Being in Government Sector for last fifteen long years has shaded even the last droplet of my blood in the same color. Usually, Government Sector or Government Offices are seen with disdain, they are thought to be big loss of public money, they are often symbolized with laggardness, slow pace of work and oft spoken red tapeism. No! this article is not meant to contract this, for, for some reasons, these are not wrong conclusions, but, then every side has its other side. And being myself on the otherside of it, i have seen it, experienced it.
This particular blog post relates to a very memorable experience where we saw a kind of fight between public sector (govt office) and private sector (tata communications) fight tooth and nail and my office prevailing.
Private Sector Offices are known for sophistication, etiquettes, mannerism (which are often idiotic and hypocritic in nature, i believe), i have major chunk of my friends working in private sectors like telecom, bpos, shipping, banking etc and i have seen them, their views and their offices. Contradict this to the government offices, where you will be lost in a maze of files and where you will have to keep moving from table to table, unless you find yourself out of the gate.
We then used to have Internet Leased Line Connection from VSNL which was a government owned body then. We never used to have any billing issues with them, in fact we were very few government offices which made it a point to clear their bills in time and sometimes in advance too. This fact was well appreciated by them as well.
Then came the turnaround, VSNL was taken over by Tata Communications, their approach changed, their work was outsourced, their billing department was somewhere in Pune and their recovery was entrusted to third party. There, it seems was total disconnect, between these two agencies.
One fine day, we received an Invoice from Tata Communications, informing us that we were supposed to pay a “long outstanding” due of Rs.84,000/-. They told us that the bill was outstanding since last two years. We checked our records, files were pulled out from dust and we found proper reciepts of payments. But the officers from the company persisted. We then requested the company to depute their accounts officer to our office to cross check the records. By the way we used to get fanciful replies from the company, one such gem was that the cheque we issued got bounced for want of cash!!! A Government Cheque never gets bounced for want of cash.. atleast!!!. One lady asked us to submit copy of “Passbook”. Oblivious these guys (and gals) were of government working.
One fine day, a lady came with her laptop containing all the “data”, to cross check our accounts. We showed her all the receipts of payments made to the company etc. The lady, a private sector newly recruited MBA, tauntingly advised us to get our accounts computerized, my boss, a very cool person, pointing out to the records and the hard copies of the receipts told her “Madam, we have the receipts and records in proper conditions, your laptop does not have it…”. The lady was mum!!!
Issues seemed to have been settled, until one day again the company sent another invoice of Rs.87,000/- with “warning”, to pay the bill or else the connection would be disconnected. This was the limit of our perseverance and we shooted a very strong letter daring them to disconnect our connection. They never dared to do so finally..
We were needlessly hassled, then I advised my boss to opt out from this company and shift to another ISP this time a government owned company. We did so, and sent a letter to the company to terminate the connection.
Surprises Surprises, we got another invoice from the company, this time it was for Rs.-39000/- i.e. it was a refund of Rs.39,000/-. And we all laugh at the working of government organisations. Here was a private sector organisation working so recklessly and so hopelessly and treating a client which paid around Rs.20000/- per month towards Internet Bills with such disdain.
Who says private sector is the best, atleast i wont endorse it, for reasons above!!!