WANTED: Assistant for editorial consultant

VINUTHA MALLYA is looking for a full-time  ASSISTANT immediately to perform the following roles for a home-based editorial consultant:


1) Follow up with BSNL for a new landline connection which was applied for in November 2006, and which hasn’t yet seen the insides of this address.

Job involves being patient with BSNL officials expert at passing the buck from one office to another. It requires excellent skills to decipher BSNL jargon which is rapidly thrown at you in every phone conversation while the buck continues to be passed.

If you don’t know what terms like JE, SD, CO, etc mean, please don’t bother applying for the job. The candidate is expected to spend an average two hours every day in this role. This is an ideal job for someone who is looking to cultivate patience levels that would help them attain nirvana.

Those who have a parent or relative working at BSNL can apply, provided they can give an undertaking that their parent or relative can ensure speedy action in the matter. Prior experience in the art of offering a bribe would be of distinct advantage. If the candidate can pull some strings with the suave Mr Dayanidhi Maran in Delhi, that would be a bonus.


2) Dialing the telephone number of HSBC credit card division in Bangalore to check about the status of an add-on card application made in December 2006.

The assistant will be required to keep the finger pressed on the redial button until the call goes through. Further, they will be required to bear with being put on hold numerous times before an agent makes a promise that the matter will be looked into.

In the case of a missing statement, several promises will be made about sending it via email and a duplicate copy would be sent to the address etc. The candidate should know that none of it is true. S/he should be prepared to repeat the dialing process once again the next day.

Receiving calls from HSBC Credit Card division will require the candidate to field calls from the ‘collection department’ of HSBC who will call regarding payment of the credit card bill. Telling them that the statement has not come will not help, because they are like parrots who only know how to mouth the script.

Hence, the prospective candidate will have to learn to explain in English, a language which the bank representative presumably understands, that a duplicate statement is required before any payment can be done, and what about the add-on application.

The candidate will have to learn to hear the answer “We are extremely sorry about this, but you will have to call this other department because this does not come under our department.” If the candidate is transferred to the other department, s/he will have to learn to be put on hold for at least 45 minutes before the call disconnects on its own. The candidate requires nerves of steel to not tear his/her hair out. Patience is an art which can be attained with practice is the motto of this home office.


3) Day-to-day follow up with Zeenext Broadband Services each time the modem goes offline for reasons unexplained.

This requires the candidate to ring into the 24/7 customer service and leave a message on the answering machine. The response will come and the service will be restored. We can only conclude that Zeenext requires to be reassured by the sound of the customer’s voice and therefore ensures that customers have a chance to call in regularly. This is not a hair-tearing experience, but requires moderate levels of patience and the gift of being stern once every way.


4) Follow up with Featherlite to exchange a chair and get some money back, would require high levels of patience and politeness to have a chair worth INR 5500 exchanged because it is a bad fit for the consultant’s back.

The replacement chair which is INR 4500 is getting done up in the factory for the last 3 months and every week the promised delivery is pushed to the next one. Mild threats of consumer court action, will lead to some instant reaction. The candidate is required to be smart about when to throw in the veiled threat. It does not work with BSNL though, and nor with HSBC.


5) Fighting with auto drivers on a regular basis.

This would require superior knowledge of all expletives in the beautiful Kannada language. The secret art of figuring out the driver’s choice of destination and fitting it along our route of travel would be required for this.

Training towards this art can be provided to a deserving candidate, however the candidate will be expected to do their own research in learning swear words which can come handy in any situation. Any suggestion of police action will have no effect. The candidate will have to come up with his or her own unique strategic paper on this subject. There are no funds to outsource this function.


6) Other day-to-day follow-ups which are likely to emerge which could range from having to deal with Airtel, gas connection, following up on unscheduled power cuts etc.

Overall, the candidate should see this as a training ground for dealing with customer service agencies/services in post-liberalised India. Those who will choose to stay back in the country and not migrate to greener pastures will need these survival skills and gaining them first hand is the only way.



Qualifications required

# The candidate should have graduated with a degree in Patience. Those in the final year can also apply.

# Working knowledge of English, Kannada, Tamil and Hindi is absolutely essential.

# Good telephone skills and a presentable personality is a pre requisite, as are skills in emailing and the use of MS-Office.

# Only those candidates who travel in BMTC buses or those possessing a two-wheeler need apply.

# Those who have a BSNL connection and a HSBC credit card would be preferred.

# Salary will not be a constraint for the right candidate.