Friday, April 15, 2005

My own concierge.

Guido writes about a concierge service. It reminded me that I had wanted to post about this for a while.

Our office folks are pretty cool about constantly doing little stuff to keep people happy at work. Since fruits are extremely cheap in India, they've started stocking the fridge with grapes and watermellons. Every evening at around 3pm they cut the watermellons and everyone in the office slowly congregates around the fridge area to slurp on red, juicy watermellons. that's usually also when you grab a paper cup and scoop out a cup full of grapes to take back to your desk. In the late morning (around 11am-ish), someone comes around with cups of chaas (buttermilk). Oh, and we have a caterer serve a full buffet lunch on the terrace every afternoon.

Everyone who visits from the US is surprised by all this because we're a pretty frugal company in general. But then you consider that our lunch costs the company about $0.70 per day per person (where each person, including me, is costing the company a fraction of what they would in the US) and then it doesn't sound so bad afterall.

Coming back to the original subject of this post; the office signed up with a similar concierge service to the one Guido mentioned, called Les Concierges. They actually send one person to come sit at our office every day for 2 hours. If anyone has any odd jobs they need done they go talk to the person, give them a small advance, and get a receipt. A few days later they'll come back with what you need. My watch died the other day, and the rechargeable battery for my camera has stopped recharging. So I gave them both and asked them to look into things. A few days later they came back to say that they went to the Timex showroom and tried replacing the battery but that the watch still didn't work. Additionally, they went to a couple of Panasonic showrooms to look for rechargeable batteries but couldn't find them.

I would never had had time to leave work, battle the Bangalore traffic, and get this stuff done. They take care of getting all sorts of official government documents (involves standing in long lines), booking tickets for trains/planes/etc., and a bunch of other cool things. They have some funny ones but I don't have the booklet with me.

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