Saturday, August 24, 2013

Trichy Times

Hi... I am sorry for the silence... life has been too busy.

I reached Trichy early morning... the DSE had already booked a room for me. At Rs 300/night, the room was a luxury after Chennai. It was triple the size of the Chennai hotel room. I got dressed and the DSE came to pick me up. Everyday, he would pick and drop me back. I really appreciated this 'coz the company would not have paid him for the fuel. The hotel was near the bus stand but far from the main city... so it was quite a drive... around 20-30 mins (if I remember correctly).

The biggest issue in Trichy was language. Everyone speaks Tamil... very few people know/understand Hindi/English. That is when I realized that all I want as an ASM is a territory where people can speak/understand Hindi/English/Gujarati.

Anyway, we met the distributors in Trichy- 3 of them. The DSE would meet the distributor in the morning... start the market... finish the market... meet all the 3 distributors at the end of the day and then head home. Even when he didn't have work in the evening post the market, he would meet these guys for a conversation... gossip... etc. I found it very irritating 'coz it would be 9 pm by the time he dropped me back. I could have reached my hotel by 6 pm but 'coz of his schedule and insistence that he will drop me himself I had to reach late every night. But, this practice... to interact with distributors on a daily basis built a rapport... it also built relationships... and thats why the DSE was the best in the country.

There are a few incidences that I remember very clearly:

- There was a trainee DSE with us for a few days... he was the DSE's friend... and came to the market for 1-2 days. Both of them were jolly natured... talked a lot... laughed a lot... were fat and round... they loved to eat. Every hour, they would stop to eat something... maybe have tea, biscuits... anything... but they would eat every hour. I had gotten into the habit of 3 meals in the day. I didn't need anything beyond that. They would laugh at me when I refused the food.

- On 1 day, the DSE had to go to Madurai for his monthly meeting with the ASM. He asked me to go to the market with the PSR and loaned me his 2 wheeler luna. The problem with the luna was that I could not get it up on the double stand and it did not have a side stand. At every shop, the PSR would have to help me with the double stand... and then go to the store. After a few times, he got bugged and started forgetting. I would struggle with the luna .... by then, the PSR would have taken his order and would be ready to visit the next store. Also, I didn't understand the language... at all... and the PSR didn't know Hindi/English. Basically, I was a mute bystander who didn't understand what was happening. After a few shops, I gave up. I would just wait outside. At 2 pm, the PSR (in sign language) told me market is over. I was surprised... I had been there for 4 days and not once had we finished the market before 4/5 pm. I told him thats not possible (in sign language). But, he was adamant. I left for the hotel. In the evening the DSE called to check up on me. I told him I returned at 2 pm. He also said that the market does not get over so soon. I guess the PSR was trying to get rid of me.

- I received my 1st salary and wanted to spend it somewhere...anywhere. But in Trichy a good meal would not have cost more than 200-300 bucks. I just wanted to withdraw the money... spread it out on the bed like Sridevi in Judaai and drool over it. No such luck.

- The DSE had left me at the distributor point since he had to go for some work. After sometime the conversation waned... and I was bored. I fell asleep on the chair. He asked his daughter to take me out for lunch. We went to a busy restaurant which served veg thali. She told me about the famous temples in Trichy and that I should make it a point to visit them. She did not let me pay.

I was desperate to get out of Trichy. After a few calls to the HR, she told me come to Bangalore on Sunday morning for details of next stint. I was relieved. She had booked a hotel near the bus station (the famous one... I am forgetting the name) for me.

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