Aug 23, 2015

Smart Bribe

"Sir, do you want your vehicle to be packed?", a labor asked him as Vinod entered through the parcel office of Bhubaneswar railway station". I will charge only Rs. 450 and my work will be neat", he continued. 

Vinod thought about the offer for a minute and nodded his approval. In the next 30 minutes, his bike would be neatly packed and ready to be parceled by a train. He was not in a hurry though. The train would only leave at noon on the next day.

Leaving his vehicle to the labor, he proceeded towards a counter at the parcel office to get the booking done. A railway clerk was looking through his rimmed spectacles at the computer monitor as if a movie is being screened.

Vinod waited to get the clerk's attention. "Perhaps he is still busy with a past booking", he thought. A few minutes went by, but the clerk neither took his eyes off from the monitor, nor he acknowledged the presence of Vinod.

"Sir, will you please do the parcel booking of my bike which is being packed at your office?", he asked politely and waited for his response. 

The clerk let a glance at him as if to let him know that he was aware of his presence, but did nothing. Vinod continued to wait. Meanwhile, the labor had finished his job and demanded for money. 

Vinod went with the labor to inspect his bike and gave him the money after he felt satisfied with the work. "The packing is so secure that the vehicle would be well protected during its 1500 km journey down south", he felt. The labor took the money and offered to pull the vehicle to the loading platform. Vinod came back to the counter and waited for the clerk's attention.

"Sir, please take this", he heard a voice from a man who pushed Vinod aside to give Rs. 500 cash to the clerk. Vinod let a sigh, but felt relieved with the fact that the clerk was at least doing some work and finished one booking while he was away with the labor.

But his happiness was short lived when he saw the clerk taking Rs. 500 and asked him what he wanted. "I came first", Vinod wanted to yell at both of them. But he kept quiet and waited for the business to get over so that he can proceed next.

"I want to parcel some items", the person replied with a grin.

The clerk took the parcel items, weighed and calculated the charges. After feeding some data on the computer, he replied "Rs. 1100", to the man over the counter. While the man was counting rupees, the clerk completed the transaction, printed the bill and hand over a copy to him.

Picking up the copy of bill, he pushed 6 Rs. 100 bills through the counter and left hurriedly.

"Where is the balance amount?", the clerk yelled at him as an attempt to stop him.

"That is what I gave to you at the beginning", he shouted back with a grin and walked away.