Thursday, November 30, 2006

The MLM Marketing onslaught !!

I received a phone call this Tuesday from some person who said he wanted to meet me. He said he got my number from another friend. I was not too keen, but I agreed to see him for 10 minutes outside my house. When he came, he insisted we go in and talk, to which I told him, bluntly indeed, that its not possible. He then said he wanted to spend half an hour with me, to explain his 'business project', and he wanted to meet me at my house because that would, in his own words 'minimize distractions'. I gave him a date and time.

I met him today. I had an idea what to expect. I was hoping it would be something different. It was not. I did not know I would be dead right. Throughout the course of conversation, he kept buying time by talking of issues that were in no way relevant to the matter or his 'business project'.

These network marketeers need to rework their strategy. Its become so predictable. And pathetic. I have a feeling they have a reference book, from where they are taught how to entice people into their 'business project'. The lessons in the book go somewhat like what follows.

Suppose you want to convince Mr A.

1) Try to talk about uncertainty. Talk of 9/11. And of stress and heart disease being so common in this hectic world. Tell A thats its always better to have a big bank balance, because you never know what can happen. People die tragic deaths, some die to disease and some to plain bad fortune. If A is not convinced, talk about the risk to A's loved ones. Conclude that money is the key. You need to have it.

(The way they put it, you begin to think, money can actually buy a few more years to live as well)

2) Talk bullshit. Frequently say terms like 'profit', 'net profit', 'passive income', 'millionaires'. Do some rough calculations very fast and arrive at a figure like 3 lakhs a month. Tell A this is the average he/she can earn in 1/2/3/5 years depending on the efforts and time that A wants to invest in the 'business project'. This should make A interested. If he/she is not interested at this point, you have almost lost the battle.

3) Dont tell the name of the company or any details of the business project till the last minute. Never give it out even if pressurised. Thats the key. If A presses for details, tell him/her to read some books and some tapes to get a clearer picture. information about the company and revelation of details of the project are directly proportional to the desire and gullibility of A. The more greedy and convinced A seems, the more details are shared.

4) Remember to explain a few key things

a) All you need is a dream. No experience and no qualifications.
b) Passive income -> Bole toh "no kaam, only income. Aur aaraam
c) Flexible timing

5) If A says he/she is not interested, tell him/her at first even you were in the same boat. You took 1 year to get convinced. Maybe more. Maybe less. Just make sure you convince A that he/she can delay as long as he/she joins. Talk about the 3 month trial offer and how there is nothing to lose. Talk of more books and more tapes and more conferences and more meetings that are "LIFE-CHANGING". Give some imaginative story of a person B who makes X lakhs a months and B is the same age as A and in the same profession too :))


How did I stave off the onslaught?

I wanted to be as polite as I can be. I must confess I was point-blank in my disapproval, which is not very characteristic of me. I usually beat around the bush for a while, expecting the other person to pick up the cues. That did not happen this time around.

I told him I have no time. He was not convinced, and when into details of how each one can make time. Reason one did not work the way I expected. Unable to get my point across, I went to the second reason, the-i-suck-at-convincing-people reason. So I dont expect to make much headway in his 'business project' because people do not buy my side of the story. Wrong shot, again. After hearing him out, I took him head-on. I told him I know about his Corporation and I read all about it here.

That put him off track. He was stumped(thankfully). He was not finished yet. He wanted some references. I told him I have none. He insisted and it was quiet for about 2 minutes, when I realised its better to give some references and do away with this because he would not leave without them. So I fiddled with my phone and I gave him two numbers (sorry Rodley, sorry Maria).

He left. After 45 mins and 2 scribbled pages of my notebook, I had staved it off. Phew!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Balcao gossip and the need for more people to join in

Why are neighbours so curious?

