ZeroneA The Reverse Way Fri, 17 Apr 2015 19:43:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Weirdon’ts – Use, Misuse, Abuse! Sun, 22 Feb 2015 05:27:07 +0000 Continue reading Weirdon’ts – Use, Misuse, Abuse! ]]> I’ve been thinking of writing on this one particular topic for sometime. This is inspired by my fellow Indians working with me in UK.

Working at onsite has it perks and everyone dreams about it when someone joins an IT organisation which has presence all over the globe. The client in UK does give a lot of importance to human life & work-life balance. It could be UK culture that all offices & store open around 09:00 (some even at 08:00) and close at 17:00 (with few exceptions of course). The exceptions in UK are restaurants and superstores. Yes you heard it right, 17:00 and in India it’s like the start of business time. That’s a different story and not considered here.

I’m in large town in UK with presence of client offices in almost 4 different buildings around the town. They are a respectable client and believe in the people. Presence in different buildings mean a lot of travel to those who want to attend meetings. They do not have a booking system in place to avail cabs to take to different office. How backward you might think but not if I tell you they run shuttle service to all the offices with frequency varying from 15 to 30 minutes. That’s where the problem starts.

The shuttle service is for everyone who need to go from one office to other. What if your house is near an office but you are asked to sit in another. You don’t even have access to go inside the nearest office. What you do? Take the bus to the office or board the shuttle?

I took the shuttle couple of times but then I realised I’m not entitled to it – I do not sit in that office, do not have meeting as it’s my regular office time and I’m taking a seat which could be used by someone who actually needs it. Since then I’ve been quite vocal about it but I’ve heard counter like it’s not running full all the time (So?). Who attends meeting at 18:00 (haven’t you heard of meeting ending at 18:00?).

Even all considered, I’ve seen people queuing up to get in shuttle to avoid situation of in case it gets full and they get left behind. There are people who use this shuttle as cab/office bus regularly. I came up with theory Use, Misuse and Abuse.

  • Use is to attend the meeting at different office.
  • Misuse is to use it as office transport.
  • Abuse is using it regularly for office transport without a conscience regularly.

Of all those people who take the shuttle, if I ask how do they come to office, the “Use” will be honest, the “Misuse” will be dicey but will eventually agree that they did wrong. I’ve some hope for them but the “Abuse”, they will not agree, become Don Quixote and speak of it plying empty, company pays for it et al with cheeky smile AND will never say they came by it. The client trusts its employee and does not ask if they are the intended user but that doesn’t mean company doesn’t care. Who know there may be some new policy which will impact everyone for the deeds of a small group of people.

Imagine using a company service but not paying for it – Company will do the needful to your salary and character certificate. Imagine you taking a bus and not paying for it because your office is enroute –  Driver & conductor will kick you in the a**. Imagine someone sharing a ride in your car but not sharing the fuel cost because he works in your building –  You’ll kick out this other guy. If you can’t accept things that happen to you, don’t do it to others. We as humans take most of the things for granted and live like “not guilty until proven”. But then there are things like doing the right thing. If you can’t speak of what you did means you are doing wrong. Such small incidents when taken note of become stepping stone of something big and then come new rules which apply to everyone. The folly of some, shame of many.

Be sensible, Use don’t Misuse and certainly do not Abuse.




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What I did in college? Sun, 22 Feb 2015 01:22:39 +0000 Continue reading What I did in college? ]]> What I did in college? What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas… Need I say more?

My bachelor’s degree college is Silicon Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar, Orissa (now Odisha), India. With all my schooling done in Delhi, I was in a new world, even though my roots blog to Orissa. Being an introvert, it would’ve been difficult but then I met some great friends who helped me through. There were certain events which gave me some attention and I’m always thankful to those who held me high and those who kept me grounded. But what I did in my college will always remain a mystery – even to me.

Some days back, I was talking to a friend in office and I was boasting what kind of data hog I’m. I may fill up world 20 times over!!! Pulled out an old hard disk and dug out some stuffs. Even though I’m on Mac which will not play these stuff (but I did ;-) play them out) and uploaded them to a common link. These are all windows executables so feel sad for all those who upgraded to Mac or Linux or even to Tabs.

