Indian Railways Acquaintances...The not so good one!!

I have yet again traveled to Bombay in the mid summer heat despite swearing never to come back here in the month of May; unfortunately, I had no choice. The heat this year was unbearable more than ever. May be it is or just may be its me.

One of the most fascinating things I love doing while in my India is to travel long distances in Indian Railways. It is an experience with its own charm, its own surprises. It is an adventure! I have so many stories to tell but just haven't really penned them down. One of the reasons I love travelling is the fact that we come across acquaintances - some of whom becomes friends for life while some just teach you a lesson. Unfortunately, this time around I just wouldn't manage to squeeze in some time for a long distance travel. Nonetheless, even local traveling could be intriguing.

In this post I leave the good ones who turned friends for a special post some other day. Don't think its fare enough to put together the lovable ones with the crooks.

It was about 9:00 hrs or so, I purchased my first class railway pass from Churchgate station and headed towards the platform for the Virar local. Oops, the train is leaving & like I used to do it in my college  days.......Yes! I did run for it......phew!!! I made it. Lesson 1: No more running for the trains anymore. I have lost the grace or probably gained too much of weight. Panting & running out of breath I took a seat opposite a gentlemen well dressed, in a tie. Pushed my laptop bag in the luggage bay above after pulling out my book for a read. Still breathless I almost finished my entire bottle of water. "Oh! You read Peter Drucker" came a voice to my surprise. The guy opposite me was observing me for a while now before he opened the deadlock. "Yes, I like him" I said, "Hi. I'm Nelson". We shook hands as he introduced himself as Vijay Master (Not the real name). He pulled out his business card which read Assistant Vice President of a reputed organization in India who sells computers.

For almost 30 odd minutes we indulged into a decent conversation on how he loves reading as we shared our mentors. He even happen to make phone calls when he learnt that I was looking out for .NET programmers for my company in Malaysia. "Why don't we meet up someday while you are in India?" he asked. With pleasure, the social side of me nodded yes. After all he was an AVP of a reputed organization who competes with the likes of Dell, HP & Lenovo in India. Oops! Have I narrowed the guess to the organization! For me he was an acquaintance whom I would probably never see again. But, as social as I am, I send him an sms saying it was nice meeting him for which he replied "Same here Nelson! I will call you on Wed. Do try to keep your Thursday evening free!!!! :-)". Lesson 2: Innocence is bliss but not all the times. I should keep my guard ON. Why couldn't I wonder why would a AVP of an organization want to meet up with, so what if I am, an NRI?

A couple of days later I received an sms stating the venue for us to meet up for so called dinner. Yes, over the couple of telephonic conversations we have since then we had planned to catch up for dinner. After going through all the pains of travelling in a Bombay local during peak hours I finally managed to reach SNDT college the venue for us to catch up. He welcomed me saying he has a project briefing that he would like me to attend & would interest people like me, an NRI. I was still a bit off guard until we reach the auditorium entrance where he said "You need to pay Rs 75/- for the entrance". At that moment I knew I have wasted my time - time that is the most important entity for someone returning back home only for a fortnight a year.

I just went with the wind, paid the cash and entered the auditorium. On the very first look & listening to the very first words I knew I am into yet another MLM damn bloody BS talk. This time it was Network21. Not that I don't trust MLM doesn't bring you money ......NO..... just that it is not my cup of tea and the worst of all I hate the way these guys talk about, I must mention WELL SCRIPTED, how you are ruining your life by travelling to work & being a slave. Then they bring along those few successful ones telling their success stories of how they made millions and the other monkeys, again WELL SCRIPTED, applauding with amazement. May I ask where are the remaining who have not made it yet and are stuck with having to be long term investors in buying your products? I rather trade stock instead.

At one point while the prominent speaker spoke about professional behavior of how to introduce new prospects, I just wanted to run on stage & grab the mike seeking his explanation of how I was PROFESSIONALLY (remember he used his business card stating he is the AVP) cheated into coming for what I state is waste of my most precious time. By doing what Vijay Master (not his real name) did only shows why trust cannot be bestowed on strangers. But then, can I not trust the AVP of a reputed organization? It is not the organizations fault, it is he who has miss-used his reputation from his professional world. The same world he disgraces during these MLM session stating he needs freedom from waking up in the morning & being a slave.

The meeting ended & he shamelessly introduced me to the prominent speaker in the breakout session. Forget dinner, we didn't even have a cup of tea. Not that I was hard up for it. His motive for meeting was just to have a prospect for MLM. If this is what the MLM organizations call professional behavior, I beg to differ. For more reasons I feel sad that people yet do not realize the importance of Trust in a business. I am amazed at this person. How on earth does he even believe that I would join him when he has blatantly cheated me? May be I would join some MLM organization someday in the future, but not by cheating on someone. How could people doing MLM be so THICK SKIN? Are they thought to be so? I believe yes. They are told not to talk about their product or  scheme. They are told to bring in GOATS, like me, without the knowledge of where they are going. Why on earth do they do that? If they trust their business model why don't they have the guts to introduce it to the world. I have had some of my own friends pulling me into such seminars saying "just come along Nelson, you will know what it is". And I go for the sake of friends.

I will end my post with statement from a re-tweet of a very nice post titled "To Increase revenue, Stop Selling (" .....I hope the MLM guys are reading this...

Clients are people not fish. Don’t “lure” or “hook” them – engage them, listen to them and serve them.
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