I have no idea why they are so interested in what's going on in their neighbour, Mr/Ms ABC's life. ABC does not even bother to glance in their direction if he/she were to pass them by, but their interest in ABC never diminishes. If they had to put their curiosity and interest in the right place and in the right things, perhaps, they would have helped the cause of science with some pathbreaking discovery or invention. They would have ranked up there with Einstein and Newton and Edison. But alas! while Einstein focussed on relativity and Newton on gravity, their focus is gibberish. Anyways, much to the chagrin of ABC, and probably loss to science and mankind, their specialised area of interest and study is ABC's life and works. Dont lose heart, you can be the topic of their interest too. You only have to live in their neighbourhood! Thats all it takes to arouse their attention.

Would any of you be interested in sharing the responsibilities of neighbours ? Read on for more details


Goa has a tradition of 'Balcao' gossipping. The Balcao is the front porch in most Goan houses with cemented seats where neighbours congregate in the evening to discuss news and views and reviews on whats happening in the 'vaddo'(ward or street) and world. Conversation varies from Saddam Hussein to the present government and Salazar to the antics of the neighbouring wench who has been inviting the 'poder' (the man who sells bread house to house on his cycle) over for a cup of tea every morning as soon as he finishes with his rounds and hubby dearest has left for work and so on. Local affairs are discussed in more detail. World and national and state issues rank a very poor second when compared to local chinwag.

Speculations are rife, and rumours abound everywhere. Hearsay attains a lot of prominence. No one sees anything wrong in propagating a complete falsehood just for the sake of extra spice. Stories have all the elements, emotions and twists of TV soap operas. When the church bells toll at 7 in the evening, all move to their homes for Angelus, so the session is abandoned for the day to be resumed tomorrow, but not with everyone going home entertained, wisened and happy.

In recent times, Balcao gabfests do not occur with the same frequency and enthusiasm as maybe 10 years earlier. Not because of disinterest, but more because of lack of time. Most people have jobs to attend to, and children to look after. Those lucky enough, and devoid of other chores, happily engage and practice their story telling and listening skills. On the panel of these rather comprehensive discussion board (gossip balcao) are some distinguished and elderly ladies, and a few younger ones being groomed to take on the mantle of head panelists once the older ones fade away.

To keep up the tradition there is a need of young people (ideally female) to carry on the responsibities of balcao gossipping.


You need to have the following

1) Time - Lots of it. More than that, you should not have hobbies or interests that you can devote your extra time too. This way, the gossipping balcao group will not feel threatened that you may want to jump to something else sometime later as attrition sets in.

2) Curiosity - You must be born with it. Importantly, you must be curious about people, relationships, work and issues relevant to the topics of discussion, and strive to keep topics hotter and in vogue. Each time you unearth something, it will be your responsibility to organise a gabfest.

3) Garrulous - You must be blessed with the gift of the gab, demonstrating both flattery to induce people to part with their secrets and a scheming and conniving mind. It is tricky, but whoever said practice makes a man/woman perfect, was right and practice is what will help you get it right.

4) Imaginative - A fertile mind, exploring always the possibility of adding spice to make a hot topic even hotter and lip-smacking. Your ingenuity must be top notch if you aspire to become a head panelist someday.

Any takers?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Play it safe!!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Doing 69 with your customers

Kya aapne apne grahakon ke saath 69 kiya hai? (Have you done the 69 with your customers?)

KTC -> Believe it or not

This is again about the Kadamba Transport Corporation shuttle buses and their stupefying conundrums.

->When there are passengers in the queue, there is no bus.

->When there is a bus, there are no passengers in the queue.

->When there are about 100 passengers in the queue to Panaji, and none in the Margao queue, the only bus present goes to Margao.

->When there are about 100 passengers in the queue to Margao, and none in the Panaji queue, the only bus present goes to Panaji.

->When there are passengers and buses both present, (sometimes and rarely there are times when) there are no drivers.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

First breakdown .. boy!! am i excited or what?

Today was D-day.

