Two days back, I made an interesting discovery at the MTNL office. No, it wasn't the obstructive efforts or the incompetence of the staff--I timed the counter person in charge of setting up new Dolphin mobile accounts, and she was blistering at a rate of 32 new customers per day, if she was indeed working 8 hours. Nope, it was another delicious tidbit of absurdity. You see, ever since the first time our phone was disconnected when we failed to pay our bill while traveling, I've been a bit apprehensive about going to the MTNL office. That's because the first time I went there, a staring-eyed lunatic purposefully bumped me, chest-to-chest, on my way out of the place and began to curse me incomprehensibly. Great, I thought, an hour in fucking line and now it's a dustup with some terribly unwashed drunken xenophobe. But then the parking attendant interceded: Never mind him, he said, he's a madman. He does this stuff all the time. On our way out, his ropy hair flying, the loon manically chucked rocks at our trusty white 800. So here's the punchline: When we sent to set up a Dolphin Mobile account, keen on getting coverage in rural India, regardless of the pain and suffering we had to go through, we were on the lookout for this character. Shailaja even asked the parking attendant: "Is the moon-bayer around" (Anyway, she said something funny in Hindi, I gathered from the attendant's reaction). He one-upped her, though. "He works here," he said, with a certain tone of admiration. "He's a government employee!" I desperately wanted to ask if the fellow was in charge, but my Hindi isn't up to that.
This has somehow become errand week. I don't know how this shit builds up, but I also had to get a new axle boot put on the 800, the result of a stunningly deep pothole near PVR Saket. I can't say enough good things about the treatment I got at Maruti Service Masters in Okhla. It was the first time (ok, apart from the Music Shop in Defence Colony) where people actually acted with alacrity and sense to deal with customers. Best of all, nobody tried to begin dealing with all the customers at the same time, while finishing nobody's work, instead of proceeding through the workload one vehicle/customer at a time. Three cheers, guys. If this keeps up, I'm going to have to buy three or four more cars, or at least tear mine up once in awhile so it needs repairs, just for the moment of sanity it provides.