2.08.2007

Happy Kumar


He’s a jolly good fellow
He’s a jolly good fellow
He’s a jolly good feeellowwwww
And so say all of us





What are the odds of finding a jolly good bus driver in Bangalore? Did I hear you say none? Think again. If there was a place where I could place bets on the grouchiness of bus drivers I would have made at least 200:1 kind of moolah. For now it just remains as a one off experience. A great way to start the day!
I will call him Happy Kumar in keeping with his state of mind. And he was driving a Volvo bus.
Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has become the first public sector city transport carrier to introduce Air Conditioned Volvo Buses. It has become one of the best ways of public transport in Bangalore today (though even the regular buses are arguably the better ones in India), even beating the Auto to a pulp. Ok my mind wont stop pestering my hand so let me give you another itsy bitsy fact – the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation is the only profit making urban sector public corporation in India.
In Bangalore (as with most other places in India) most buses have one person driving and another dispensing ticket. Today due to staff shortage Happy Kumar was also giving tickets to passengers. People boarding the bus wouldn’t know that and hence would just proceed to occupy a seat. Happy Kumar had a unique way of informing them. He would sing aloud “Buy your tickets here” in English and in Kannada. The best part was that he greeted every passenger with a smile. Talk about customer service. Most call centers need to learn a lesson or two from this guy. He was on a highly stressful job (people who know about traffic congestion in Bangalore know what I am talking about) but he dint take it out on his customers. For example at every bus stop at least 20 people would climb on board. That means 20 ignorant (about the driver giving tickets) people scrambling to grab seats. Plus the Volvo itself is a fast mover. You need to be good at reflexes to drive a sensitive vehicle like that. Happy Kumar not only managed to keep the bus in perfect control but also managed to not miss out selling tickets to any of the passengers.
For once I dint sleep on the way to work and remained laughing on the bus with the rest of the strangers. Happy Kumar made us all feel like one big family.
Wish more people in the service industries were like him.
I got another reward because of Happy Kumar: People at my office told me I look wide awake today! (For those who don’t know I carry an aura of sleep around me)


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