Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Are we over-emphasizing English in India?

Two 3rd grade students were humiliated by their teachers for speaking in their mother tongue, in a school in Andhra Pradesh, India. They were asked to go around the school, with slates hung from their neck! The slates said "I will never speak Telugu". Their moms found this during lunch time!

Can these school teachers be any more stupid?

Already there is a movement in India, saying we should use 'mother tongue' for anything and everything! These overly enthusiastic and stupid teachers are giving fodder to this movement!

Apart from these political reasons, do they ever think of the psychological impact on these kids? What would those moms have felt when they saw their kids like that?
Will these kids ever like to speak in their mother tongue?

I hope the government gives suitable punishment to these teachers!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wellfargo - your Rewards programme is irritating!

Dear Wellsfargo,
You have an amazing Rewards programme for your credit card holders. 1c for every 1$ I spend. Amazing! Who doesn't want free dollars?
I signed up. Here I am, ready to redeem my points!
Now I am not able to register to the Rewards website!
Then, I called customer service.
The automatic menu asked for my card number and SSN. After typing my SSN four times, it gave up and transferred me to the First Representative.
First representative asks for my card number, name (thank god! He didn't ask me to spell it!) , address, and phone number. After hearing all these he says you would have logged in to the Business Rewards website. I may be dumb, but not that much! Still I reopen the Individual website again. Try to register my rewards account. Same error! This guy has no clue. He keeps on saying that could be the only problem! I say "I have tried it four times. I am not able to register. What do I do now?"
Then this representative realizes and says "I can transfer you to our Customer Service". Who was I talking to then?

Fun part again. The phone menu asks for my Card number and SSN. After typing my SSN four times, it gave up and transferred me to the Second Representative. By now I realised my SSN is not in the system. But why? How did I get a credit card without SSN?
The second representative asks me all the standard questions - Name, address, phone number, birth date, Card Expiration Date, Card Security Code and my mother's maiden name. Thank God, she didn't ask me to spell my name! I told her my SSN is not recognized. She agrees! Moment of Truth!!!!!!!!! She says "SSN is not required for Secure Card!"
You said it correctly M'm! Then, why is my rewards programme alone asking for SSN? If my SSN is necessary for Rewards programme, why didn't you ask for my SSN while registering for Rewards programme?
Now she gets my SSN and enters it into their system. She says "Now you will be able to login. Is there anything else I can do for you today?" I tamely say "No thanks!"

Fun again! I try to register now. Same error! Normally, I would have given up! But it is a matter of money. I called up the customer service again. Phone Menu, Card number and SSN! After entering SSN for 4 times, I get to the Third Representative.
Name, Address, phone number, etc.
He says I don't know what the problem is. I told him my SSN was entered just now. He kept me on hold for 5 minutes to talk to his customer service I believe. He came back and said "It will take 24-48 hours for SSN to be entered into the system!" Wowwwwwww! Why didn't the previous representative say that? Why did she say that I can register immediately?

Now I am fed up! I am not even 1% sure that it will work after 24-48 hours! I told him to redeem the points over the phone itself. Again a wait time - It will take 5 - 7 business days to redeem the points!

So, I will have to wait till two weeks to see cash in my account!

I have spent 45 minutes over the phone with these guys! And another 15 minutes to vent my frustration!!!!!!!!!!!!

Amazing Rewards programme! Amazing Customer Service Wells Fargo!

Wow! Wells Fargo, why don't you have such 'informed' customer service in your other departments? Wow again!! You rock! (I wouldn't want to use the word 'suck' in my blog!).

Friday, October 09, 2009

Wow Mr. Obama!

Huh! Another suspense of the year is over!
Mr. Obama has been awarded 2009's Nobel Peach Prize for his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."
Mr. Obama took over on January 20th. The deadline for nominations was February 1st.
Congratulations Mr. Obama!!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Bangalore or Buffalo?????

