Any one of these things can be true on any given day in India. There are others, but the below are the ones which are usually productivity killers:
1. It’s a bank holiday (there are about 30 per year – no, seriously) and it is often a surprise – also some are dependent on if/when the moon decides to make an appearance.
2. The driver didn’t show up (without warning of course)
3. The maid didn’t show up (without warning of course)
4. No broadband – and the technical support rep doesn’t know what the hell “traceroute” is
5. No electricity (we have backup, but limited, so no hot water, no microwave, no Internet, etc.)
6. No water (Our society gets tankers daily, but sometimes even that is not enough)
7. All the ATMs are either dead (see no electricity above) or out of cash – and this usually happens when the banks are closed (see bank holidays above).
8. All the grocery shops are closed because it is monthly tax filing/stock taking day (in our area it is usually the 25th of the month)
9. The bank decided they are changing the password system for online banking and you have to go to the bank to fill out a long form, provide three proofs of identity and if it is a company account a letter on the letterhead of the company, following which the manager will send the application to the head office (by snail mail) and you will have a new password mailed to you (by snail main of course).
10. You forgot your online banking password (mainly because some idiot programmer dreamed up some impossible to remember password rules) and you have to go to the bank to fill out a long form, provide three proofs of identity and if it is a company account a letter on the letterhead of the company, following which the manager will send the application to the head office (by snail mail) and you will have a new password mailed to you (by snail main of course).
11. The bank that does your online payments is doing maintenance on their site for three days… during the week.
12. There is a city-wide strike of petrol pumps (gas stations)
13. There is a city-wide “bandh” (work stoppage) for some political reason
14. Your furniture/car/phone/microwave/courier delivery/money transfer/broadband connection etc. was supposed to be delivered yesterday, but that didn’t happen and the only person who knows when you will get it is “gone to his village”.
15. Intense rain results in flooding and you can’t go anywhere in less than four hours (even a couple of kilometers away)
16. There is an accident on the highway/major artery and traffic is stopped dead for half a day (could be more)
17. Some local big shot died and everyone (yes, just about everyone – as many as 300,000 people) are going to his funeral and his fans have called for a “bandh” (see above).
18. The phone company lost your papers so they shut off your phone (seriously – it happened to me)
19. Someone parked their car so yours can’t move out and you learn that they went out of town for a couple of days.
20. The customer who was coming to see you for work has postponed indefinitely
21. The vendor who was coming to see you for work has postponed indefinitely
22. The printer/carpenter/programmer who promised you your job would be done last week didn’t deliver and is unreachable.
That’s about 160 wholly or partially unproductive days per year!
Dear Indian Politicians, stop horse-trading so blatantly. Let the people decide who gets elected to which seat. Of course pols have been horse-trading in every culture as long as there has been politics. But don’t people see that Democracy is being mocked by doing it so blatantly and so openly. Why shouldn’t a citizen be able to decide if s/he wants to vote for a Shiv Sena candidate or a BJP candidate? Of if s/he is so inclined, for Congress candidate versus an NCP candidate?
Take a scenario for example where a family is a fairly right wing family, but one person is more dyed-in-saffron and wants to vote Shiv Sena because of their deep belief in Hindutva? Yet, someone in the same family may lean right economically but is not so sympathetic to extremist Hindutva pols? In my family, I lean a little more right of center than my wife, at least economically, but she is more “religious”. So, in a single family, leave alone a neighborhood or for that matter a constituency, people may want a choice between two parties who apparently do not want to compete. Let us have a four-cornered race, I think issues will be clearer to the electorate instead of voting purely on party lines and therefore purely partisan lines.