Prof. Kaustubh Dhargalkar: GPRS, Email, Smartphone & a Lost Mornin

May 31, 2011 | Posted by admin in Faculty Talk   20 Comments »

It was an eventful morning….the GPRS functionality on my phone had got mysteriously deactivated for a while & not hearing those vibrating alerts by the bedside, every now & then was making me feel lost.

The nocturnal wakeups & feeling for the phone on the side board of the bed continued but this night to no avail, then I finally decided I won’t bother to check for any mail…..well, I was experiencing a nightmare while being awake… “I am alone in this world…imagine, no one, absolutely no one had emailed me for a whole six hours ( yes I checked the timestamp on the last email I had in my inbox on the phone & it said 25th May, 00.09 )…..a bloody, depressing six hours, thirty three minutes & twenty one seconds & counting.……. No one had thought me worthy of communicating with, not even spammers

Well, finally at 6.17 am, I dragged myself out of the bed & the nightmare & made a call to the Vodafone helpdesk(& before you ask, yes, before brushing my teeth or sitting on the… ). I was suffering from acute Nocontactitis & it was mind-numbing. My fingers were struggling on the touch screen of my phone, v..o..d..acare, click on call……& then that irritating IVR, took a full 74 seconds to reach the desired option, then some more options( 273 seconds more) when I am about to speak to a ‘HAPPY TO HELP Customer Executive’, the call drops…..after another two call drops at different points in the IVR & another 457 seconds, finally someone says ‘Good Morning, Happy to…..’ & again asks for my identification, this is the third time during that call that I have to repeat the information, which I do ‘coz finally they have thought, I sounded urgent from my voice. Then I explain the problem to the ‘Happy to ….’ Executive & then all hell breaks loose, she tells me to call from another phone, ‘coz she would guide me through the GPRS settings on my phone…..all this after 724 seconds more of holding on( out of which 695 seconds were spent in trying to understand the instructions of the IVR & listening to “I wish I could fly….” & there I was saying, ‘Wish I could kill”…..

Well I had to get CONNECTED back to the WORLD, right? how could I not reactivate my GPRS? so another call drop & 874 seconds later, I am greeted by another, yeah, you guessed it right, ‘Happy to…’Executive, who guided me through the start menu, the email setup, modem setup, incoming pop server{ my brains were popping out while this executive was serving me with some smtp(simply mind threatening to get pulverized) protocols}…..@%#Grrrr>*^#$, but the thought of being ALONE in this WORLD was too scary for me to disconnect…another 1031 seconds later the ‘Happy to…’ executive( my ear was about to YELP in pain) said in a very businesslike tone, “Sir, all the settings are finished, you switch off the phone, remove the SIM card, reinsert it & restart the phone( no, no, be considerate, she dint tell me to shake the phone vigorously) your GPRS would be active in the NEXT TWO HOURS. Oh!!!! I was going to be ALONE for another 7200 seconds……..well the 11,329 second wait ( remember the 4129 seconds on the phone with the, yeah, you guessed it right, ‘Happy to ….’ Executive, from 6.17 am to 7.26 am) felt like eternity, interspersed with innumerable fidgets in the pocket clicking on the email icon on the phone screen. It was 9.30 am & still no familiar vibrating alerts, now….. I had never ever felt so lonely in my life ( not even when I was asked to visit a cemetery at 2 am in the ragging period during my sophomore year)

In a depressed, as well as a belligerent mood, I called vodacare…..what luck!! I got to speak to, yeah, you are right, ‘Happy to….’executive within 124 seconds… after re-re-re-verification of my identity, I explained my re-re-recurring problem & he asked me what steps had you been taken through during your previous ‘Happy to…..’ interaction……. & I said to myself, “if I had known I would not have called you, Chief, would have done it myself”, now, my billigerence was showing, still afraid of being alone for another 11,329 second in this world, I pleadingly said, “Can you HELP getting me BACK INTOT THIS WORLD?”, I was almost croaking due to choking on my tears. He asked, ‘Had you followed these, these steps…?’ I vaguely remembered something different & said NO. To which, he triumphantly responded, ‘Extremely sorry, sir on behalf of my colleague, I apologise, there was a mistake on our side”. I could sense the palplable triumph in his voice on having found out a mistake of his unsuspecting colleague, probably, now he could expect the promotion, he has been waiting……Well, back to getting back to the WORLD for me. He took me through some touchscreen menus on my phone, which I did mechanically & finally clicked on ‘finish’. Our conversation ended on a not so HAPPY note, but still he was like, ‘Happy to Help, have a good day, Sir’.

Poor me, I am still left wondering …. “Oh! Nobody cares about me ….not even spammers” for another 7200 seconds….at the least.

Introspections on what had I lost this morning
I figure, in REALITY, I had skipped my morning bicycle ride, the fresh morning breeze, the only refreshing time outdoors in this oppressive summer, hear the birds chirp, meeting the joggers on the street, saying bye to my daughter who went for her board exams without the ‘All the best’ wish & the customary morning peck, my breakfast( I was so busy trying to connect with the WORLD, that my brain forgot to connect with my stomach )……………’s funny how we have lost touch with……. But yes we are proud to say that, we are CONNECTED with the WORLD…..
Well, it’s lunchtime now & I am still not hungry….waiting for……… ) ….things have changed irreversibly.

Authored by:

Prof.Kaustubh Dhargalkar
Head-InnoWE, Center For Innovation and Memetics
Faculty – Business Design
Welingkar Institute of Management Research and Development

Academic qual.:
1. B.Tech. (Electrical Engg.)- Institute Of Technology-B.H.U.
2. M.M.S.- Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Mgt. Studies, University of Mumbai.
3. IDIO – Japan ( a short –term course in Operations Management ).
4. PASE- Japan
He ran his own Machine Tool manufacturing Unit for 15 years before turning to Academics.

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