(Some are *.swf files but don’t bother, I was smart enough then to make them an *.exe – you know what I mean) All my presentations, videos and animations in this link below.

OneDrive Link

Some videos I uploaded on YouTube so that you don’t need to download them and play.

This video is a collection of highlights from Etarica, annual function of 2004, the year of my joining.

Jassi and me made this presentation as our entry to National Institute of Technology (NIST) hosted national level symposium, Sankalp in 2006. Topic: Get Inspired. And we won!

My penultimate year, 2007 and first time Zygon was taking place as the latest format of annual function. Not sure if it’s still there but I’m grateful I was part of it. Made this video with Asit Agarwal to do the video work as our way of showing the efforts put in by every Silicontine  involved to make this a grand success.

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Who is Aam Janta? Sat, 14 Feb 2015 01:37:09 +0000 Continue reading Who is Aam Janta? ]]> Let me start with the title, Who is Aam Janta? I initially wrote it as Aam Aadmi but then realised it’s not politically correct. Shall I change to Common Man? It’s still not correct. Mango People (a la Love Aaj Kal)? Ok, Aam Janta it is.

In case, you are here for any particular political party, this may be political topic but it does not endorse any organization.

Every election all political parties come up with their own manifesto before election but generally after the election its kept somewhere safe never to be looked again till the next election. In the next election the same manifesto is taken out, dusted, wrapped in new cover and may be little perfume and voila. I’ll be surprised if the count of people reading the manifesto is anything substantial and in any way influential in formation of the government. Tall claims, false promises, appeasement are nothing new to this game. I’m sure what the elected government does is necessary and sufficient for the state/country to survive/excel/flourish internationally. But what does the general public want? There are some ground level things which are generally ignored.

As common man/aam aadmi common public/aam janta, we do have very simple dreams. The basic will always be “Roti, Kapda aur Makaan” but there is life apart from this too.

  • We need a stable job so that we don’t live in constant fear of being jobless/homeless and have sufficient funds to support our families
  • We want a regular supply of simple daily needs with proper channel for collection. Not sure about others but I’m happy to pay premium if services are given to that level
  • When we go out as a family, don’t make it too difficult to understand the bill in which up to 20% is taxes and we may need to call upon a CA to understand
  • When taxes is being paid in almost every place, why the service is still the same. In other words, rate of increase in service is no where comparable to rate of taxes we pay throughout
  • If we take out the vehicle, we don’t want to think of parking which is either scarce or mafia controlled who demand amount which is probably more than the fuel cost we incur

Still after so many years, many homes do not have proper electricity or water meter. Apart from giving freebies the collection system to be strengthened. Instead of paying taxes at so many places, please tax once and for all, then we will know how much we are shelling out and what Government is doing. The hidden costs and taxes are actually driving our bank balances to zero. Instead of shouting on top of your voices to change things (before election), do change the things (after election).

It’s not that we are the perfect ones. We too have darker secrets. When being pulled over, instead of showing a paper with our faces, we prefer the ones with Gandhi ji. We are so impatient that we shove notes in to other people throats to have the advantage of reaching goals first. We do not take a dying person to hospital and then say services are not proper. We are the ones in hurry to reach our destination that we do not think of the person in ambulance who may breathe last before getting proper attention. We do a lot of mistakes but it’s for us to change and not Modi, Bedi, Kejri(wal) or Gandhi to guide us.

What can be done? Instead of saying nothing, the Government should do some very basic things and we for a change should follow the rules as they are.

  • Timeline – Government will not last more than 5 years and we’ll never have more than 24 hours in a day, make the most of it. Any request, application, service or complaint should’ve have a proper timeline. You can not have a request pending for ages. Any delay should be justified and planning isn’t one of them. The favourite past-time had been “under investigation with XYZ panels”. This might help finish of investigation faster. Construction go on ages and Government keeps on giving extensions and tax money. Be it passport, postal, new connection for water, electricity, gas, telephone – Government Sector or Private.
  • Accountability – Just having timelines will not solve or even asking for cause will not allow the problem to stop. Having a reward system in place to reward for good work and punishment for delaying the activity. Though rewards are better for positive reinforcement but it can still be discussed. Surely if an organisation misses something it has to be answerable.

