For someone who works in a remote/captive set-up, lives in the world of netbanking/credit cards/online payments and stays away from family, a major part of my day is spent on phone calls.
So, if I am not arguing with my mom on potential marriage prospects (or the lack of them), I am cribbing to my friends who are in different parts of the country/world or listening to my kid brother go on and on and on about the latest model of phones, laptops, tablets, cars or other such things which are of no interest to me.
If that’s not bad enough, there are recurrent goof-ups by my bank, credit card company, telephone company or broadband company, who believe it’s perfectly customer friendly to put me on hold for ages with some terrible background score, at the end of which, I would be greeted with a not-so-helpful customer service agent with a confused accent. They are so NOT happy to help!
But the cake definitely goes to the people at work where I waste a major part of my youth. Since my boss sits out of a different country, we spend half the day trying to get through to each other, dialing the phone till our fingers are on the verge of falling off. Whenever I call, he is in a meeting/about to go for a meeting and whenever he calls, I am usually loafing around in the cafeteria or wandering aimlessly around Hiranandani, trying to pick up the pieces of my life. Then there is the problem of cross border communication, when we are trying to navigate through different languages/accents/dictions, getting more lost in the process, when one party just rambles on, though the other party has no idea what’s being said. By the end of it, you feel like Arnab Goswami, ranting like a madman, while the audience no longer cares.
Now, since we are in research, we have this inherent knack to find people who will LISTEN.TO.OUR.VIEWS, but since front-end bankers are too busy to save their jobs, they don’t have the time/enthusiasm to humour us. SO what do we do? We talk to each other: it’s a case of quid pro quo, i.e. you let me bore you, I shall let you do the same to me, as long as it gives the impression that we are all very busy! And just to give it a professional “look and feel”, we CALL each other up, while sitting next to each other, and THEN talk, so that we can hear ourselves, hold your breath, not once, but twice! As for what we DISCUSS, let’s just say it covers the whole of animal kingdom with a generous dose of phrases like “bull and bear”, “hawkish and dovish” or “headwind and tailwind”.
It’s like Karthik Calling Karthik, but just imagine close to two dozen of them, and it’s total chaos…