Electronics shopping in Pune

1. Some of the comments in this article may well apply to stores of the chains mentioned in other cities as well, but my experiences are limited to the specific outlets I visited. I don’t aim to generalize my opinions for the entire chain.

2. The disclaimer above is to ensure that none of those big stores sue my a** off!

Now that we’re done with disclaimers (and their disclaimers!), it’s time to tell you the dirty truth about electronics store chains in Pune.

Recently, I have been around looking for an iPod docking station, a laptop, an LCD/Plasma TV and cell phones. I have bought all these items from different stores. That itself begs the question: what are these massive one-stop stores good for?

Yes, the hint is at Croma. As someone who takes his electronics quite seriously, I do expect store salesmen to be well informed. I don’t expect them to know all the minute details, but their suggestions should mean something. And at no store in Pune have I found this. The obvious incentive for them to push a brand/product is the commission they or the store stands to earn. In this regard, Vijay Sales (Sadhu Vaswani Chowk) is perhaps the best of the lot. Continue reading “Electronics shopping in Pune”

Professionalism and the job market

See, we’re expanding. So I’m interviewing a lot of people for various positions.

I was to interview someone today at 11.30am. The candidate had applied for a job and after exchanging a few mails, the time was fixed. She turned up half an hour early. Great. But I was out and came in about 20 minutes before the scheduled meeting time. I was told she had come and left. Strange!

So about 45 minutes after the scheduled time, I messaged asking if she was coming in. No reply. Then I called. And she told me that since this is a start-up, she had changed her mind. She wants to work for a bigger company! Wow. Jobs must be easy these days again. Anyways, to each their own. But what baffles the mind is there are ways of turning down a job offer/interview. There are ways to research a company you want to interview with and then apply.

Despite the fact that we are no longer a ‘start-up’ (we do have some clients, you know, like Epson, SOTC, Ad Club, TOI, Yahoo!, AOL etc, but perhaps they aren’t large enough for her) this candidate made her decision based on what our waiting area looks like. She didn’t talk to anyone, didn’t wait to find out the company plans, current profile or anything that someone looking for a career tries to find out. So how will she know we got acquired and are now part of a US outfit? She won’t!

Either I’m out of touch with how job hunting is done these days or the recession is well and truly over and candidates have many many options to choose from. The first may be true, but the second, certainly isn’t. Whose loss? Time will tell. I do have a few more people to meet for that position. So maybe not mine.

Professionalism? Very low indeed. For the record, the candidate is not from Pune, but has just moved here. So don’t say Punekars are unprofessional!

Good luck, candidate. You know who you are!

You Swine!

That would be the normal retort if we knew which pig to blame for the flu. As cities start to panic and people start to believe anything they hear, the government is starting to make some knee-jerk decisions. Take Pune, for example, where the outbreak seems to be the worst.

As of Tuesday morning, Pune had reported 5 H1N1 deaths of the total 8 in India in addition to over 300 other confirmed cases. While this hasn’t come about overnight, it is a typically lazy response to what now seems like a pandemic.

So what one saw on the streets of Pune this morning was a Sunday-like but only eerie silence. There was a heaviness about and one could really gauge what was being thought. As everyone adorned the “bandit queen” look, the ridiculousness of the entire situation was overwhelming. Despite repeated reports that the masks are to be used for just a day and not all masks are useful, people continue to buy them en masse. A report claims that almost 250,000 were sold across the city on Monday! Good business!

The solutions by the powers that be? One of the first things that the authorities have done is stay away. Pune’s two ‘powerful and influential’ ministers — Suresh Kalmadi (Congress I) and Ajit Pawar (NCP) have been conspicuously absent. Except for Mr Kalmadi’s face on posters welcoming Digvijay Singh to Pune, the city hasn’t heard so much as a peep out of him. And Mr Pawar responded to a newspaper report about his absence by making some nonsensical statement. Ignore, please. Then, remotely, they have administered the shutdown to the city. For those who aren’t aware, all schools, colleges, malls and movie halls are to remain closed for 3-7 days starting Tuesday. When some people were asking for this action about a week ago, there was ridicule that we should not bow down to it. Continue reading “You Swine!”

The ‘hired help mafia’

Yes, it exists!

And after ‘Traffic Signal’, nothing really surprises me. But this weekend was an eye-opener to be honest. So here’s what happened…

There’s a guy who is supposed to be cleaning the car daily and once weekly from inside. He is a habitual bunker and after about four warnings over the last year, I finally decided I had had enough. Apparently, he hadn’t! And that counted more than what I thought! Continue reading “The ‘hired help mafia’”

Holi… ow!

It’s a lovely time is Holi. The colour, the joy, the revelry… it’s all very enjoyable. It is also good fun if you can get some bhang. Very potent stuff, that. And the effects last long. So Federer lost a Tennis match. Big deal. But that bhang does take effect slowly and lasts long. Much like Felipe Massa’s qualifying run. But I don’t think he’ll win. The bhang does affect hunger as well.

Right now, it’s just clogging my thinking. Evidently.

Bangalore vs Pune

No, no… this isn’t one of those “my city is better than yours” posts. I love both cities. I know Pune better, but I simply love Bangalore. The one year I spent there was brilliant. It is strange that I chose Bangalore to make one of the most monumental career decisions ever. Quit my job and go ‘entrepreneur’.

But this post on Bengalooru Banter reminds me of Bangalore the way I loved it. Those small lanes around Ulsoor opening up into the nice leafy 100ft Road of Indira Nagar and the chaotic, yet resourceful CMH Road.

All that post has done is throw up predicament. I must make another trip to Bangalore. And not one of those flying visits like I had in January.