From literature to business, it’s been a culture shift but I am enjoying every minute of it. I survive on my sense of humour. Love Wodehouse, westerns, crime thrillers, and a good laugh with family and friends.

Mythili Rajkumar

Gripe corner

| Updated on August 21, 2014

Bill me quickly, please!   -  THE HINDU

The other night, with an early morning train to catch the next day, I dashed into a leading retail store in T Nagar. It wasn’t an unearthly hour – 9.25 p.m. or so. I found what my aunt, whom I was visiting in Bangalore, wanted and, clutching the packages, looked around for the payment counter. “Billing upstairs” intoned a salesgirl nearby.

Sprinting up the stairs, I rounded the bend and then stopped: There were at least eight people ahead of me, some with several sets of baby clothing and what not — and only one counter.

After what seemed an eternity, four people got billed and moved away. “Why are we being made to wait like this?” I asked, of no one in particular. It was more on the lines of a Shakespearian soliloquy. But it struck a chord with the other weary shoppers who suddenly came to life with their own complaints: “Yes, the shop has recently changed its layout” or “It now makes you go up and down” or “Why are they punishing last-minute shoppers like this?”

Meanwhile, the man at the counter made a visible effort to wrap up the billing but if you ask me, the harm was done. I couldn’t imagine why such a big player had to do its billing this way.

Contrast this with another service provider the same night: the auto driver. I had engaged him on Mount Road and told him to avoid congested areas — and midway remembered the last-minute chore. He was game. He drove to the area and stopped the auto, saying, “Just cross and get to the shop. I’ll wait here, the auto number is …”

The auto driver put himself in my shoes, the retailer didn’t. Perhaps it will have to, down the line, if it wants to draw in shoppers, even last-minute ones.

Published on August 21, 2014

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