years, then so will other people.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bad Customer Service?

Many a time I have felt that I have been discriminated against just because I am an Indian. The most recent incident occurred when I went into the Splash retail outlet in one of Dubai's malls. I had picked up a few clothes which were on sale and had proceeded to the billing counter. First the lady standing at the counter I chose left the counter at that very moment.I waited thinking she will be back soon. She just disappeared. The guy standing at the next billing counter was busy with another customer for a while. We were the only two customers at the billing counter by the way.

Another lady from a different nationality walked into the shop and this guy at the counter instructs one of the sales girls to attend to her!! Hey there was no special attention given to me when I was shopping? And how does this guy assume who will shop for more money or what if that woman walks out of there buying nothing at all. I waited five more minutes and then I left the clothes on the counter and walked out of the shop. No sorry , no calling me back, nothing! Its almost as if these people were trained to not care! What an insult. And who should we complain to about such insults? There wasnt even a manager on duty!!And this is not just a one-off occurrence here, in fact ir happens here more than in any other place I know.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Plight of Watching TV..........

Last week the news channels in India were agog with the news of Sachin Tendulkar moving into a new home. Apparently it cost him 39 crores in Indian rupees to buy it and almost as much in renovating it. So we are talking about a Rs 75 crore plus home! Well he is my favorite player , but all the same 75 crores for a house was a bit too much for me to digest. I mean 5 crores , 6 crores is also normal but 75?
Is it really required? And what would be the yearly cost of maintaining all that?
The Indian media is slowly going the British and the American way. All those guys ever used to talk about were the boooorrrring Beckhams. Hopefully they will not get into Sachin and Anjali's hairstyle and clothes!!!!Already they are behind Sakshi Dhoni's style of dressing. God alone knows what's next. Its like people dont care about meaningful news anymore.
One of my favorite channels on TV is a German channel called DW TV. The programs are divided such that one hour in German is followed by one hour in English. As I dont understand German I watch only the English programs. But the way these programs are taken with very little irritating advertisements in between is a marvel. And the content itself is so much better and clear to understand that I dont think any one of the Indian channels are even qualified to compete with them. Even if Indian media dont follow the same pattern, cant they atleast take meaningful topics? Such as advancements in research for instance.
And probably the most boring and yet nasty type of program is the Big Boss. This was an unnecessary program that we borrowed from the west. Just because Shilpa Shetty went and wept on the program 5 years ago and got herself a millionaire husband, doesnt mean that everybody is that lucky or that ordinary people have the time and the energy to waste on it.And what culture does it promote anyway? Of intolerance??? I just cant believe the junk we have to watch on TV these days. High time I get rid of the idiot box and just go back to the good old radio minus the RJ's of course.