Never say die!

Robert BruceWe all know about young Robert Bruce who lay dejected after losing six attempts to defeat the English army but got inspired on observing a spider succeeding in its seventh attempt to swing across to another beam from the one from which it was hanging by its silvery silk. That Bruce went on to win and got enthroned as the king of Scotland is legend.

And we all know that one has to be focused on the aims and objectives and make efforts to succeed, undaunted by failures. It is all fine and dandy to give a pep talk on motivational stuff. But…

Never Say DieIn real life don’t we get disheartened and leave the fight mid-way with an ‘enough is enough’ resignation? If the odds are stacked against us, don’t we lose the nerve at some point and give up? Isn’t it but natural to drop your sword like that?

But there is no gainsaying that the ones that ultimately succeed are those who persist doggedly developing a “Never say Die” attitude.

Now I’ll narrate one of my attempts to fight to the finish in spite of heavy odds, although the stakes were not substantial.

My washing machine refused to spin one fine Monday morning. Simply conked off and lay silent like a harassed husband facing false dowry charges. All my rudimentary Mechanical+Electrical engineering know-how was useless before the gadget since it is controlled by Fuzzy Logic embedded in a microprocessor. All arcane stuff!

My immediate impulse was to look up the bill and warranty card. And they were found after a search the magnitude of which would have shamed the mighty Google! And found they were at the last place I looked duly obeying the inevitable Murphy’s Law!

And Bingo! the machine was still under warranty, as divined by me after poring over the maze of fine prints on the warranty card.

Armed with that Magna Carta, I dialed the service center. But it was a gross understatement. For I was hooked on to an IVRS, which takes you through an infinite loop of “Press 1, then star, then 3 and then 0,…..” followed by an indeterminate wait. And then you are left with no option but to disconnect and start all over again – Press 1, Press 0 et al… Would you ever get to talk to a living human being at all? I don’t mind even a Mexican or a Puerto Rican or even one from Ulan Bator (capital of Outer Mangolia). Oh, half my kingdom for a real human voice!

Ultimately my Herculean struggle bore fruit in the form of a gruff voice of a ‘customer service executive’. What an oxymoron, since he was such an Olympian moron! I tend to believe that the members of human species manning service centres are specially made to order by Brahma. They don’t budge easily. They just shoo you outright with a staple response absolving themselves of all liabilities quoting an obscure term on the warranty blah blah. Abominable ‘No-men’ indeed!

But I persisted in talking to the Manager (there is always someone with such a fancy designation in addition to somebody called “Madam” in all such outfits). After roughly 13 attempts – give or take a couple, I got to talk to the manager with a rasping voice who was curt and disrespectful in cursing me for disturbing him in the midst of more important chores like watching mobile porn, may be.

After all the entreaties, sermons on fair practices, responsibilities, ethical business and all that jazz failed to cut any ice with him, I dropped the magic words “consumer court”! That made him thaw a little, but only a little, since he was a battle-weary veteran of many such denials of liabilities. But at least he became a wee bit less cold.

My next asthra (missile) was this: “I am going to talk to my friends in the press and the media and tell them how abysmally atrocious your after sales is and let us see if anyone buys your product hereafter. And your name will be chanted repeatedly and aloud”.

Boy! It worked like a typical Satya Sai Baba’s magic! The manager’s tone suddenly turned melting, musical and nasal (a la Semmangudi).

To make the long story short, the washing machine was accepted for repairs free and I got it back after hectic follow-up and good deal of yelling and threatening. Anyway that is all part of the game since that is how the system works.

So next time when something fails, dilate your eyes and take a hard look at the warranty stipulations and insist on fulfilling the warranty/guaranty obligations by the warranter. Never accept an evasive or naysaying on the part of the service provider. Adopt the proven “broken record technique”[1] and be focused on what you are entitled to and persist steadfastly till you get it and get it fully!

The moral of the story is never to give up, nor accept no for an answer. When you are entitled to something, you insist on getting it in full. It is a law of nature that you most often get it if you persist doggedly and pursue things to their conclusion, rather consummation!

Remember, persistence pays!

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[1] – Broken Record Technique is a form of calm persistent repetition that allows the user to eventually achieve what they want when confronted with a negative response. The term “broken record” is derived from a skipping vinyl Gramophone record repeating itself at the point where it is broken, chipped or smudged.

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