Friday, July 13, 2007

Never Talk to Strangers

I was having Dosa at SKC. It is one good south Indian restaurant around, famous for Tamil food. He walked in and occupied the place near me. As I repositioned myself to give him more space, he looked at me and gave a warm smile. Now it is against my principle not to return a smile. So I smiled back.

X: The Dosa here is good. Right?
Another way to start a conversation, good, I thought.
Me: oh yes. It is good.
X: I am Sailesh. I work for infosys. I stay in 15th B Main. Where do you work?
Me: Wipro

He was young, stylish and looked like a typical software engineer. He is a neighbour too after all I thought.
Here it stated and then went on. Topics moved from work, to VLSI, then Hosur road, then traffic, infrastructure in Bangalore, Delhi, travel, then to Kerala. I finished my dinner by the time he finished a cup of filter coffee. As we walked back home he offered me his visiting card. He got my mobile number.
I had forgotten the whole story by the time I reached back home. As usual, life went on. Then after two days I got a call.

S: Hi, how are you?
Me: Hello, who is this?
S: Hi buddy, this is Sailesh. Forgot? How are you?
I did not even remotely think of storing his number. I have his visiting card I thought as I slowly build up his case file in my mind.
Me: Hi Sailesh, great to hear from you. How are you? How is life?
S: doing great yaar. Btw I have started a small business of my own. And that too is doing well. I manage that in the free time that I have and make decent money too.
Me: that is great.
Curiosity got the better of me and I committed the crime of asking what the business was.
S: Oh. It is quite interesting and simple too. I will meet you today evening and explain in detail.

Did I ask for this? Anyway let me be-positive and after all there is no harm in giving a patient listening to some one. So we did meet in the evening. He was an Amway Business Owner. It was a kind of money chain. And he was hunting for people to join his chain. Then it was a one hour long great talk show, where I added background scores like yes, ok, fine. At the end I politely informed of my disinterest.

S: you should meet my friend. He can explain things better. He earns in near to lakhs from this. Once you talk to him you will be dying to join Amway. I am sure. Give it a try buddy. After all what is the harm in just listening?

So we met this big boss. There was a whole gang of Amway members at his place. The boss explained that he had resigned his private company job to manage his Amway work full time. He got out a whole set of forms.

Big boss: So which plan are you joining? 20 or 30 thousand. You just have sign in the following places. Sailesh will give you all the guidance. And congrajs.

Excuse me. I did not even say I am joining. Things were moving very fast. I wanted to get up and run. He thrust the set of forms and pen into my hand. This was it. I had wasted enough time. With a lot of conviction and a pleasant smile I got up.

Me: thanks. But I will not join. Good night.

I made a conscious effort not to run as I waked out of the room. The whole thing has left me a bit irritated but still amused. I was dying to tell the story to my friends. Dinner first, I thought as I walked to my favorite SKC. I occupied an empty table and ordered my Dosa. Then this young man walked and took the chair near me. This time I had become more careful. I concentrated hard on my Dosa. He ordered a plate of Idly.

X: Hi, nice spectacles. Where did you get this? I was looking for one last weekend but did not find a good one.
Bloody hell, another Amway guy, it is definitely not my day.
Me: Thanks, I got it from Eye Sense near to Forum Mall.
X: I am Praveen. I work for IBM.
Not again my friend I thought silently. I cannot handle one more today.
Me: Hi, I am Sailesh, I work for Infy.

Then it went on the usual way. As we said good bye he offered me his card. I got Sailesh’s card from my purse and handed it over to him. I safely tucked his card into my purse. After all I may meet more of them.


munnabhai said...

hehehe...long live Sailesh!!!
appol nyan padippichu thanna numbers onnum marannilla, allee...good!!!!;););)

Amway and Quixtar - an opportunity for anyone said...

I see the tag "FICTION" - was that a true story or not? Cause I hope folk aren't operating that way. Giving us all a bad name if they are!

Ps it's not "a money chain" not even close.

The truth about Amway

Jackfruit said...

yes it is fiction. Its nothing against Amway, but theme is more about unsolicited marketing and it does happen this way.

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Deep said...

Whoa! I was solicited (in Chicago) in the past few days and was just looking around to see if people had similar experiences.. Your post just struck some chords :D. How I wish I were given visiting cards.. guess learning curves are pretty short these days, both the couple (yes - 2 of them in a week!) that met me took my phone number by then-and-there calling me and making sure I didnt give a funny number! Despite the denials/isolated-incident-claims from the MLM supporters, its like the standard operating procedure. I guess I need to come up with some innovative techniques to stall these guys.. I'll remember yours if I ever get a card from some one tho ;)