Saturday, June 11, 2016

Long live Red Tape







A few days ago, an Indian Visiting London [IVL] went to Marks & Spencer [M&S] as all Indians do and bought herself a top. Only problem was that she was size 10 and bought a size 18 top. Needless to say, the top did not fit. This was discovered after IVL had returned to Mumbai.

HRH the Queen of Kutch to the rescue – she was going to London. The size 18 top was handed over to HRH the Queen of Kutch with instructions to go to M&S and (i) exchange the top for a size 10 and (ii) to buy one more size 10 top of the same design in a different colour. So, we trooped off to M&S and found a size 10 top. Task (i) was completed. We went to the exchange and refund department, handed over the size 18 top, exchanged it for the size 10 top, obtained a receipt and went back to the shop floor to complete task (ii).

There were tops of the desired different colour but, unfortunately, none of them were size 10. So the helpful staff said that the best way to obtain the top was to order it online using the in store computer terminal. The top could be collected free of cost from the store the next day. So HRH the Queen of Kutch took a top and scanned the label on the small infrared scanner next to the computer. Up popped the tops on screen. Colour was chosen, size was selected, payment made by credit card and job done. The top would be available for collection in store the next day. A confirmation of the order was sent by email to HRH the Queen of Kutch, and, with a smartphone, the confirmation number was available on the mobile.

What happened next was an eye opener.

We turned up at the collections desk and HRH the Queen of Kutch was asked for her name – she told the clerk her name. The clerk turned on his heel, went to the inside and reappeared a few moments later with a package. The package had the top. That was it. Finished! I have nothing more to say.

We were literally gobsmacked. Can you imagine this in India? You would have had 3 layers of imbeciles to deal with. Each one more suspicious of your motives. You would have been asked for ID proof, PAN Card, AADHAR, birth certificate duly notarised and fuck knows what else. Then you would have had to fill in a form and sign in at least two ledgers and probably obtain a `Gate pass’ to exit the shop without a bill.

Why oh why are we so bloody anal in India?

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