Friday, December 26, 2008

Colours has tagged me to write about 'the year 2008 for me'...and twin souls that we are and have been, I was already thinking of doing that anyway.

Come to think of it, there were some really significant and life-enhancing things that happened this year, I think... And there have been more good than bad...

--> 2008 began on quite a wonderful note. There is this old school mate whom I met online after 15 years and who quickly became a very good friend. I got to meet him with family after almost 1.5 years of only online interaction on the New Year's day!

--> Also it was a new year spent in the home town after several years and that made it great too...there IS a special atmosphere in Kerala for Christmas and New Year which I love!

--> Finalized and booked an apartment in the hometown...I am really looking forward to the completion of the project this year!

--> Started contributing significantly to the company's business in the region being the sole presales person and also learnt to work alone without a team or even a colleague...

--> Started travelling a lot within and outside the country on work...and travelling and regularly meeting new people does build one's confidence!

--> Started blogging!!!! And more importantly reading blogs! I have discovered a wonderful new world out there and even made a few friends in the blogsphere!

--> Watched with pride as my daughter stepped into the world of dance...knowing that no one can debate where those genes came from!

--> Resumed learning dance and dancing regularly after a break of almost 10 years. This is something I sure look forward to keep doing for a long time to come! It has done wonders to my mind and body. I can just see my stamina improve after each class and what it does to my mind is just beyond words!

--> Discovered that an old classmate and friend works and stays close by. Already had a few girls only chat sessions with her...hope to do a lot more of that next year!!! :D

--> A better apartment and a new car here...and lot of good times with the family...times that make me thank God for His blessings...

--> Continue missing all the great friends who were around while in India....but having a good time in the company of whatever little extended family is available in this foreign land.

--> Learning things about myself and how I react to situations faced in life and not so sure I like some of those...maybe I should focus on some self improvement in the new year!!!!

--> Facing the eternal dilemma in work life - a job with more learning or one with more money? A job that gives more freedom or a hi-fi designation? A job that gives me less than what it takes from me or an MBA to further my career?

And now comes the new year that brings with it another great dilemma - job, travel, learning and dance or a new baby!!! :)) Well... I sure am interested in seeing what 2009 has to offer me!!!

HopPIN' Mad!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A few days back, my husband took my ATM card and went to get some money. He forgot the pin and managed to successfully lock my card. Didn't think of giving me a call after the second mistake and getting the right PIN.And don't think I change my PIN every other week. I have had the same PIN number for the last 10 years...across banks and countries!!!!

So now I was stuck with an ATM card that didn't work and as luck would have it the internet banking also stopped working at the same time.

Now whenever it comes to calling up anything - movie booking, ordering food and groceries, directory enquiries...just about automatically becomes my job. So naturally, calling up the bank to fix the problem became my job too.

And when I don't like to do something or it is not absolutely urgent, I normally postpone I kept putting off calling the bank and my husband kept reminding me to call every day.

Finally after almost 7-8 weeks, I finally called up the bank call center.

CCGuy: "Welcome to ... bank. This is ... How can I help you?'
Me: Hi... well, you know...I entered the wrong pin and now my ATM card is locked (how I hate to admit to some mistake which I did not make!!!) Can you reset it for me?
CCGuy: Yes, Ma'am. Can I ask you some questions for security reasons.
Me: (sigh! Here they come!) Yes!
CCGuy: What is your date of birth?
Me: (That is easy) DD-MM-YYYY. (I don't LOOK that old..really!)
CCGuy: Where was your passport issued?
Me: (That is easy,too) Trichy
CCGuy: Which branch did you open your account in?
Me: (Not bad) Bur Dubai branch
CCGuy: What is your account balance?
Me: (Oh-oh!!) hmm.. I really do not know..since I did not have the card, I haven't checked for a long time.
CCGuy: Okay, can you tell me your last withdrawal amount and date????
Me: (WHAT?) was some time back..I really do not remember.. the last deposit could be my salary transfer of xxxx amount, I think (the company could have reimbursed my claims too along with the salary)
CGuy: (Very disbelieving) hmm...okay...fine, we will reset the PIN to the initial number.
Me: (WOW! That was not so bad) You mean the last PIN that I had before it got locked?
CCGuy: No Ma'am.. the PIN which the bank sent you when you first got your card.
Me: (What!!! 3 years back???) Oh no, I may not remember that! Will you mail me the PIN or something, please
CCGuy: (What an idiot!!!) No Ma'am we cannot do that.
Me: (boo hoo!) Oh..then what CAN I do???
CCGuy: You can apply for a new card right now. It will be sent to you by courier in a week's time.
Me: (sigh!) Okay, please do that.

