I finally had some luck!

My third trip to the Samsung service center, and it was the same scene: a sea of people, an endless queue, and me waiting for 1.5 hours, till my number was called. It was a horrendous wait, as I just watched the line crawl, each person more frustrated than the other.

When I finally reached the counter, which was in another room, I realized why these service agents were working so slowly. The room in which they were in was also not air conditioned. They were working in an environment in which they were feeling hot and sweaty. My heart went out to these people and I was chatting with the agent who was sharing her woes about how tiring it is to be working in a non-air conditioned room for 8 hours every day. My heart sank a little.

It’s really tough for me to fathom and assimilate that, even in the 21st century, the working conditions can be so abysmal; more so for an international brand like Samsung. I guess for most Indian companies, it is the bottom line that matters. In India, my experience has been that companies seldom care about the working conditions and ethos of their employees. It’s all about the profit.

I left the service center feeling miserable at the thought of having to return in a weeks time, and wait in that same miserable queue, when I have to collect my phone. This time, again, I will have to clear out my diary, and make sure that I have at least 2-3 hours to spare, just to collect my damn cell phone. Hopefully, I won’t have an ailing baby and a hectic work day. Those are small saving graces that I am hoping for 🙂


One of Those Days!

The population of Mumbai is so explosive, that if you were trying to fight between life and death, and your chances of survival depended on how much the local population cooperated, you would be dead in a minute! I kid you not: the population of Mumbai is at an all time high, and in the time I have been here, it is only increasing.

Today was one of those days: busy day with patients, dealing with the separation anxiety of a sickly baby, managing the home staff, and trying to get my mobile fixed, while trying to sneak in some time for exercise, on top of everything else. I was juggling everything well, till I found myself making my way to the Samsung Mobile service center, for the second day in a row.

My phone has been acting up, and Samsung has a handful of service centers in all of Mumbai! The center that I need to go to is not air conditioned, and one has no choice but to take in the fresh aromas of masalas (spices) and grimy sweat, oozing out from the pores of almost every customer waiting in the room.

Yesterday when I went to the Samsung service center, I picked up a token number, which was 51. By the time 1 hour was up, the counter was only showing # 35. I left, not so furious, but hopeful that when I returned the next day, I will not have to deal with so much waiting. I show up today, second time around, and am faced with the same pathetic sight of a million people occupying a room of about 100 square feet, hoping and wondering when their number will be called. I pick up yet another token number, and it’s 39. I let a whole hour pass again, and the only progress on the token counter is a 23! This is after a whole hour of waiting in agony. With a sick baby at home and patients who are on their way for their appointment, I leave the scene. This time, I am furious and in shock.

And it’s at time like these when I think back to the simple conveniences of saving time and energy in the USA, when it came to getting things done in a timely and efficient manner. Life in Mumbai, is so cumbersome sometimes, because the littlest of things take massive amounts of time, money, energy, and emotional strain. This is the first time I am blogging about a particular incident related to a specific company, but this is not reflective of the numerous times that I have had similar experiences.

It’s been a frustrating and unproductive day, where getting any personal chores are concerned. Tomorrow, I will find my self marching to the Samsung service center for the third day in a row. This time, I have cleared my diary and have dedicated 2-3 hours just to wait around and register my phone with the service center.

And if, by tomorrow, I have not accomplished my task (by the third attempt), someone will meet his death…