After travelling to Vasco from Panaji and back daily for close to 4 months now, i had the experience of my first bus breakdown. After watching other buses conk out midway through the journey, today was our day. It was imminent.

Word of appreciation for the guys at KTC - we were in the new bus in 20 minutes of the breakdown.

Previous posts on KTC
1) My Chronicles with KTC - 1
2) Synchronised Sleeping

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Conversation pointers..

A few tips to good conversation on The Positivity Blog

1) Listen well
2) Dont hog the spotlight
3) Dont fight to be right
4) Reciprocate

More tips and the full article here.

For the foodies!

Here is something that might motivate you to apply for work at Google.

An employee at Google has taken photos of his food plate at Google for sometime now. For the benefit of those who are curious to know what they need to eat to write those search algorithms, also for some foodies who hate seeing pictures of cooked food because the pictures cant be eaten as well as for those who think dieting means looking at pictures and moving on to reality, also for the rest who are not bought food everyday by their employers; he has posted those pictures on the internet.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Microsoft Firefox

Firefox has been bought by Microsoft to create msfirefox - the world's best browser. Check it out.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Synchronised Sleeping!

Synchronized Swimming is an Olympic Sport.

I just discovered a new sport. Its called Synchronized Sleeping.

Synchronized Sleeping involves either individuals or groups combining calmness, endurance, flexibility, grace and artistry with exceptional breath control while sleeping on the last seat of the Kadamba Transport Corporation bus.

The masters and legends of Synchronized Sleeping board the early morning shuttle to Vasco from Panjim.

If the sychronised sleeping team is on the last seat, brace yourself for an amazing display of rhythmic coordination and grace, in tune with the jerks of the bus and, and in complete harmony with the movements of fellow teammates.

The driver of the bus is the trainer and chief coach of the team and he directs every move of his team that is sprawled tightly on the last seat. Every time the driver swerves the bus jerks, there is a corresponding display of finesse from the team of synchronised sleepers on the last seat, who sway in unison to the left or right.

The sport is becoming popular not only with Indian Olympic officials who seem to have a solution to their Olympic medal drought, but also has huge potential with popular dance choreographers in Bollywood and current celebrity dance reality shows.

We hope the legacy of these synchronised sleepers lives on and on and on ..

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Reality Shows

I am not a big fan of Roadies on MTV. The concept is great, bikes, roads, tasks, vote-outs so it has everything.

The inaugural run always arouses my curiosity in most reality shows and the loss of interest after the initial hoopla is habitual.

This year though, i loved watching the auditions of MTV Hero Honda Roadies 4. I have never seen the auditions and interviews before. It was a delight to see the wannabe roadies getting marooned royally.

Most reality shows with an unique concept will do well in the first year. The attempt to carry on over to milk the cow till it drops dead is actually an attempt to gag audiences with "watch this bull-shit because there is nothing else you can do, can you?".

Which is why there are all pretty much avoidable. Celebrities or no celebrities, they all suck.

Rumours like these dont help their cause

I am willing to put my money on Big Boss doing well.

the personification of hope

This latest twist to the Jessica Lall case got me thinking.

Suppose i am a journalist interviewing Ram Jethmalani.

Something similar to this interview. (video link / transcript)

One question for the Jethmalani rebel. Assuming i am an ignoramus infront of a legal hippopotamus. Suppose there is a cameraman near Jethmalani. I take a gun and shoot him dead. Not only do i shoot him dead, i make sure that Mr. Rebellious-Boy-Lawyer can see me shooting him dead. Also, before shooting the cameraman, i tell Mr. Saviour-Of-The-Condemned that i have come with intentions to shoot the cameraman and i will do it.

Now, if i approach The-greatest-legal-Know-all-that-has-graced-planet-Earth-since-947-BC to defend me in court, will he agree????

Fees barabar, sab barabar, kya khayaal hai Mamu??

Friday, November 03, 2006

NEVER GIVE UP -> Never Ever!!!!

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