After a beautiful sleep, a motor bike ride through the dessert on my hotel owner’s brand new bike, finishing my book in my favorite reading spot on the lake, enjoying lunch and special quality time with my guru-one would think this would lead to the rest of the day being good and positive. Not exactly
I was leaving Pushkar to go to Ashmir. Why? I wanted to see the city of Ashmir, but my main reason for going was to recharge my reliance stick. My reliance stick is my Indian Internet connection that is “India’s #1 network” and it pretty much is because it works amazingly all over India. I do not need the Internet, but I am overloaded on blog posts and it is super helpful with trip planning especially when I have become super lazy with planning.
In India, there is a high amount of inefficiency and backwards behavior that makes your head often turn into a chicken’s head and creates a confusion about what is happening directly in front of you. With this said, I should have known that simply just “recharging” my reliance stick was not going to be “simple.” Nothing usually comes simply in India and I am fully aware of this fact.
Arriving at the store, I was nice and friendly until the girl told me she was unable to recharge it because it was not registered. I bought this reliance stick in Kerala with the two nicest and most efficient sales people in India.. They even gave me their number in case I had a problem, like I was having at that exact moment. I spoke with the boss and he told me that there store is new and they are unable to recharge it so I should go across the street where they can help me. The voda phone across the street could not recharge it so they sent me to another place. At this point, I was tired of India’s inefficiency-it has been building up and building up for almost three months now and it was time for me to speak up and tell them this was unacceptable.
With a tough attitude, I went into the store telling the “boss” that I was not leaving the Agmir until my reliance stick was recharged. Note: Acting rude and aggressively gets you nowhere in India because they just shut down, but I guess you could say I lost it. I was tired of the run around, I was tired of them being out of stock with things, something missing, something broken-all my frustration was displaced in this moment and day.
I told him that I want him to find a place where I can recharge it if he was unable to help me. He has his sales representative then take me out of the store to another location. I am walking and walking and walking for almost a mile to this other location. Arriving at the location, the sales rep just stands around not saying anything to this “distributor.” I tell the distributor I want to recharge it with 500 rupees and I then say I want to make sure it works on my computer afterwards. Of course, he tells me “ We can not guarantee that it will work.” With that statement, my blood levels increase and I begin to get angry. I explain to him that I am not going to give money if something is not going to work and he tells me he is doing me a favor helping me. So I was just in Reliance store for an hour, I walked a mile to this store, and now you are going to act like you are doing me a favor?
At this point, it only escalates from there and he tells me that us Americans have such high expectations and I say sarcastically, “Oh yes, we want so much from your crappy customer service.” It just gets worse as I tell him to go get an education and he says my country thinks we are superior and smarter. This is one of the few times that I actually stand up for my country and say that we are not superior, but we are educated and we are highly efficient. Things just function on a whole other planet in India and I respect the US for at least having efficiency down to a T. I end up walking away from the whole situation and going back to the Reliance store.
Another 1 hour and no one is able to solve my problem. I spoke with another sales guy who spoke English very well and he basically said, “These people are new at this store and they do not know anything about Reliance, but they work here.”
Priscilla: “So they are basically useless.”
Salesman: “Yes, I would say so.”
At this point, I just want to forget it and leave the store as I am aware of my anger and I do not want to have more negative energy spreading and who knows what I will say next. After many phone calls, asking for my number and information, and using the computer- I think they finally got it. They turn to me and say, “Sorry your stick is not rechargeable.” A.)This is a false statement B.) It took 2 hours for this conclusion.
That was when Priscilla continued to lose it and told them off. I missed my planned bus, I missed the sunset, and I had no internet connection for my next journey to the desert. I complained about their inefficiency, how they have a customer service sign that they should just remove from their store, and how they wasted my time. They really did not care that they wasted my time and had absolutely NO sympathy. I think that is what pissed me off the most-the lack of regard for my feelings and frustration-always acknowledge someone’s feelings!
Everything just became worse after this interaction. I went to the bus stop to catch the next bus because I was told there were buses every half hour-FALSE no buses every half hour-have to wait until 12 midnight and it is not even a direct bus. At the bus station, I stomped my feet on the ground and started to cry. Some people look and me and try to help and others look in fear afraid of what I am going to do next. I was so tired of this misinformation, but not just that I was tired of doing everything alone and having things backfire in my face.
It all just made me question my traveling and question India-am I going to make it here another month. India has incredible moments, but there are moments that are just frustrating as well, but this can happen anywhere. I had lost my patience and ability to positively cope and this was disappointing to not only me, but to my higher power and my guru. I just had this amazing couple days with my Guru and this is how I act. Where was my self discipline? What would my Guru think if he saw this behavior? He would take away his assignment and fire me as his future assistant.