There could be other things but I believe this may solve many of issues. Why I think so?

  • Completion/maintenance of storage on time – health benefits, less loss of food items
  • Completion of road/buildings on time – better service to people, less expense to Government (who pay for extensions!!!), people will own their own hoses on time
  • Getting Water, Gas, Electricity, Passport connection in time – Less or may be no middle man
  • Timelines of postal – May be then India Post will be trusted by people who think private vendors do a better job
  • Timelines for Investigation/judgement – They might be doing their jobs well but may be not enough else so many cases will not be pending in court
  • Accountability to/of Police – May be traffic mafia will stop, crimes may see decline

What do you think we can do to improve our nation? Please don’t say vote for so and so party because as Gandhi ji said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”

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What does SBI Think? [Updated] Tue, 10 Feb 2015 01:45:24 +0000 Continue reading What does SBI Think? [Updated] ]]> If you are here for economy, you’ll be gravely disappointed. This is nothing like what you expect this to be. I’ve been using Online Banking for sometime, almost like 6+ years to date but I recently had encounter with the online version of biggest bank of India, The State Bank of India.

I’m used to adding a inter-bank beneficiary and on confirmation via OTP you are ready to do a fund transfer. I had the opportunity to use SBI instead of my preferred bank. Took some time to get hang of the UI which I consider normal but what followed was bewildering. I received the OTP and approved the beneficiary. But, hold on… I could not do a transfer still.

Register Beneficiary

The fine print says:

A new beneficiary, if approved by you during the period from 6.00 AM to 8.00 PM (IST), will be activated on the same day within 4 hours. Beneficiary approved beyond this period will be activated on the next day after 8.00 AM (IST). If you wish to activate the beneficiary immediately with full transfer limit, please use the ‘Beneficiary Activation by Branch’ link appearing under ‘View’ tab of this page.

That means even for online fund transfer and getting the beneficiary confirmed it takes 4 hours and after 8PM IST it goes to next day. C’mon SBI do you make one person sit at a desk and assign him task to manually approve requests. Automation just choked.

I see a link ‘Beneficiary Activation by Branch’ and it seemed like the hero in shining armour. On clicking the link, hero was more and the shining armour was the mirage.

Branch FormSo branch can activate the beneficiary but for this I’ve to download a form, fill it up and submit to the branch. Does SBI think people will visit the branch for Online Banking too and why would someone not wait for 4 hours. Well the best of it all, which branch I’ll find open post 8 PM IST?

Seriously SBI, who thinks of the logic? In case you’ve some weird sense of security in mind that someone will access the private login, add a beneficiary and do a online transfer, well in that case OTP sounds like too fancy. Also, since there is cut off time for NEFT doesn’t mean you too need a cutoff time to stop adding beneficiaries. I could add a beneficiary and fire a transaction away and next morning the first transaction to be processed by NEFT will be mine and I’ll live happily with it but instead you want people to keep visiting your page ‘x’ times in 4 hours because page says, it’ll be done within 4 hours or have to wait till next day and then do a transaction which will be picked up by some random NEFT time.

So, is nothing but an extended form of branch banking with the you staring at your screen rather a human. Does SBI have actual humans sitting inside their ATM machines too?

Update (10/02/2015):

Beneficiary was finally added but I never knew SBI could take things to THE NEXT LEVEL. Currently I’m in UK and follow a skewed form of Indian timezone of +5:30 hours. I tried doing the fund transfer to the account I added recently.I did cross the 8 PM IST timeline so my transaction will be processed the next day for NEFT. This is acceptable but then SBI did something which no one will ever expect.

Unable to Schedule

You cannot schedule a transaction for a new interbank beneficiary for four days from the date of activation.

