Saturday, 27 February 2016

My Contribution to the Economy
The best way for a company to make money, is to manufacture low quality branded goods. Their life span is short and one has to buy new ones to replace them. In the 4 years I have been in Goa, India, I have gone through, 2 fridges a Bajaj and Panasonic, a Bajaj microwave, 2 electric  kettles, a Philips grinder, 2 chopping machines a Braun, one television , one Prestige induction cooker, one electric plate cooker and 2 mobile phones, Nokia and Samsung, an iball Computer and printer. No, I don’t drop them or take a sledge hammer to them, I use them and they break. Companies only give you a 12 month warranty, and most goods sputter and die after  2 years. Even the companies know the goods will die!
You would say, just get them fixed. How?  When you cannot get a hold of the one service man posted to serve the entire state! For example, when I called the Bajaj service man, the only day he was available, was when I was not. Any efforts to reschedule have been futile. Bajaj has one service person for the whole of Goa. At least that is the impression I get, He is scheduled each day of the week for a particular area. So if you miss him this week, you have to wait a whole week, for him to come, if you are luck! Perhaps it’s a ploy to force you to buy a new item. That is what I end up doing, anyway.
The same applies to Airtel, Tata Sky Plus, where you ask for service, and it takes them 4 days to send someone. They keep saying that they are on their way. Once, the technician asked me to stand outside my gate, because he did not know where the house was, I did, and he came 2 days later! Of course, I didn’t stand outside for 2 days!! The Airtel Dish service people are conmen/women. I sometimes don’t pay for Airtel because I also use Tata Sky Plus. One day someone called me and said that if I paid Rs190 within 1 hour I would get 30 days free viewing and after that I could change my package. So I rushed and paid, only to discover it was for only 3 days! So I did not pay, and w woman calls me and said that if I could pay Rs 1,950/- by 3pm that day, they would give me 6 months free viewing. I told her to F...Off!  Once they even threatened to deregister me, thinking that I would rush and pay. It’s ridiculous!
The call centres! I don’t speak Hindi or any other Indian language, because I am a Goan from Kenya. Of course, that is not an excuse why I should not speak my mother tongue Konkani, but that is another topic to be written later. There are some languages that are spoken very fast, so when they speak English in the same way, it appears like I am the one who does not know English, because I don’t understand them. Sometimes I have the courage to ask them to speak slowly, other times I don’t, so, the conversation ends up having long moments of silence, as my brain tries to decipher what was said to me. By the time my brain hits an answer; it’s normally the wrong one. So the person on the other side feel so good that he is better than me in English, and he continues at the same speed, but only softer in volume, making me squirm.
Then you walk into any clothes department stores in Goa. Like Westside Store.  No one comes to assist you, instead they just stand around like security guard. Basically waiting to see if you are a potential buyer or just browsing. They don’t think that it is their job to convince a customer to buy items, like selling ice to an Eskimo, kind of thing. When you finally go to pay for your items, the cashier is so serious, and slow, that you wonder what goes through his head. Don’t they know how valuable a customer is? Without the customer, the goods will not be bought, the store will not have money, you will not have a salary, and you will be out of a job! Because the store closed down! Then you will complain that there are no jobs for the youth, but it’s YOUR FAULT! IDIOTS!
I take my sister for treatment at a hospital near the Industrial Estate. The small hospital does not own a wheel chair , not because they cannot afford one, but because the nurses say they are not strong enough to push the chairs!-So hire a man who can do it, the hospital is not cheap! So I see, people literally being dragged into the emergency room. –Not by the nurses, obviously- So many industrial accidents! People are not given any protective gear as they work, they come with their fingers cut, or objects hitting their faces or head. I don’t think they have workman’s compensation here. It makes one wonder under what conditions people work in factories in Goa. No one complains, jobs are so scarce that people are willing to work under any conditions. The directors are only concerned about making very high profits.
Don’t even talk about the pharmacies. It takes a good 45 minutes to fill a prescription, because the place is so chaotic. They check the computer, and they know they have the item, but they mostly are not sure where they put them. Then there are only certain pharmacies that keep specific drugs. If you doctor is in one town, you have to buy the drugs from that town, you will not find it anywhere else.
My best experience is buying goods online. No human interaction, except at the time of delivery. It is quite efficient. Maybe that is my problem, the human interaction!

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