The hostage situation

tailor lady

It’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I have been taken hostage by the Indian customer service industry.

I am waiting for the dryer repair guy.  It’s the fourth time I am waiting for this exact guy.  He was supposed to come last Thursday in the morning, then got caught up at work and had to come at 5.  No one was here at 5.  I got a text the next day apologizing and asking to come on Monday.  I was here all Monday.  No dryer guy.  He wants to come tonight but I have things to do tonight.  So he’s on his way and should be here in a half hour.  I am not holding my breath.

Waiting for someone to show up has more or less become my life.  The front door of this house is seeing more action than that of some less reputable houses in Nevada!  Every one comes to your door, delivering, picking up, repairing, or just asking.  Everything can be delivered at home.  Of course you get your packages, newspaper but strangely not the postal mail.  You can have your groceries and pet food delivered.  I was pleased to see that I don’t have to bring my dirty laundry to the laundry man, he picks it up and usually brings it back in a few hours.  The optometrist offered to have my glasses delivered to our home.  Our neighbor gets her massage therapist to come to her house.  The vet came to check on the kittens here (after standing us up three times) and gave them their rabies shot.  The Vespa was serviced back at the shop but after they picked it up directly from our garage.  You can open a bank account by calling and having someone come and do the paperwork at your home.

But they never come just once. Sanjeep for instance, our nice bank representative, has been here at least four times (you stop counting after a while).  Each time he needs us to sign new documents.  We had already experienced this never-ending quest for paperwork when applying for the kittens’ “immigration” papers.  At the beginning of the process, we had asked to be given the complete list of required documents.  That never happened.  They would ask for one, then for another, then say the second document needs to be accompanied by a third letter, etc.  It was the same when I tried to get cellphone service, and when we opened our bank account.  They can simply never tell you in advance what will be expected of you.  But you can be sure they will need two passport photos because they need passport photos for everything!  The other scenario is that nothing is fixed properly the first time.  So they come back.

Which means you wait for them.  Each time.  And they are late.  Most of the time.  There is a joke that when someone says they’ll be here at 3, you should ask which time zone (our driver told us that joke after the vet showed up at 7pm when expected at 4pm), which is an even funnier joke when you know that India has only one time zone: IST or Indian Standard Time, aka “Indian Stretched Time”.  At least I think it’s funny!

The following is not intended to be a serious analysis of gender problems.  After marveling to an Indian friend about the fact that everything can be delivered to your front step, she told me the arrangement exists because historically, women were not allowed out of the house.  Everything had to be brought to them in order to run their household efficiently.  I think it’s a lie.  I think it’s the other way around.  This isn’t a convenience, it’s a trap!  This system was maliciously designed to keep women hostages in their dwelling!  Where am I supposed to go when the dryer needs to be fixed, when the electrical outlets spark, when the geezers go on strike, when the maids are coming, when food should be delivered? (Listen to me whining about luxuries not being luxurious enough).  In all fairness, a lot of people have maids who receive the items or guide the repairman to the broken appliance.  But we don’t have a maid.

And to make it even more interesting, if Madam is not here when they show up unexpectedly, she gets yelled at!

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