Friday, August 28, 2009

Buy it or Leave it: Do hell with customer service

Call it their arrogance or just a umber cool style to differentiate them from the rest of online e-commerce site, but an email from Woot, the one day one deal online portal definitely got me thinking when i ordered an irobot roomba 530 refurbished from their site few days back. These are some of the gems i received from them in their email:

If you receive your item and it doesn't work, contact the manufacturer first. They made the junk. Let them deal with it. If they turn out to be total tools, contact and we'll
grudgingly provide some further assistance.

And if you thought that it was just in a good sense of humor here comes another bolt.

If you receive your item and decide you don't like it, take it to eBay or pawn it off on one of your so-called friends. We don't want it, either

Wow,earnestly it took me some time to recover after that hit me, i m now just keeping my finger crossed that i get my Roomba in good enough condition.Amen.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Solve this puzzles!! Test your IQ

Puzzle no 1
At a particular school, an enchanted hat assigns each incoming student to one of four residential houses. School lore says that the hat sorts students into houses entirely on the basis of personality and moral character. But this year, a rumor is circulating that the hat actually assigns each student completely randomly.
The Headmaster hopes to disprove the rumor and reasons that if she can show the hat's assignments to be somewhat predictable, it cannot be assigning randomly. Before the students are sorted, she speaks with each student and privately writes down her prediction of which house that student will be assigned to.
If she does not predict accurately every time, what is the smallest number of students (m), and the corresponding number of correct predictions (n, n < m) that would give us a high level of confidence (say, 99% certainty) that the hat is not completely random in its sorting?
If the headmaster's predictions are always wrong, would a sufficient number of wrong predictions (w) disprove the rumor with similarly high confidence?

Puzzle no 2
You have 5 unmarked bags with 100 beads each. Bags #1-4 contain 4 red beads and 96 black beads; bag #5 contains 7 red beads and 93 black beads. You randomly select one of the five bags and remove three beads without looking inside the bag. One is red, and the other two are black. What is the probability that you drew the beads from bag #5?
Return the three beads to the bag and give it a good shake to mix things up. In the best-case scenario, what is the minimum number of beads you can withdraw, one at a time, to identify this bag as bag #5 with at least 50% certainty?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Delayed: First Day at work

It wasn't really the anxiety, but more of the soft comfy bed that sinked in perfectly to support the spinal chord and the warm three or four tire bed sheets with beautiful embroidery covering me. It is 4 in morning and i am not able to sleep just before the first day of starting my first job.

After having spent almost 2 years sleeping on the sleeping bed laid on the bare wooden floor with a polyester carpet, the discomfort i felt on the wide bed being guarded by two sentinel lamps each mounted on a beautiful wooden cabinet, was something i was not anticipating. Or perhaps it was the silence that was bothering me. Especially when you spent past one year in an apartment that lies just behind the drive thru of a "jack in the box". Yeah, for sure, they do good business at night. I wasn't suppose to think about sales volume of fast food chain shop at 4:21 in morning just hours before i start to work, i was also feeling fatigue now but the sleep was yet not ready to seep.

I don't remember when i went to sleep but it should be sometime after 4:29 and I don't really remember turning off the 7:15 am alarm i set on my phone to report to office at 8.45 for the orientation scheduled for NCG (New college graduates). However the sleeping NCG, who was still oblivion to the fact that he has graduated a month back, was brought back to worldliness precisely at 8:38 by a phone call. And for the first time i felt the sense of gratitude to that annoying man lady voice from the moving company asking me what address she should move my stuff to. (She has been bothering me for a week now, her voice tone reminds me of my class 4 teacher always rebuking me to about my untidy writing and asking me to tuck my shirt in properly). Freshly out of the bed trying to collect my senses to understand what is going on I budge her away and ask her to call me some other time. yes, the feeling of gratitude is not always convenient to get reflected.

It took me few minutes to realize that i have already made my countrymen proud, by following the Indian timings on my first day of my job in a foreign land, I rushed to the bathroom to find out that i forget to put the toothbrush in my shaving pouch. Generally when faced with the scenario i rub salt on my teeth, but all i had was tea, sugar and milk as part of my kitchen grocery. Yes I only carried the most Essential things.

At 9:33 am before entering the company i checked my phone for the time. I was not at my cheerful best after having to rush to work without a cup of tea or brushing my teeth and almost an hour late. However, i made sure i took a quick shower, perhaps i did not want people to run away from me on the very first day. The recruiter who has always been very nice to me while talking on phone, this time looked perturbed and with a sure bitterness asks "You were suppose to be here at 8:45 for orientation did not you read the letter?". Now there are some moments, when you realize that your tongue is frozen in your mouth due to chills running down ur spine. This was one of those moments. I stare at her for a minute with a stupid grin on my face, making sure i hide my unbrushed teeth at the same time. And then I fabricate an utterly nonsense excuse which if i share here would put the intelligence of NCGs in doubt.