Mr. Obama played a great marketing jingle for Bangalore!! Wow!! Should I say thanks???? Should the commerce minister and tourism minister send a big letter of thanks to Mr. Obama?
Well, let's see!!

Till 15 years back, Bangalore was this sleepy little town occupied by Defence people, Retired government employees and of course the business men. What a beautiful city with amazing parks, amazing weather and of course amazing people! I loved the people of Bangalore - very laid back and very helpful.

In my opinion, Bangalore never had the infrastructure to accommodate such exponential growth of business and population. Probably, it will never have! Still Bangalore alone had an export of USD 42 billion last year!!

Well, it all started small. It all started with just Y2K and testing work. US businesses came looking for a population who can speak good English and who had good IT skills. Wasn't Bangalore good then?

But, the Indian government, the businesses and of course the people never stopped with the meagre work they got. They worked so hard to grow. Today, major products are released out of Bangalore. Intel designs microprocessors in Bangalore. Google has one of its biggest research centers in Bangalore.

It's not that Bangalore is the ideal business location. IMHO, Bangalore would rate as the worst business location, if not for the people! It has its own limitations
- lack of infrastructure
- government (yes it is, the government can never be so unhelpful to business)
- Politicians
If Bangalore with so much of its limitations can grow, any other city in the world can!

Buffalo??? What an ideal location! It's just 375 miles from where the money is - New York!! It's around this place we have the best of technical schools. Of course, Buffalo would be a great place for another Silicon city in USA.

But, why should Buffalo be a competition to Bangalore? IT market is never going to shrink! Are we going to stop using computers? Are companies going to throw away their computers and do their business using paper and pen?

When the economy gets back up, IT market is going to expand. IT industry has to grow and it will! There will be opportunities for every city, every country and every region!!

If we take out the business away from Bangalore now due to the recession, what will the world do when they need more IT services, when they need more software engineers? Are we going to lose the intellect we have gained over the last 15 years?

Or, have we lost hope that Economy would come back up?

I hope good sense prevails. I hope American businesses ( and should I say American government?) do not make hasty decisions, thinking of short term gains.

Bangalore and Buffalo need not be competitors! They can both coexist!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

No idea what I am writing

For more than 6 months, I didn't write anything on this blog. I had a lot to discuss on: Recession in USA, Economic difficulties in India, Lay-offs, 26/11, By-election in TN, Satyam Scam, Moral policing in Mangalore, Pink Chuddi gifts on V-day, and so on.

But, what will I write new? All these things have been beaten to death and I feel like there is nothing good happening in this world!

One thing, I awed about was the Presidential elections in USA and the way the elections were conducted meticulously. No Loud-speakers, no posters, no cut-outs! Even on the election day, there wasn't anything to suggest so! One thing I was surprised about was, it was a working day! People still voted in large numbers.

But, I still don't understand what's the big deal about first African-American President! On top of it, even Indians were so excited about it! It was broadcast live all over the world, as if Obama is going to Preside over the whole world. Whoever becomes the US President, nothing is going to change
- the 500 rupees you pay (under the table) for getting your driving license.
- the roads that are built one day before the rains, and end up with the same old pot holes making us think why they laid the road again
- the politicians who think about the voting mass, only once in 5 years
- the government which just exists
- the daily struggle of the mass (i.e. you and me)
Then, why this hoopla in India over who becomes US President?

Oscars for A.R. Rahman, Gulzar and Resul Pookutty! Congratulations! You have made us proud! I mean it. Here in the USA, lot of people have watched it already. Many of them told me that they liked the movie and the music! Ok, many of them think life in India is how it is portrayed in that movie! Ha ha ha!!

And, politicians have lined up to take the credit for Oscars! What's new?
And, many people want to have their share of limelight. They have filed suits against the movie and are becoming more noticed in the media! What's new again?

BTW, why have I become so pessimistic? Even when I write about good things, I end up being negative!! I should find more good things to write about!