Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Vocational Vacation

     I had not intended to pen another post till the dawn of the new year. But unforeseen circumstances and lack of work instigated it. Let me start off by explaining the circumstances. Over the past few weeks, Shopper Stop had been a regular adda for our shopping. We didn't notice much when the salesman handed over a flyer and a "lucky draw" coupon. A couple of days later, Sneha received a call.
     It was basically a verification call regarding her identity. Our coupon was about to be processed, and they wanted to ensure that it was an original person (like the verification code we need to enter in most sites, internet is so smart, no???). They informed us that the draw would take place on the following day and if we won, they would promptly inform us. My luck had always been on the downside with such events but my lady's luck seemed to be on the better side. We "promptly" received a call the next day regarding our gifts worth "30,000 INR."
     Only married couples were eligible for the prizes.  We would have to attend a presentation before collecting the prizes. I half-expected a money chain on the cards. But it wasn't that bad. They kept asking us if we were married, or engaged (ironically, Sneha's sindhoor almost covered her forehead). We were offered water and seated on a table.
     The "so-called" presentation ceremony was quite hilarious. We had a bunch of sales executives coming over, one after the other, and asking whether it was our first time. There were other couples seated in nearby tables. Our guide aka executive spoke at the rate of knots. Probably he was given a time limit to finish his sermon. I was on my way back after a gruelling day at work and could do without the slapstick humour from his end. He wasted about 10 sheets of paper in drawing, re-drawing & explaining the same four points. Kiran (I asked his name 4 times to get on his nerves) kept reminding us that at the end of the presentation, we would be given 3 assured gifts along with an option to be a part of their community. We would also have to make a decision with regards to enrolling ourselves in their vacation plan. As he put it across, a Yes or No from our end would suffice.
      Before that we would need to undergo a survey. The session began.
Question: Haven't you heard of us, Country Club Vacations?
Me: Nope. Never. Can't even remember. Maybe, .... nah, that was Mahindra Holidays.
Q: Oh, so you have heard of Mahindra Holidays, but not us. Not on tv also?
Me: Nope. Neither in the newspaper.
Q: How come Sir? (WTF look from my end) And you, Madam?
Sneha: I think I've seen it somewhere. Can't remember though.
Q: Fine. We will tell you about it. Do you like Holidays?
Me: Nah. Just got married. No leaves. My manager says forgot holidays for the next 6 months.
Q: What kind of vacations do u like?
Me: How is a vacation different from a holiday? (Kiran grimaces, ignores my question and looks towards Sneha)
Sneha: Do you provide holidays in Seychelles?
K: Where exactly is that? (all three of us look at each other for a second, blank expression)
Q: What is the preferred duration for a holiday?
Me: 3-4 days.
K: (quite happy that he's scored) Sir, we provide 2 weeks every year. Isn't that great?
Me: Nah. Too Long. Won't get leaves.
K: (Ignores) What kind of accommodation do u like when you go on vacation? We provide....
Me: (Interrupting, with a smile on my face) it would depend on the location.
K: 3-star, 4-star... you would like that no, Madam? (faces Sneha)
Sneha: Like Sajeesh said, it would depend on the location.
K: Ok. Ok. Which is your favourite location for a Holiday?
Me: The Grand Canyon.
K: Oh, that is abroad no? (apart from the 'no', the other thing that was consistent throughout was the "any doubt?", like every freaking 90 seconds)
K: And you madam?
Sneha: Seyc...
K: Oh, yes! don't you like Thailand?
Chorus: Nope, we just returned from our honeymoon there.
K: Oh, so you just got married. Congratulations. When did you get married? Lot of expense no for the marriage. How much expense?
Me: (I almost said, do u provide reimbursements for that as well?) Quite a lot of money.
K: Last question. (We peered at the sheet in front of him). No, No. It's a general doubt. Sir, when you travel abroad and reached Thailand, the time was different, no?
Me: Yes..
K: So how did it feel?
Me: Thailand is just 2.5 hours ahead of us. So not much of a difference.
K: But how did it feel? (My face read WTF, so he asked Sneha the same thing)
Sneha: I'm sorry. First time abroad. I didn't notice the difference.
K: I always wanted to ask this question. A lot of customers asked me this question, and I didn't know the answer.
K: Sir, any doubts?
Me: (I wanted to strangle him with my bare hands) What all does your holiday include?
K: One minute. Let me call my manager (Glances over our heads, points at us and says - Call him).
     The most irritating factor during the whole scenario was the executive's manager. He would come around, shake hands and explain the whole thing over. After 10 minutes, he comes back, the executive bends (with a humble expression on his face, quite constipated!) as much as his back allows him, and the cycle repeats. Their vacation plan is absolutely great, it seemingly covers vacations for you, your kids and grand-kids. You need to pay a lump sum in the beginning. That's it. Period. And a few maintenance charges every time you visit the place. And the tax in India. And the tax abroad. I didn't hear the rest of it. My brain switched off.
     Finally, they reveal the lifetime plan of country club vacations. And I said no. For a moment, he appeared as if he didn't hear me. Repeated the question again. I still said No.
K: But why sir?
Me: No money. Just got married.
K: That is ok. We will give you time to pay.
Me: Fine, I'll come back after 6 months.
K: No, No. We need your decision today.
Me: Great, No.

     It went on for 5 more minutes. Finally, he couldn't take it any longer. He called his buddy over and informed him that we weren't interested. He reminded us though that we had lost a chance of a lifetime. We didn't wait much longer, picked up the complimentary gift (half-a-dozen bowls) and ran as fast as our legs could carry us.
      I received a call yesterday. "Sir, did you drop any forms at Shoppers Stop or any other mall? Are you married?"

P.S: I wasn't sure whether to post this or not. Too sweet to spit out yet too bitter to swallow.
P.P.S: Hopefully the image on the top should get more viewers to read the blog. If that doesn't happen, I'll bring in Sunny Leone. Big Boss Time.

This post is an entry to the Indi-blogger & KFC "Sets you on Fire" contest. No Chickens were fried during the making of this blog.


  1. Awesum!!! Haha!!! Enjoyed it... :) Looks like Sneha needs sum fiery-tongue-coaching though!!! lol...

  2. yo yo
    awesome work dude..
    check out my post..
    all the best :)