Sunday, December 16, 2007

lousy usability

It’s been a sufficiently long time since something was written. But I’m now pissed enough to pen down vexations to get world view.

Here goes:

*** Why are the cab drivers in Mumbai getting debased by the day? I’m so wary of getting taking a cab from the airport – because they will invariably over-charge you. I keep a copy of the tariff card – and over the last 3 rides from the airport to home, they’ve asked me to pay DOUBLE! The slimy thing is – they’ll start the meter honestly enough, when they’re near a cop at the airport, but by the time they drive you to the destination, it is assumed that since you’ve taken a flight into the city, you’re rich and gullible enough to pay whatever they demand.

No thank you sir. Each time I have refused, and tendered exact fare. Last night, the cabbie told me that since I can’t pay what he wants, I should start traveling by autorikshaws.

God, I want to take them to the police station.

*** The lowest IQ-ed people – are employed by large retailers. Walk into any mall, any shop – from Pantaloons to Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle to Spencers – they all employ idiots.

Forget courteous service, these folks don’t know their brands, their products and their systems. So you get to the cash counter, and there’s no barcode on your shirt. It takes 20 minutes for them to figure this challenging task. By that time, I decide that I don’t really want that shirt.

At the lingerie section – do they have a particular size of brassiere? No ma’am, but try this other size. Lady – it is all about the right size – my size – so you either have it or you don’t. But ma’am we don’t make this size at Etam. Right – this luxurious, expensive French company is still making products for European women and selling them India. Or I think, soon, not selling in India.

*** A box of jute bags selling at a large grocery store opposite Churchgate. The bag says ‘Use recyclable bags, avoid plastic’. Great idea. Except that each of these jute bags is safely ensconced inside a transparent plastic bag.

*** The indicator says 12 coach train. The announcement through the loudspeaker says 12 coach train. Even as the train pulls in, neither the indicator nor the loudspeaker announcement changes its stance. I miss it - it is a 9 coach train, the ladies first class coach stops else where, the platform is too crowded to make a 100 meter dash. The train pulls out. The announcement continues – 12 coach train.

I'm not done yet. There's more to come. Unfortunately.