Work-life balance


My laptop gave up on me. The IS guy, after completing surgery on my laptop, gave me the bad news — “It looks like the BIOS is corrupted. You may have to get it from the vendor directly. You should always buy the company standard.” He advised and left. I had no option but to dial their helpline. 

“Acme Corporation, This is Sapna. How may I help you?” A pleasant voice answered my call. I was thrilled that I got the line first time.

“Hi, Sapna. You have to help my laptop. It is just not connecting to the network”. I could hear a lot of noise. “What is that noise?”

“Oh! It’s a crow, sir.” She said.

“Where are you speaking from?” 

“From home, sir. Acme has introduced the ‘work from home’ concept to improve our work-life balance.”

“That’s nice. But, can you please shoo that crow. It is really annoying.”

“Can you hold for a moment, sir?” She was on line after a moment. “It is gone now, sir.”

“Thanks, Sapna. But I still hear a buzz in the background.”

“Oh. It’s the fan, sir. We don’t have an AC at home. I’m sorry.”

“I can live with that noise.”

“Now, what was your problem, sir?” She got down to business. “Can you give me your name, company, phone number, address, email, home number and the serial number of your laptop, sir?”

The worst part was the serial number, which had some 32 alphabets, 16 numbers and some symbols. It took me 10 minutes to make sure she  got the right serial number. I could hear her door bell ring several times. 

“Sir, can you hold for a moment? There’s courier at the door. ”

She returned after 10 minutes.

“Sorry, what was your problem again?” There was a ring again.

“This time it doesn’t sound like the door bell, Sapna,” I was curious.

“Oh. It is the timer of my oven. I am baking a pizza for my son who loves to eat it after school. Can you hold for one more moment, sir?”

“Is there anything else on the stove, Sapna? Make sure you are done with your kitchen work.”

“You are very funny, sir. I will be back in a moment.”

After 10 minutes, the pleasant voice of Sapna was back. “Sorry to bother you again, can you repeat you problem, sir?”

“It is my laptop... Oh! No! It is the door bell again!”

“It is my son. I will be back.”

I held on. I could hear Sapna scolding her son for getting his uniform dirty. To make the matter worse, the TV was switched on. Sapna was back.

“Your son loves Pokemon?”

“Oh, yeah. You are very sharp, sir.”

“It is loud and clear,” I tried to tone down my sarcasm. She hardly noticed it anyway.There was a thud. A moment of silence, followed by Sapna’s screams.

“I had told you not to play cricket inside! The TV is broken!”

“I am so sorry, sir. Again, what was the problem with your desktop?” 

“It is not my desktop. Never mind, my problem is trivial. You take care of yourself, Sapna.”

“Thank you for calling Acme, sir. Please visit our website and fill up the survey in place to measure the effectiveness of the ‘work from home’ concept.”“I sure will.”

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