I was later on introduced into the orientation room with three other new employees listening to the presentation. Series of unfortunate events continued throughout the orientation with me not finding a pen to fill up the forms, and not carrying the required documents. As the day ended i had a bleak idea of what am i going to do here. My manager walked me through the team members. The day past in doing errands, getting my id card, acquiring a laptop and desktop, doing some paper work. The day ended at around 6.00 when i decided to walk out of the company. I thought i was leaving earlier than it usually would be. I know as the years pass the first day would fade away from the memory, but i hope the journey is worth cherishing for the life time.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Dinga Dinga Dee: Israel Goes Bhojpuri way

If you thought that warfare and romance can't go hand in hand, think again as the days of equating war with gloom, destruction,gory blood and hatred are numbered as now its more about wooing a girl by offering your 'commitment' and 'security' and pledge your heart to her and singing an English song in Bhojupuri setup. Sounds interesting? checkout the new AV promotion of Rafael, an Israel based defense company, used during Aero India 2009

Rafael, has supposedly decide to salvage itself, perhaps after supplying weapons to inflict death on harmless Palestine citizens in Gaza, and the path it took is to entertain the world audience by producing a C grade Bhojpuri item number, enacted by the Phoreners, and for maintaining the global appeal they sing it in English.(something kannada cinema knew years before, when they made Rajkumar star in tik tik tik)

Statutory warning: This piece of video can lead to pain in stomach and back due to excessive laughing and rolling on the floor. This might prove weapon of mass hysteria of inflicting pain on rest of us.A MUST WATCH though

Notice the million dollar ambiance raised on one of the far fetched refugee camp, with pictures of Hanumanji(in a romantic song?) and Ambemata on tiger in the background and garland embellished missile on sides. This would put best of the bhojpuri songs to shame. God, Guns and Gori all in one frame. A footage never enacted on celluloid is all set to win hearts and money of Indian Defense system, (which is a metaphor of the girl in song).Hail Rafael! Hail Bhojupuri Cinema!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

25 Random Things About Me.( In no order of relevance or importance)

1. I am an agnostic, neither do I have faith to accept God's presence nor the courage to deny His existence.

2. I dislike phone talks. I am almost a phone challenged person. I am unable to understand what to say on phone after I am done with basic communication. I am very easily peeved by people who talk lot on phone.

3. I tried playing harmonium and tabla at a very age of 10, but lacked the attention span to learn any of the two.(I think i was a dyslexic child.)

4. I can be hyper impatient in many ways and nonchalant in many others.

5. I want do lot of travelling across the globe. At least visit 20 countries before I die.

6. If I did not have middle-class anxieties about an assured livelihood, I would have gone into the Liberal Arts—Film making, Political Science or English Literature. But I did have anxieties. So I did engineering.
[When I was struggling whether to go to Economics or Engineering, a gentleman of our locality, a very nice man, asked me “What do you want? A beautiful wife, a secure life or satisfaction?” This made my choice easy.](courtesy GreatBong)

7. Overtly public display of affection makes me uncomfortable. Still i think i am very Romantic at heart.

8. I love movies or may i say i love stories told through visual medium. For instance, I can remember many of the dialogues, song lines an character names of a movie, several years after watching it.

9. I find it much easier to make friendships online than in real life.

10. I am not very fond of bathing, especially in "not very hot" weather of California. I avoid taking bath daily. I give excuses like too much water washes away the pigmentation of your skin or exposure to access of water is the reason for 70% of hair loss among Asian men, when asked for an explanation.

11. I wanted to learn Karate when i was a kid. My mom did not allow me, as she was told by a friend of hers that learning Karate can give kids epileptical seizure or convulsions.

12. I could never find a correct answer of a mathematical expression using a Logarithmic Tables. This was the primary reason for me not doing well in Chemistry at board exams. I still have nightmares sometimes of having to solve problems of physical chemistry. I liked organic chemistry.

13. I am a vegetarian, I once decided to cook chicken at home, however was disgusted at the smell and feel of the frozen chickens and have (so far) stayed a vegetarian. My mom often inquires about my dietary preferences and is not entirely convinced when i tell her i m still a vegetarian. I eat eggs.

14. Parag Sharma happens to be one my oldest and best friends. We are two very different individuals, still i feel we make great buddies. Not having able to attend his marriage is one of the regrets i have. I think he is too bossy and hyper discerning and i generally end up disliking such people, but i still like him.

15. I have lived at 13 addresses in 5 cities and 2 countries.I have visited 3 countries( 17 more to go)

16. I wish to gain some weight and have physique of Salman Khan. This is what i wish to achieve before i turn 30 and maintain it since then.

17. I am an avid tea drinker. I sometimes drink more than 3 cups of tea in a day.

18. I was once asked whom would i like to be reincarnated as? I answered AR Rehman. I am happy about the choice i made.

19. I started using foul language in high school. I am trying to get rid of the habit. But i am not very sure if that is required.

20. I don’t wish to grow old and want to stay 25 rest of my life. And i also feel the life cycle should be reverse(like Benjamin Button)

21. I have to buy or borrow new earphones almost every 4 months as i keep breaking them by accidentally stepping on them.

22. My dad traveled more than 400 kms on a bicycle in a single journey. I am very proud of him. I repeated a similar feat on a motorbike. I don't think my kids would be very much proud about that.

23. I sometimes keep things unfinished.