Friday, January 23
Tis raining Frauds ..
Most of yesterday was spent trying to reach the marketing office of a fairly "reputed" builder with who we had booked a flat almost a year back .. till date the only sign of progress in the project is that they have heaped up bricks near the site .. So we decided to pull out a month back and have been trying to get in touch with the booking office, but in vain .. the lady who sold us the apartment plays stupid tricks like not picking calls when we call from our mobiles, but miraculously picks up when hubby called from landline ..Gosh , what frauds!!..
nyways, since we have the necessary papers in place , taking them to task should not be difficult ..
I was reminded of a fraud i narrowly missed getting associated with in my professional life .."The case of Idea Group" ..I was in abu Dhabi working with a consumer durables company and was in their corporate sales division selling office equipment. This was my first job and i had no experience in dealing with frauds !! The said "idea group"(on hindsight .. the name is so ironic !! sadistic humour of the fraudsters, i say !!)neatly conned a lot of people into a lot of money.. One fine day , on my regular cold calling beat , i discovered this new office.. surprisngly , the receptionist let me also see the procurement manager, a lebanese, in my first call .. i was elated and zapped .. In my 4 month experience in the industry , nobody had let me see the procurement mgr in the first call .. but then in my elation, i didnt give too much importance to the weirdness of the situation..
To my huge surprise , the company was supposedly opening a retail outleat and they wanted quotes from me for several machines..and if it did come thru , it would have been the biggest ever deal for not only me , but my entire division.. i was thrilled beyond belief ..I followed this up by bringing my boss , his boss and several other bosses , just to make sure that the commercial terms were appropriate.. none of them actually found any problem with the company .. the only hitch was that they needed credit and we didnt give credit to companies without a credit record.. but it was a routine issue which could be circumvented with necessary approvals.. the company i worked for wasnt very professional ... they were more concerned abt competition bagging the project rather than making safe decisions..
My location head decided to go ahead with 20% advance and rest after 30 days and i went up to give the revised quote ..the procurement mgr seemed a lil flustered and she almost shooed me out .. there also seemed to be unusually high activity that day .. while i was stepping out , an indian who worked at an office bang opposite to Idea group called me aside. This was the first time i had ever seen him.. He told me that he had seen me come here couple of times and asked me to go easy on the company as there were many suspicious things happening on the premises . He also told me that many russian and lebanese women kept visiting the place at weird hours..And he told me all this because he didnt want a fellow indian to get into their web !!.. that's what he told me ..;-)
I promptly reported back to my bosses on what the guy told me.. strangely it felt like an oracle !! . my boss was a little vehement about not going slow , but then said ok when the big bosses veteoed their disapproval ..the procurement lady kept calling me and i kept dilly dallying abt availability of machines and similar stupid reasons .. ..An invitation for opening of the showroom appreared a week later and we were a lil dejected thar we weren't going to be part of the success of "idea group"..after a while the calls stopped and all of us got on with out lives
.. until one day.. when i got to office .. everyone is talking about "the idea group" and how they ran away with machines worth millions of dirhams ...the showroom had never opened ... i thanked my oracle - that indian guy for saving me from the clutches of "idea group" .. WOW!! narrow escape .. later my boss went on a self congragulatory mode saying that he knew there was something wrong with that company and thats why he didnt go ahead.. the jerk !!!..
nyways ..later i did get to know that this company had defrauded several times in the past and eventually the machines ended up in places like Sudan where people didnt give a fiddlers beep whether the machines were stolen..The emirates is a very dicey place, i learned.. huge scamsters prowled the markets trying to bait unsuspecting trainees like me..later when i got into banking , i realised everywhere its the same story .. makes me wonder abt the very nature of human beings and gets me a little disillusioned... dishonesty and one-upping behaviour rules the roost.. lives have become so complicated, greed rules the roost and simple things in life dont matter much to us..Things that people do in the name of money(and power!!).. all this shakes my idealism a little bit ..but deep down i feel that everything will get better soon ..Human beings will redeem themselves someway ..