Thursday, September 27, 2012

5 ways to negotiate with a Hyderabadi autowala

1. Ask for sympathy (student, old age, lady, please, etc.)
2. Justify (small distance, no traffic, travelling to popular destination and hence sure another passenger, it is only day now, I travel daily at x costs)
3. Provoke/Insult them
4. Threaten (with policemen, act like a senior govt. bureaucrat, CBI officer, etc. - Anything to intimidate them to submission)
5. Default (after ride, pay what you think is right, not what they ask. Keep arguing with nothing to loose, they  understand the value of lost time in not transporting another passenger. Know that if things are going to get physical, there is that auto that can always be damaged with a stone throw.)

P.S: Do not use the methods in other places blindly. Each place has its own cultural norms, sensitivities and tolerances to things (like insults, default, etc.) Apply suitable method judiciously.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Why are bike reviews pathetic?

Every auto magazine seems to write a review of the new bike. But/yet,
1. They don't talk about after sales service in various cities.
2. They don't talk how the mileage changes after the first and second servicing.
3. They don't give the height of the seat.
4. They don't give the braking distance from 60kmph to dead halt (under standard conditions)
5. They don't talk about availability of spare parts and their costs vis-a-vis competitors.
6. They don't talk about maintenance needs of the bike and its associated costs. Some bikes need special oil and are costly.
7. Not all, even give the time needed to go from 0 to 60 kmph.
8. They don't talk about emissions vis-a-vis peers.
9. As a matter of fact, after the first review of the bike, there is hardly any follow up review done with inputs from the buyers/users to get real feedback on the bikes.

One of the best advices the magazines can give based on their "knowledge" of the industry is the how much do the spares and maintenance does the bike need compared to its peers. But, no kind of real knowledge comes from the review which help in decision making while buying the bike. Instead, each of them is off showcasing how erotic literature can be used to describe biking and the bike.

Companies on the other hand, put out info which is rather non-useful. Eg: Max torque and Max Power, Carbureter, Bore x Stroke, none of which is useful to the layman/normal user. What makes sense is the graph of the torque achieved across all rpm to see if the torque is good at low rpms (preferably vis-a-vis competitors) and graph of power achieved across all rpm.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Solve this case

Case study:
On a lazy day in office, you dont have much to do and you staring at the Brownian motion of the leaves on the tree you can see through the window of the office building. You wonder what you want to do this weekend. You check the movies online after a 360 degree turn of the head to confirm no one is looking at your non-official work. After some 5 min, you are done finding the theater and the time of the show you want to see and where. Now what?
You start thinking of a weekend vacation and how long it has been since you had been somewhere of some significance. With some memory recollection, you remember how your colleague had talked about the great things of a nearby town - a 3hr ride by bus. Whats wrong with checking out some details? Where is this? Whats there to watch? How to get there and back? Timings of the bus, etc.
Again looking around that no one is looking at you and glancing into the boss's cubicle to confirm that he is not yet in office, you start finding details of your potential next trip.
Twenty min have passed and you have found valuable information on the place. Now, to plan the bus trip. So, you open the popular top of mind site for bus travel,
And you have entered the locations and are about to enter the dates, when suddenly, you hear a faint voice. It is not readily identifyable but slowly you realise that you recognise that voice. It is coming from behind and the loudness of the voice is slowly increasing. This is processed by the brain after your nerve cells communicate with each other by synaptic pulses as the subject is approaching nearer to you. This realisation gets your heart to beat faster of impending situation. You then realise that the voice is that of your dreaded boss who already doesnt like you and will get furious seeing you wasting time instead of doing office work, surfing sites and making travel plans. Your heart is now racing at the speed of Ussain Bolt and you are not sure what to do. Closing the tab on your browser will show the other travel sites that you have open. Closing the browser will show your desktop with no work on it. What do you do? All these scenarios are running through your head in a fraction of a second and you are sure either of two things: A miracle to save the day or to embrace the impending disaster. What do you do?

Answer: you click the link "Boss is watching? Look busy." :D

Monday, September 3, 2012

How to drink coffee aboard a flight

Step 1: Order the cabin crew a coffee or a cappuchino.
Step 2: Pay Rs.60
Step 3: Receive hot Nescafe Cappuccino - Ready to drink in a paper cup stirred with hot water by the cabin crew herself.
Step 4: After drinking, give cup to cabin crew while they come to taken things to discard.

Jet Konnect:
Step 1: Order the cabin crew a coffee.
Step 2: Pay Rs.60
Step 3: Receive a (puzzle looking) box bigger than a pack of 52 playing cards.
Step 4: Receive a big paper cup with plenty of hot water (to drink or drown oneself?) and a stirrer.
Step 5: Struggle opening the cellophane tape on the box.
Step 6: Discover three small sachets inside - one everyday whitener costing Rs.1?, one sugar packet costing another Rs.1 perhaps and one nescafe instant coffee power definitely costing Rs.1.
Step 7: Open the sugar packet and pour into cup.
Step 8: Open the dairy whitener and pour into cup.
Step 9: Struggle opening the plastic pack of instant coffee at one end. Try another end. Finally, it opens.Pour into white solution.
Step 10: Stir, stir, stir!!!
Step 11: Drink extra-diluted warm by now coffee.
Step 12: After drinking, pick all the stuff and give back to cabin crew (total of ten items including pieces of sachets [3 sachets and their respective 3 opening bits], stirrer, the box top, box bottom and paper cup)

1. A well known brand of Rs.15 worth superior 3 in 1 cappuccino sachet is being used by Indigo. Jet uses clearly evident Rs.3 worth of material for the same Rs.60 coffee. Premium feel to Indigo. Feel being looted by Jet Konnect.
2. User ordered to drink coffee in flight. Indigo served ready to drink coffee. Jet Konnect asked user to make his/her own coffee (with no real customization options) and then drink it.
3. "Order-Drink-Give cup" procedure of Indigo. "Order-Mmmaaaakkkkkeeeeeee-Drink-pick all pieces and give"  procedure of Jet Konnect.