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Old 11th January 2013, 17:44   #61
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Default re: My Experience with Office Transportation & Hospitalisation

Absolutely fantastic writeup. Made my day! Reminds me of a quote which goes something like - "A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It's where the rich use public transportation."
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Old 11th January 2013, 18:17   #62
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Love your writing style Selfdrive and totally relate to the story you had to tell us.

I work in a BPO and work odd shifts, but when I am stuck in peak hour traffic once a while, I always say to myself, 'I am glad I work off peak hours'.

I was always and still am an anti-office cab guy. I hate the sight of them and hate even having to follow them because of their clogged/adulterated fuel which leads to thick black smoke which covers me whichever way I swerve to avoid it.

I used to work in Electronics City which was a good 25kms from home and the shift I was in when I first moved there was a midnight shift which is when I decided to take the cab to work. I was working for the same company but a closer location so regardless of the shift, it was personal transport until my location changed.

Now this was the first time ever for me in the office cab and have only heard how they operate etc. The Office transport department calls first and states confirms the shift times, then I get the message that the cab will be at my place at so and so time and finally when the cab arrives I get another message saying so. The driver does not call at all. It is all done through a radio in the cab to the tranport department in the office and then conveyed to us by SMS.
Being the first time, I was quite apprehensive and was waiting on the footpath much earlier than the time given to me.

I saw the Indicab going past my house with the company sticker once and on the second time, I waved out and flashed my ID to which the driver promptly stopped. I am tall and to my luck, got the rear seat and until then had no cluse Indica had such a spacious rear! The drive to work was un-eventful since it was late night , but since the location was new, I ended up getting down at the last stop of the cab which was actually not my office building. Had to hitch a ride from another can that was leaving and get down at my point of work.

It was the return that made me decide , personal transport was the way for me.

Now my shift gets over at morning peak hour and it takes a good 90 minutes on my bike, so that would be a full 2 hours by cab. Imagine this- worked through the night, no A/C in the cab and crawling traffic and got the front seat of the Indicab and to my luck again, had to move the seat forward because of a heavy built guy behind. On the way , the driver was arguing on the radio with his department related to his salary and working hours being too much and then over the phone with another drive complaining. And finally when he was done with that, he starts complaining to me! And remember I am in a zombie state now and have no idea what to say to him!

Finally when nearing home, one of the employess started off saying that ge could have been dropped first and then me blah blah blah. I was in my mind telling him-'Dude! The cab is all yours from tomorrow boy!'
I reached home at mid-day and decided, no more cabs for me. I could barely walk because of the cramped position I was sitting in and the bag on my lap. Called the transport department the moment I jumped out and cancelled the cab for me.

The next day on it was bliss going to work. The only other time I sat in the cab was when I locked my car with the key in it!

I did the fuel calculation and realized I can afford the extra costs for some peace and comfort and thats what I did.

I did have some squabbles (actually many) with cab drivers though, on the road and seen many a nasty crash(live ones) and was glad I wasnt in one.

Now I work in Whitefield which is closer and still work off peak and still consider myself lucky for that in terms of traffic!
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Old 12th January 2013, 16:27   #63
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Default re: My Experience with Office Transportation & Hospitalisation

I have always enjoyed office transport, especially here in pune.

Agreed some cabs are not as comfortable as your own car, but company transport translates in to savings, thus it varies from individual to individual and his perspective of comfort.

I used to travel by office bus from kalyani nagar to hinjewadi phase 2, and buses are well maintained and fast.

The best part was , bus stop was near my house.

Now after shifting to Wakad, and due to shifts i travel by cabs.
Fleet is 40:60 Indica Vista:Indica, and its a treat to travel everytime its Vista.Most of them are buying Vista now.

The fact that i travel in non peak hours and very rarely the cab is full, makes my ride stress free.

