Friday, April 03, 2009

Tit-bits of Recession!

           You are generally treated like God in a five star hotel. It’s even more evident when you travel during times of recession, especially when they know that your stay would be for more than a week!! I am currently in ITC Park Sheraton, Chennai and I am thoroughly enjoying the “hotel”…Worth every penny of the 10K per day rent...

I have interacted and worked with folks from couple of service companies. But working from one of these companies throughout the day for several days has been an enriching experience (someday i will write a post comparing the two - my perspectve on the advantages and disadvantages of both service and product companies)… Here are some of the lighter moments…

~ The cafeteria looks like a Kalyana Mantap (Indian Marriage hall for those who don’t know what it meant..:)) with thousands of people eating and chit-chatting together.

~ All of them neatly dressed in formals and I as usual was in a T-shirt (that too a bright colored one!). It was such a contrast and people kept staring at me…I am sure the HR of that company would have used this pretext to fire me during these recession times had it not been for a “client-tag” around my neck. So they just joined the staring phenomenon.

~ If one goes for a coffee at 4 in the evening, one would have to wait in a queue for a cup of coffee for atleast 15 minutes.

~ The coffee is one of the best I have ever had and my caffeine intake for the past 1 week has been more than what I have had during the last one year!!

~ Couple of days back people here got new compensation packages with “the recession” taking its effect on their pocket. The last few days there is nothing but this talk among their employees (of course *all in a hush tone*)…


~ One of my colleagues was caught by a policeman on one of the roads in Chennai and he was asked to pay a fine of Rs1500 for couple of “supposedly committed crimes”. My friend hesitated and pleaded ignorance to the rule as he was new to the city. The police apparently asked him from where he had come and which company he worked for. Once the policeman heard that he was a “software Engineer” working in IT, the police took pity on him and immediately left him for a partly sum of Rs100. The reason given – “IT is full down!!!”


~ I saw a lot of Satyam buildings on the way to the office I daily visit. One of the people whom I work with narrated a funny incident. She comes daily in a AC bus here. The fares are very high compared to normal buses (If its Rs2 for a normal bus, the AC would cost Rs 18). When one of the commuters got down from the bus near a Satyam building, the conductor of the bus, looking at the building she was entering, shouted and asked her why she was wasting her money coming in a AC bus…He even advised her to get used to the normal bus and make it a point to commute on it everyday, given the current situation her company is in.


~The “Besanth Nagar” beach @ Chennai brought quite a few memories from my last visit here (seems like eons ago)…It was awesome to be on a beach in the night…


Its only during recession that we get to know what kinds of fraud people commit…Last few months has been a revelation...Right from big stalwarts to well-established companies, we have seen them tumble. Examples galore…

~ Stanford (and his lady CIO – Google on how she became the CIO of such a huge enterprise – apparently her major asset was “she never asked questions” and that “her job was to match the left column with the right column”!!!)

~ Prominent investment manager Bernard Madoff (and his hedge fund – People were given very high interest rates and he used to fund the huge interest payable to previously invested people with new funds. He was one of those highly acclaimed investment manager. The loop continued until suddenly a lot of people demanded that their money be returned (obviously due to their fear of recession). He was caught when he could no longer gather any “new money” to return the old ones – It’s a very interesting read, should be a financial case study).

~ Banks (haa..Should I even start this list? Each one is more interesting than the other)

~ Credit card business (I hope we have seen the last of the impact from this business. But I live on false hopes).

~ Greenland going bankrupt! (A super story on how things can go wrong en masse!!)

~ Should I continue?


11 comments:

Divya A L said...

Interesting stuff... I wud ask u to continue ... :) The coffee you talked about reminded me of my prev comp... :( :)

Sagar said...

A positive effect of the recession: Did you notice, this would be one of your longest posts? Check the trend on your previous posts, and you will realize how each of your posts was becoming shorter than the earlier. If it wasn't for recessionary days well spent in a 5 star hotel, would you have written this long? ;-)

Great stuff. Keep going.

dilip said...

@Divya:
Yep..i would have loved to continue, but it was very late in the night even for my standards..:(

@Sagar:
Yes! I did notice...Hmmm...Maybe if i traveled more often i would write more stuff..;-)
And if my manager starts reading them he would definitely stop sending me anywhere..:)

Another reason could be the fact that many of my recent posts were poems..;)

Divya Pavoor said...

Entertaining. Good that you had 'service' company experience :) What color is the grass on the other side?

dilip said...

@Divya:
:) Considering that i was in Chennai (with the heat and sand there), i dont think grass ever grows there..;-) hehe...

Pratibha said...

the kalyana mantapa comparison was too much, funny to imagine indeed!

global issues have such local impacts..and how profoundly...nicely written

in chennai the grass does grow but dries up fast i guess.. what you think is straw must have been grass a couple of hours ago! and i dont think chennai is a bad place, the problem is that Blr is too good :)

dilip said...

:) The kalyana mantap was an exaggeration, but thats what came to my mind the first time i went to the cafeteria..;-)
I definitely agree with your last statement..:)

Sagar said...

I prefer more frequent, short posts over a rare large one. Frequent long ones are the best. Yeh dil maange more. Don't read too much into my comments on recessionary days well spent; am sure your boss wouldn't bother either.

dilip said...

@Sagar:
hehe...
Honestly,
There is so much to write,
So much to do,
But, what to do..?

I dont give a damn about recession,
And Its not about the comment,
Give it sometime,
There will be more posts than you can care..:)

Divya A L said...

oyee dilip....
why r u so chup????
want posts to pile up
so please do turn up!!! :)

dilip said...

@Divya:
Dilip and chup?
Thats like chalk and cheese..;-)