Tit for tat!

One morning, just when Ashok, who headed the Service Department of his company, was about to start a discussion with his customer Ramesh, his mobile phone rang. It was one of Ashok’s Service Engineers, though Ramesh didn’t know this. Ashok listened to the short message, said, “I’ll handle it. Thanks for calling,” ended the call, put his phone in Silent mode, kept it on the table and started the discussion.

Soon, Ashok’s phone started flashing, but he ignored it. The flashing stopped after a few seconds.

A few seconds later, the phone started flashing again, but Ashok continued to ignore it. The flashing stopped after a few seconds.

This kept happening every few seconds.

Ramesh’s curiosity was aroused. In the 3 years that he had known him, Ashok had always answered incoming calls. He ignored incoming calls only when he was driving, but called back as soon as he could. But, today, it was clear that Ashok was intentionally ignoring somebody’s calls.

After the third missed call, Ramesh started keeping a count on his scribbling pad. After some time, Ashok’s phone stopped flashing. Obviously, the caller had given up. Ramesh looked down at his scribbling pad. 38 missed calls in 10 minutes! He wondered what was going on. Normally, he wouldn’t have said anything, but his curiosity got the better of him. He asked Ashok why he was not answering the incoming calls. Ashok smiled and said, “I’ll call the person now on speakerphone. After you’ve listened to my conversation, you’ll understand!”

“Hello, Mr. Kumar. What’s the matter?”

“Mr. Ashok, my machine is under breakdown. Please send your engineer to my factory immediately.”

“Mr. Kumar, I have telephoned you a number of times during the last couple of weeks. But, you never answered my calls, obviously because you knew I wanted to speak with you about the payment which is overdue by more than 60 days. Anyway, let’s not talk about that now. I will definitely send my engineer to your factory, but only after you confirm to me that a current-dated cheque for the overdue payment is ready. The engineer will start working on your machine only after you’ve handed over the cheque to him. I don’t like to take this tough stand, but I’m afraid you have left me with no other choice.”

This true story is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda. (Prompt: the post must contain, ’38 missed calls in 10 minutes! He wondered what was going on.’)

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10 thoughts on “Tit for tat!

  1. I’ve experienced this. And I’ve felt bad about using that payment card. 😀 But then there’s a job to be done! Great take on the prompt.

    I was worried when I saw that your post wasn’t published at the same time/as soon as BlogAdda’s post went live. 😀

  2. Ah! due payments….some people are forever asking for loans..nice 🙂

    Some people are habitual defaulters on payments…I know a few of them and have burnt my fingers in the past…nice take on a common issue 🙂

  3. I’m not surprised. Our business folks have no value for professional expertise. They don’t hesitate to bargain not knowing that giving peanuts begets monkeys.
    Though it is bad etiquette not to respond on calls, there is no better pay back. I do hope the current dated cheque was not stopped. It has happened in my case – my audit client a Vadodara-based listed company simply requested me not to present the cheque to avoid bouncing/stopping payment.

  4. I guess being tough and ruthless is needed in certain situations. Never been in that spot because I never worked in such position. Must be tough. All the best for the wow 🙂

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