Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How Odd.

Odd jobs -described as any of various non specialised, unrelated jobs, usually domestic, unskilled or menial.

All of us do odd jobs. And sometimes for others too. I am no different. And I would not have given it a second thought had it not been for my sis in law, who feels my services have been used for the oddest of odd jobs by family and friends. She is guilty too, but appreciative. So here I was  being requested to make slides for a presentation , copy editing, proofreading, booking air tickets,train tickets, hotel accommodation, movie tickets and even recently keeping a SIM card active.

I should have realised the enormity of the situation earlier. It only slowly started to dawn on me when I was being hounded by a credit card customer service executive. I said I did not need an extra credit card. She emphatically said I did, stating that there would be no transaction fee while booking online train tickets with this particular card. I said all the more reason, since I did not need one of those for sure. ‘But Ma’am, she continued, you have booked tickets worth 24000 Rupees last year!’ Whaaaat!!!! It was then that I realised the late night, last minute calls – Aunty can you please book my ticket – from my daughter’s law school friends, were what made me a potential target for the credit card company.

My daughter graduated this year, and I hoped that would mean the end of  online bookings, much to the disappointment of the executive. And to my relief. But that also was short lived. I promptly got a call from a distant land requesting me to book train tickets for the coming month.
Of course, I have lost money too. Maybe a small price to pay for the huge goodwill generated. I hope so, I mean about the goodwill. I have not been the recipient of many thank you speeches.

And well yesterday, I was in for a big surprise. I received an sms from the younger one, who is now working and away from home. Tickets booked, coming home for New Year. Tickets booked? And that too without my services!

I said– you seem to have changed your travel agent
And she promptly replies – I can afford to!

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  1. Oh...I love the tongue in cheek prose. Yes...the accolades or praise for selfless assistance is certainly not forthcoming for the most part. Ahh....but you sound like you are such a sweet and generous person...I am sure you will continue to step in when always!

  2. It happens with many people - gullible people are exploited in so many ways. Yes, we get lot of goodwill! Hope one day it will be of some sort of help for you.

    So, your daughter seems to be smart! Good girl...the next generation!

  3. Great post- I really enjoyed it! You have narrated this tendency of people to take advantage of others in such a humourous way!

    Yes, people- particularly relatives- frequently exploit those who do 'odd jobs' without complaining.

  4. Oops, I am not really complaining. I do like some of those who have asked me to do these odd jobs. But I find that not many others volunteer to do them, and sometimes wonder if I am taken for granted.

  5. Learning to say NO agreeably is an art to be cultivated.I dealt with this in my blog reflections.

    Thanks for the comment.I have a friend who inisists that I write a bed time story daily.I try to mostly.

  6. You are the perfect example for the word "do-gooder". I do not know why people bother you for train tickets. Any one with a computer can do it. Even I have booked tickets from Tiruchi to Mayiladuthurai sitting from here.

  7. Radha, bless your heart for not complaining for doing all those bookings and reservations. My dad also does the same thing for his friends and relatives. But it is a thankless job, especially if something goes wrong.
    I would be careful not to be a pushover. But I do admire your generosity.
    BTW, I have to tell you I did not realize you had a grown up daughter. Your thoughts and ideas and the writing style has a very youthful vibe in it. Which goes to show the heart never goes old, hun. :)

  8. Thanks Jaya. I have two daughters - 27 and 22. I guess I feel young, thanks to both of them!

  9. My two daughters graduated this year I now what you mean !!!
    Nice written ....
    Wonderful post (so true ..)

  10. I'm not sure now if you appreciate me booking it, or want to do it yourself. Make up your mind, Ma!

    And it's true. We don't thank you enough. And I don't mean that just in terms of tickets booked.

    Love you.

  11. Maybe you are taken for granted by some. But I am sure you'll get help from even unknown people when you need it. :)

  12. Nice post! Wonderfully expressed! It's very true that when we are willing to help, people/relatives try to exploit us often. But I feel that any good deed never go waste... I believe that what goes from us comes back to us multiplied :)

  13. Nice post Radha. I know just what you mean. I just realised that I get a request from some member of my family everyday - tickets, going thro something, ideas. I suppose we don't say NO because somewhere we feel we are being useful. But still sometimes, all this labor should get appreciated. I notice your daughters are doing it now:-)


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