Be it any car/bike , personally i feel driving day in and day out on the same road takes the fun part out of driving.( not even counting the amount of stress we go through in traffic )

Last edited by silverado : 12th January 2013 at 16:37.
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Old 13th January 2013, 20:24   #64
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Default re: My Experience with Office Transportation & Hospitalisation

Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
Day 1 The return trip

The songs were shoddier than my tone deaf liking. Radha teri something, Radha teri something, repeat and chorus. Then the next track, Khiladi bhaiya Khiladi bhaiya, repeat and chorus. Are these songs or just repeat recitations and screams in chorus? Gulzar saaheb save our souls!
You had me in splits. Specially at the above part. I can imagine your plight with these irritating compositions blaring into your ears. Absolutely amazing writing skill you have got there. Please keep posting.
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Old 15th January 2013, 11:45   #65
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Default re: My Experience with Office Transportation & Hospitalisation

Your narrative reminds me of Wodehouse' Bertram Wooster! The engagingly silent wit livened up the monotony of the moment. Hope to read more from you.
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Old 15th January 2013, 13:07   #66
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Default re: My Experience with Office Transportation & Hospitalisation

You had me in splits Balaji

Wonderful wonderful humor man..

I have never ever traveled in a office cab before, and will never do it in future too.

I hate it, when somebody else decides something for me..We Live to Drive mate.
Good going and I am happy that you have not parted with one of your cars as discussed earlier.

Cheers,
Abhijeet
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Old 15th January 2013, 18:25   #67
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Default re: My Experience with Office Transportation & Hospitalisation

Fantastic Writing... I felt as if in your place.
And we can not part off the car.
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Old 15th January 2013, 21:39   #68
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Default re: My Experience with Office Transportation & Hospitalisation

Hilarious! Sorry you had to go through this for 3 days before you decided. Could not agree more on mindless talk that happens in Cab.

Loved the narration & your feelings are well captured.

But lot of people like and enjoy those conversations. How they do so could be another thread
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Old 15th January 2013, 21:53   #69
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Default re: My Experience with Office Transportation & Hospitalisation

Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
...‘It took me 35 minutes to drive to work. Do we need to inform someone to opt out of the office transport?’
Bl**dy brilliant write up! Hats off to you buddy! Loved it!

I could see "me" very well in your story! Had really nice cab drivers for me too. Some real spic & span cabs, amazingly cool, well mannered cabbies and some equally bad cabs + drivers too!

Used to notice one enthusiastic cabbie. Just ONE of the kind (our kind). He had a decently (visually) modded Qualis, anyone could notice he was of a different genre. Once I asked about stickers on the car (yeah, he is my type too ) and I could sense his enthusiasm that someone finally had paid attention! Had some cabs with LCD screens too!

Now coming to your point. My stay was just 6 kms from office, it still used to take an hour+ ! The car just would go round & round my place, but being 10PM drop, mostly I had to be the last guy to get down. Why - If a lady employee is the last to get down, then they send a security guard along & the cabbie has to come back all the way to office to drop him & go back. Otherwise, they could finish their shift & go home after dropping all. I used to oblige knowing the extra trips (after dropping security) is going to be on their own fuel and NOT company sponsored.

And the better part is that most of the employees in my cab used to be my team mates and gossiping was real fun! Bad part - some couples at times coochie-cooing & talking sweet on the phone used to blast my brains out!! Could never stand it and still can't!

The solution - buy a car. Once I bought a car, the drive used to end in 20 mins flat! And some early morning runs used to be over in 5-7 mins.

After buying the car, had to shift my stay for a secured parking (after multiple tussles & my Hella getting stolen was the final nail) which increased my driving to 19 kms one side from 6 kms and the fuel bills (diesel though), rent & related charges going really over the top. But decided to cut on my other expenses so that I could enjoy those long drives (And I did too).

Nothing can beat a nice drive with good music of your choice.

End of the day, the driving distance or the fuel bills DONT matter to enthusiasts! We, after all, LIVE to DRIVE!

Last edited by swiftnfurious : 15th January 2013 at 22:20.
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Old 15th January 2013, 22:12   #70
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Default re: My Experience with Office Transportation & Hospitalisation

Superb writeup selfdrive. During the start of my career, I couldn't afford a car or bike so used to take the Mumbai local trains and bus across town.
Then changed jobs and started taking the company bus which was a lot of fun as many teammates were in it and we ended up playing cards and various other games on the last 2 rows.
But in 2006 returning from a stint abroad, the first thing I did was buy a car and I havent used company transport since then. Very rarely used public transport either. The car was running on LPG so kept the costs down and my conscience clean about me not generating too much pollution.

