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Tring tring, may I help you?

I have to write about this. Spent four hours today morning running around trying to get my phone connection back on track. Since I was away, the new phone installation work order was cancelled. As a result, I had to go to three different MTNL offices to find out what to do next.

My first stop was at the office where I filed the application. “We can’t do anything here,” says the man at the gate. You have to go to the other exchange. Tomorrow.

So today, bright and early, I get to the other exchange. There’s about a dozen people all looking as clueless as me. Since there are no signs (or a help desk, which of course would be like asking for the moon) I had to figure out where I was supposed to put in my complaint.

Finally, I asked another man, who I assumed belonged to the office. “Mr Patel will help you,” he says. Of course, as luck would have it, Mr Patel had not yet come in. After waiting for about half an hour, finally the man in demand walks in. I tell him about my problem.

There is much discussion about what’s happened. Has my work order been cancelled? Or has it not? He asks me to sit outside for about 10 minutes. Which is actually about 20 minutes. Finally Mr Patel informs me that a linesman will come over today and fix my phone. Can I please keep my documents ready? I almost break into a jig over there, when he asks me to wait for another 10 minutes.

Now they call me back and tell me that my order has been cancelled. I could feel all the air going out of me, like a deflated balloon. I knew life could not be this easy. And this is a phone, for heaven’s sake!

I was then informed that I had to fill up another form (lord, what can we do without them?!). Attach a letter to the form. And then go to office number 3. Ye gads!

I rush to a cyber café, type out a polite letter, jump into a rick and make my way towards office number 3. There’s a quick customer service centre, which I realize is not so quick. I ask someone for Mrs Joshi (who I have been referred to by office number 2).

“Not his room,” says the guy at the counter, pointing out in a vague direction. I rush out of the door and go searching for room number 3 where I am going to find my saviour, Mrs Joshi. Alas, she is on leave. Another gentleman looks at my papers. Then looks up his screen (though I think he did that to show off he’s computer savvy).

Then he bundles me off to room no 4. Where there are three busy women. I take my chance and go to woman no 1. Of course, it’s not her. It’s not woman number 2 either (my luck, as I mentioned before isn’t so good today!). It is number 3. This time, I really really want to celebrate and give her a quick hug. “When can it be done?” I ask optimistically. “The work order will go out today evening,” says the lady.

After which it will take another 4-5 days for the guys at office number 2 to get into action. Wow, if you ever want to make life complicated, you can definitely learn a few lessons from organizations like the MTNL!

Now, begins the wait for my new phone connection. Meanwhile, Sify Iway, zindabad!

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