After a week, I receive the new card by courier. The card comes with a letter that says the PIN will not be sent but I can call up the call center and set a new PIN.

Sigh!So I call again.

None of the 10 options the recorder lady said sounded right. So I dial 0 for an agent.

CCGuy: "Welcome to ... bank. This is ... How can I help you?'
Me: Hi... well, you know..I just received a new debit card and I want to set my PIN.
CCGuy: Sure Ma'am what's your card number?
Me: xxxxxxxx
CCGuy: Now I'd like to ask you some security questions
Me: (sigh!) yeah, okay
CCGuy: What is your date of birth?
Me: DD-MM-YYYY. (I don't LOOK that old..really!)
CCGuy: Where was your passport issued?
Me: Trichy
CCGuy: Which branch did you open your account in?
Me: Bur Dubai branch
CCGuy: What is your account balance?
Me: I didn't have the card for a long I don't know. :(
CCGuy: Okay, can you tell me your last withdrawal amount and date????
Me: I am sorry...last deposit could be my salary.
CCGuy: You have had some other transfers from your company in India. Can you tell me those.
Me: (Huh???) I am sorry. I have no idea.
CCGuy: What is the email id you have given in the bank for your records
Me: Can you tell me if it yahoo or gmail?
CCGuy: (oh dear, how do I help this woman!) Can you tell me any transaction you did any time in the last 3 months?
Me: (dear me!!!) Okay..give me a second..let me see if I have any old statements with me....(Does this guy have any idea how difficult it is to find ANYTHING in my bag!!!! is one statement of October!!!) Hey..I could find are 3 transactions!
CCGuy: (phew!!!) That's great Ma'am. I have activated your card now! You can now log on to your telebanking and change your ATM PIN. I will tell you the steps for changing the PIN. I hope you remember your telebanking PIN!!!
Me: (Telebanking!!! Did I have a telebanking facility??? I had NO IDEA!) I'm sorry...I really don't think I'd remember...though I could give it a try...(If I have set the PIN, I know what it would be..heh..heh)
CCGuy: No problem Ma' try it and if it fails, you will be transferred back to us and we will reset your telebanking PIN for you!!! Have a good day Ma'am!!!

Hummmphh!!! He expected me to have a good day after that last statement! Well...he was a cute-sounding guy, I admit. Well to cut a long story short, I did not know the telebanking PIN and I got CCGuy no 3 and answered all his questions (this one also asked me my mother's name) and very sceptically he reset my telebanking PIN!!!

They announce that they might record the conversation for training purposes. I bet they use mine to train the guy how to help women who remember NOTHING!

Now they say for fixing my internet banking problem, I have to call another number!!!! If anyone tells me banking has become easier these days, I shall scream!!!


Monday, December 15, 2008

I guess one of my New year resolutions should be to be more regular in blogging. I've been doing only blog reading and no blogging for several weeks now. The excuse is defintiely lot of work and not enough time. But then, that I guess is just that, an excuse.

It is true that I have been doing more work than before. Like most companies, my company also has decided to use the recession as an excuse to remove people, cut salaries, stop increments and promotions, hold recruitment...the works! The result is that there has been no replacement for the 2 people who left last year and there is no one even for the admin job. So the people who are left out are overloaded and playing all kinds of roles. A friend of mine in the US could not believe himself...he was working more after the salary cut!!!

Well...anyway...I guess one has to be thankful for the job one has these I am not cribbing....

And then there were the eid holidays! 5 days at a stretch... what bliss! We took off to Muscat and had a great family gettogether.Time spent going places, talking, laughing, driving and playing Uno!

There was also another small reason that I did not know what to write about. With things like the Mumbai terror attacks happening, writing about anything else seemed so trivial. And writing about it seemed so difficult because anything one says would sound cliched and inadequate.

I have also been thinking.

When people talk about life, they say life is short and that we should live life to the fullest and enjoy every moment. But does that mean that we just do what gives us pleasure at the moment without thinking about the future, without looking at the larger picture? We now know that what seemed life changing and huge while we were younger, say in school or college, was really not as big as it seemed then. Is it not the same now as well?

I don't know...if any of you could make out anything from my rambling, let me know what you think!

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