Quote:
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End of the day, the driving distance or the fuel bills DONT matter to enthusiasts! We, after all, LIVE to DRIVE!
Absolutely! Infact for an year or so my daily drive increased from the usual 35kms to almost 75kms across town. My reaction? Upgrade from the stock sound system as i'd be spending more time driving
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Old 15th January 2013, 23:31   #71
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Default re: My Experience with Office Transportation & Hospitalisation

Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
normal taxpaying IT worker class
My dad once called us (the taxpaying IT worker class) higher paid bonded labourers! Of course, those were the initial days (read late nineties and early 2000s) when things were a lot different and 70 hr workweeks weren't uncommon

Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
but for some reason they expected me to work
As an ex indian-IT-services worker, I'm wondering how many others caught this I'm even finding it difficult to remember when that transformation started

And of course I remember when the company decided doorstep cab drops would be capped to 11:59 PM "in order to reduce accidents on roads"

But hey, nice writeup and may I ask that you continue putting down your future experiences too
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Old 16th January 2013, 09:39   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
I am glad you explained the term. I misunderstood the abbreviation. By the way you were the guy who I was hoping still took the bus to work.
Actually I do still take the bus to work. Not the best or the smoothest or the fastest option , but hey, it still continues to be the most economical.

Use the car once a week though..

One more thing was that for night drops, my firm had made a security guard mandatory in the cab if there was a female employee present. Unless ofcourse, there was a male employee who would be dropped last. Was frustrating to drive right past my home for several kilometers, drop the female in question, and the drive back again.

Last edited by sajo : 16th January 2013 at 09:46.
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Old 16th January 2013, 10:46   #73
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Originally Posted by anand_hc View Post
But lot of people like and enjoy those conversations. How they do so could be another thread
Yes, it could be another thread. But I wont be the one writing that. I have difficulty paying attention to people who talk to me. Listening to a conversation that I am not involved in is a far cry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eyesice View Post
Absolutely fantastic writeup. Made my day! Reminds me of a quote which goes something like - "A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It's where the rich use public transportation."
Very aptly said. Here we are just ranting about the road conditions in a bigger car or sometimes a better one. At least we think so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by isiv View Post
My dad once called us (the taxpaying IT worker class) higher paid bonded labourers! Of course, those were the initial days (read late nineties and early 2000s) when things were a lot different and 70 hr workweeks weren't uncommon
Not so uncommon now either. This is the flexi timing that I mentioned about my previous organisation at the beginning of the thread. The clients dont expect it but our local managers have the unique ability to overcommit and underdeliver. Then expect us to pick up the slack.
Now that could be another thread, but not sure if this forum is the place for it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sajo View Post
Actually I do still take the bus to work. Not the best or the smoothest or the fastest option , but hey, it still continues to be the most economical.
Great, so we can rev a bit more considering you are taking up the responsibility of saving the world. Any chance you would cycle to work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sajo View Post
Was frustrating to drive right past my home for several kilometers, drop the female in question, and the drive back again.
Wink at her once. You will never be dropped last again. If you want better ideas attend a tapri meet. There are more imaginative thinkers in tbhp than me
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Old 16th January 2013, 10:55   #74
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Great, so we can rev a bit more considering you are taking up the responsibility of saving the world. Any chance you would cycle to work?
Not saving the world... but saving myself <from financial ruin>!!
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Old 16th January 2013, 11:17   #75
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Default re: My Experience with Office Transportation & Hospitalisation

Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
Day 4
...
‘It took me 35 minutes to drive to work. Do we need to inform someone to opt out of the office transport?’
Loved this selfdrive. Beautifully written.

You have now inspired me to continue with what I wrote (An Evening Joyride!) a long time back about my own experience of office transportation back in 1995. A time to update that with the Pune experience.

I have been using the office transport to get to Hinjewadi (Ph. 1) since 2005 and have had all kinds of experiences while doing so. It is very rare that I drive to office. If I have to, I still opt for my bike most of the time.

-Biju
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