Really? Seriously? OMG? WTH? Even after adding a beneficiary, I can not schedule a transfer because some dimwit think SBI Online Bank users are

  • Jobless
  • Have enough time to kill
  • No hurry for fund transfer
  • Never face emergency
  • Never ever again use the online mode and stick to the same old format

Do share your comments and woes working with The State Bank of India. They will never take note of it.

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Weirdon’ts – II Mon, 05 Jan 2015 00:32:24 +0000 Continue reading Weirdon’ts – II ]]> With lots of controversy over Weirdon’ts, it’s time I return to the same topic again. This time the setting is in office and it’s a category rather than individual. I’ll narrate my experience and let you decide if you should do it.

Sometime back a party was organised in the office and for some reason, I was asked to handle the distribution of invitations. Explaining in simple terms, it was a major event and all associates of the project were invited along with their family. Keeping in mind the large number of guests, the count was taken as to book the hall and order the food. The invitation cards could have been avoided but that seemed fancy to the organisers (I believe). To keep the fuss minimum, we provided timelines to collect the passes. We too have work and need lunch break too ;-)

During those breaks, I’ve been to different part of the building and will meet “some” who have not collected the invitations will ask “Where are our invitations?” I never knew I look like some sort of Batman with utility belt full of invitations!!! I think the icing was when I went to a different office for meeting. As if I achieved a celebrity status (I guess people thought they got one), many hounded me for invitations. Wow, transition from Batman to Postman! Somehow, I could ignore those facepalm and WTF moments but then all of a sudden I was hit by The Hulk. When returning home, enroute I was asked for invitation pass!

I’m not sure people ignore to realise the fact that everyone is important and when it is clearly mentioned what needs to be done, the instructions are almost everytime clearly ignored. I say don’t act such weird.

Don’t be a Weirdon’t.

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Turning another page – New Year 2015 Sun, 04 Jan 2015 16:40:15 +0000 Continue reading Turning another page – New Year 2015 ]]> For past some years, I may not be regular with my posts but New Year is something, I’ll ensure to post on. Well this year I took some liberty. Before the end of the year, I enjoyed a long leave. Not that I desperately wanted one but something which I could avail and did not want to miss.

This is the second time I’m in Swindon, UK but this time it is with family which makes a lot of difference. All along this 6 months of stay there had been some ups and downs. The most I could take away is “communication”. People may not realise but not communicating correctly not only cause issues to others but also snaps some good relations. But that was my personal experience.

Everyone knows where the world is heading. You must be in a dungeon if you don’t know. Lot has been changed in 2014. Narendra Modi is PM of India, US threw in the red-carpet for him (after denying him Visa), Congress mostly wiped out, we reached Mars yet flights go missing. Then there are things which are still haunting us, fights over religion, rape, inequality, security for life and job.

Things will change and will become better but till then let’s do our bit. Live, laugh, share, cheer, care, protect, heal, love, communicate.

Wish you a very Happy New Year 2015!!!

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iPhone-less Tue, 16 Dec 2014 23:43:15 +0000 Continue reading iPhone-less ]]> Well not actually. My iPhone 5 started developing some issues with its Sleep/Wake button and fortunately I was covered under iPhone 5 Sleep/Wake Button Replacement Program, they’ll be repairing the Sleep/Wake Button free of charge.

So, if you are a iPhone 5 user manufactured before March 2013, please check if you can get the thing repaired. My iPhone was working fine till couple of weeks ago but suddenly developed the issue and form then it went downhill.

In the process of repair, they’ll change the Sleep/Wake Button, camera module and the battery. The best take away for me is I’ll get better battery life even after 2 years :-)

There are 2 ways of getting it done. Mail it or visit. Visiting seems better option as you get a loaner phone (which of course you’ve to return with 14 days of repair else you’ll be forced to own the loaner phone which may not be as good as yours).

Without my iPhone, I’m using Moto G (2013) which I’ve till now used as a phone rather than a smartphone. With its not-so-great specs, its not a good multitasking phone and not to mention freezes and crashes on demanding sites. Can’t say its unusable but definitely not like the flagships. After all its a budget phone.

I’ll wait for around 5 days to get my phone back, till then I’m with a loaner iPhone 5.

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