This could be one very enthralling post for those of you that are familiar with the BPO world.
For those who aren’t, here’s some good to know info :-)
One of the perks of being in a call centre / BPO is the transport facility.
Note: I’m not saying it’s one of the “best” parts. If I did, I’d probably make front page headlines coz people would rant and rave and criticise me for spreading misconceptions leading to media abuse and social irresponsibility… Can’t risk it…
Anyhow… The point is, taking company transport daily to and from work makes for some very intriguing experiences.
The good part is definitely where you get to meet new people (if you’re the types that likes to meet new people, else it can be a tedious compulsion). Some become your friends, and others become topics of dialogue – the way they behave, the things they talk, their manner of dressing, etc.
Another obvious reason for taking the cab is that it saves you the trouble of driving on the crazy Pune roads amidst the crazier Pune traffic.
The bad parts, well these are more numerous.
One, you gotta walk to or from the nodal point, depending on company policies. This junction could well be a few minutes to a few miles away from your home, and walking before or after work is surely not on my must-do list. It’s tiring to say the least, and then to wait for the cab to arrive is another nuisance. Besides, you need to get ready quite earlier as compared to the time you’d take to get to work on your own.
(This would be based upon the total number of pick-ups and your serial number in that list. I’m not going to dispute this part of the routine coz I’m generally the first drop and last pick. Ward off evil eyes and jealous jerks!!)
But those are just some simple details… What’s remarkable are the co-passengers, the driver and the incidents that happen on the way…
I can’t possibly overlook the importance of the driver in this regard. He is, and mark my words, a VERY crucial element in this entire episode.
There are times when you will wonder if the cabs are a convenience provided for you to commute or for you to be left hanging. I seriously suspect that the drivers have standing instructions to NOT pick people up. If someone’s even a minute late, leave him. If someone’s phone is not reachable, leave her. If the cab reaches before time and the employee requests to wait, leave him nevertheless. Time, tide and cabs wait for no man (or woman; unless you’re the kinds that bawl and bellow if you’re wronged! Say hello to me, and contact me for tips if needed… Free of cost. My good deed for the day.)
And if you DO manage to board the cab, then you have to put up with the driver’s choice of music. I’d say you’re blessed if the driver plays the radio, preferably a youthful FM that plays Sheila ki Jawani and nice hummable tracks. On the other hand (and the more often hand, if I might be precise), drivers love turning the frequency to Vividh Bharti or some equally ancient USB drive.
Now don’t get me wrong here, I love all kinds of music, and I am not biased about singers youthful or old. The point is, I don’t know if the drivers themselves enjoy listening to those songs, or they turn up the volume to show the passengers who’s boss. What else can I say when I’ve spent 20 minutes with “Tum toh thehre pardesi saath kya nibhaoge” and “Mhara hiwda mein naache mor” blaring in my ears?!! Those are times when I miss cabs with no music systems…
And it doesn’t end there. If, thankfully for you, the cab driver plays some sane music at a sensible volume, you have the co-passengers singing along. If they were half as melodious as they thought they were, I wouldn’t complain…
There are also the types that are glued to their cell-phones yakking away to glory, some whispering out of concern for privacy (their own as well as the others’) and others screaming at the top of their lungs to make up for the poor network. (Get Idea… ahem!) And the icing on the cake is when they request other people to be silent or roll up the windows because they have trouble chatting up. The cheek!!
If there are known people on the route, it is a pain or a pleasure, depending on your mood. If you feel garrulous, then good. Yet there are times when you really wana think over something or just shut your eyes and enjoy the drive, and their screeching down your ears doesn’t help; you have to respond out of decency. (Unless you are the types that coolly care to hurt others.) There have been innumerable times when I’ve had to formally and forcefully laugh and chatter against my wishes just because some person in the cab was the undisputed leader of the glib gang. Poor, kind, martyr me!!
Oh, and in case you weren’t aware, the cabs could be any vehicle among an Indica, Sumo, Winger, Tempo Traveller or bus. And at least the ones I’ve seen are forbidden to switch on the air conditioner even if you’re melting in the heat. Melting’s not really that bad; what sucks is the touching shoulders and sweaty smells. But the lesser said, the better. Lack of hygiene is one of my pet peeves, and I don’t want to digress right now…
I know talking about the ugly stuff makes for some very interesting discussions. Yet, I must admit, it’s not all that bad. At least for me, things have been smooth and pleasant. Really depends on your attitude, if you ask me. I’ve befriended most of the transport desk at work, and I treat the drivers with dignity and cordiality. Even if I don’t often speak to unknown co-employees, I am genial if they need help. I crack jokes and I snap, based on my mood and the going-ons in the cab. But, I’m well-behaved on the route and disciplined about my roster.
Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, they say.
Enjoying your rides to work? ;-)