Sunday, September 14, 2008

Power Theft!!!

It was a great weekend... Seriously a great one....What is the fine amount a political party pays for stealing power from an electrical line in India for some road side meeting? (பிரச்சாரம் to be precise). How many houses in India have a tampered electrical meter and pay peanuts to the electricity board(with the help of EB Men, of course!!)?? What is the fine amount if such a person is caught by the EB? Well I am not sure. But I know in US what it means by power theft. How?? Read on...
Saturday morning I was just out of my bed at 11A local time and I have a person from the Duke Energy(private player in providing e'city and other facilities similar to EB in India) who comes by the door.
He : who is Mr Babu(Addressed by my Second name).
Me: I said yeah its me.. How you doing?
He: Good and I need to talk to you.
Me: Sure come on in.
He: I am not coming in(with a stern face, so I went out). you people have tampered with the power meter and this the component you have broken and the blah blah is gone(All I could recollect was how I hated XII standard 9th Chapter in Physics...)
Me: No we dint do that.. But anyways whats the problem now?
The next words of his made me think of running to the sea shore, jumping into the sea and swimming back to India.
He: I need to call the cops. This is a case of power theft and I need to report to them. You need to pay $1000 fine or accept for 3 months IMPRISONMENT!!!!!!
ME: aaaaahhhaaaa!!!!
The next few minutes I had to do a multi tasking in my head. Thinking of the following:
1. Make him understand that I seriously dint do that . (The obvious thing to do.)
2. Figure out who is a good lawyer here. (Gandhiji where are you????)
3. Arrange for $1000 to throw it in Indian style.... take it!!!!!
4. Will he accept bribe?? (Indian BTW!!!!)
But finally all the experience of negotiation with all the shop keepers for prices, the experience of asking teachers for marks, the experience of asking friends for treats and getting them, the experience of begging to my computer programs to show some mercy on me and run smoothly without errors and many such experiences finally helped me.
After about almost half an hour of talking, talking, talking.... a deal struck...
He: You sound good and I feel that you would not have done it. So you will have to pay a fine of $160 for the tampered component. I will talk to the folks back at office.
Me: Thanks man... I appreciate it... (I seriously did appreciate!!!)
I had to pay to the office through phone and I realized that every step you take in foreign soil is like walking in a land filled with land-mines!!!!
BTW is it at-least Rs. 1000 in India fine for power theft???

Watch this!!!! என் respect போச்சு your honour!!!!


Lava said...

Good start to ur stay in US!!
BTW.. what was the component that was tampered! and hats off to ur negotiation skills da..


Vijaya Ragavan said...

@Lava ya da.. the best start I can hope for... If i could understand the components I would have been a better electrical engineer.. (I dont mean to say I am a good comp engineer.. u know my comp sci life right from XI.. dont u??) Learnt all the negotiation skills form you Master...