“In the republic of mediocrity, genius is dangerous.” – Robert Green Ingersoll
A government authorised bank. A simple request of enabling online transfer of funds to other bank accounts involved 5 calls, 3 meetings, 4 e-mails, one form-submission.
“What sir, transfer only within our bank accounts no?”
Result: It’s still pending. Have opened another bank account and as I write this, am filling the account closure form.
A much-hyped social media week. I traveled to another city to attend the event and was looking forward to a lot of learning. Events that started late, under-prepared speakers, and a pretty-sad turn out (for good reason am guessing), made me wonder why I took the trouble.
“What are you complaining about boy? We’re trending right now.”
Result: Learning = 0.
A two day music festival. It had an exorbitant entry fee, parking fee, and sky-rocketing food and beverage prices since it was held at the back of beyond…but they were not the most disappointing aspects. Most artists sounded horrendous and it was more than obvious that they weren’t actually playing live. You don’t need to be a musician to figure out when the drummer suddenly wakes up and pretends to play after the drum sounds have already started.
“Sir, can you mail us what bothered you? We will conveniently ignore it coz no one will know. On twitter I have to sound concerned, hence asking you to mail. Please understand.”
Result: Felt let down by a few artists and might not ever listen to them again. And have developed this strange tendency to slap anyone who invites me for a live gig.
A cycling marathon. Right from the goof-up of mixing-up dates to collect the bibs, to the actual event, it felt like a comedy of errors. Not letting cyclists complete their laps and allowing regular traffic movement during the race actually made me laugh. Imagine stopping at the traffic signal during a race.
“I have done only 3 laps, I need to complete one more”
“No, you don’t”
Result: Haven’t really biked after that day, which was supposed to inspire people to cycle regularly.
A multi speciality hospital. Having spent 50k in two days at two different hospitals, barring an MRI that costs 10k, am completely clueless where the other 40k went. Despite charging at will, did they fix or figure out what the patient came in for? Nope. Did they hand-over the correct report? Nope. Did they explain why most tests were repeated in a span of two days? Oh yeah, they didn’t trust the results of the other hospital.
“Sir, pay 30,000 advance, we’ll do brilliant math to make sure we use all of it before you know it. Even if you have come for common cold, we’ll replace one artery just to be safe.”
Result: Patient still sick, family taken for a ride and petrified of hospitals, respective hospitals still doing roaring business.
Made me think if this is just me or is this the norm today? Did have conversations with friends and realised all of us actually go through such experiences on a daily basis – from restaurants to shopping to businesses that offer products and services, mediocrity seems to be the new genius everywhere. As a fellow genius, I have come to this conclusion because the people who offer these products/ services are proud of their efforts, and as customers we seem to be cheering them on, forget taking them on.
Mr. Ingersoll, you got this totally wrong. Welcome to the nation of geniuses.