Thursday, May 12, 2011

They are smarter than you

It is no secret that every time you fill up forms and give out your contact details, you are providing employment to a whole industry centered around invading your privacy. My current status as a 30-something single person fetches me a sizeable load of matrimony ads in my mailbox. I wish they would at least change the photographs every now and then. A particular lady named Sonia Sharma (24, Hindu Brahmin, as her profile says) has been trying to marry me for the last 3 years and while I have been struggling to hold on to my hair, she has defied all laws of nature and continues to remain 24.

The second category of mails I receive in generous doses is for Viagra, which surprises and agonizes some of my married friends who believe such mails should be coming to them instead. I disagree and describe to them visuals of a person sitting in a back office, holding a recently filled up bank form, selecting from drop down menus:
Sex - Male
Age - Above 30
Physical Appearance - Apalling
Current Marital Status - Single
Overall Marital Status - Never Married
Salary - Barely Paid
Average Phone Bill - below Rs. 200
Favorite channel - Nickleodeon
Hobbies - Going on long drives in a car without back seat.

Clicks on “Analyze”.

Result: “Subject suffers from low self esteem and possible dysfunction of one or more vital organs. Recommended: Viagra”
My friends breathe easy. Now the absence of Viagra ads in their mailboxes makes them happy.

Junk mail is less bothersome than the latest menace- SMSes urging you to buy property. Now unlike the Viagra guys these are a bunch of people who don’t seem to have done any homework at all or they would know that I am in absolutely no position to do what they say because: 1) I have no money and 2) No need. Nonetheless, these messages come with some innovative warnings- “Ignore now, regret later” and “Be quick or be sorry”. It’s only a matter of time before I get messages that read something like this…“Beta khareed le nahin to baja denge”. This is not an exaggeration. When pesky calls asking you to take personal loans were rampant, I actually had one caller scolding me “aap ki problem kya hai? I am saying check ready hai, no verification required. Phir bhi aap loan lete hi nahin hain”. Believe me, it was scarier than getting scolded on Rakhi ka Insaaf.

But taking the cake these days is my mobile service provider. Their over-zealous system now forewarns me that my bill has been generated. This is followed by a message that my bill will be dispatched on a certain date. On dispatch I am promptly made aware that yes it has been dispatched using Excellent Courier Services. So the next day I am perplexed to get another message saying that due to some error the courier was not sent. The cycle is repeated. I finally get the bill. Amidst all this, I have no way of telling them that I received a soft copy of the bill on the day I got the first message. I decide to be eco friendly and check on the “Don’t send me hard copies of bill” option on their website. Now I have stopped getting soft copies as well. But the best part is yet to come. In a trend which is reminiscent of Homer Simpson telling the bank that he does a favor by repaying his loan, my mobile service provider has a sweet sounding lady thanking me profusely each time she calls to remind me that my bill is nearing due date and I oblige by saying that I have done the needful. Her happiness at receiving this information is so genuine that I almost feel guilty about making her wait till the last day. Hmm, maybe this is a tactic employed to make me pay my bill early. Now what would have made them believe I am someone to be influenced rather easily? I go through the bank form I had filled up recently. Something, something must be there. I must find it!!