Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Traveller's Tales

Business travel can be just as amusing, interesting, scary, hilarious, as leisure travel. Having unfortunately travelled too much on business, I’ve accumulated a few traveller’s tales. Here are two of them.

1. There was this good British gentleman who was 6ft 6in tall and built of substantial proportions. He was a very senior director in a global company and had the air of the Lord of the World. He was as pompous, as pompous can be and spoke in a regal manner. This is what happened on one of the flights he took.

He walked in to the plane and took his seat (first class of course). The stewardess hurried to serve him champagne. After a few sips, the man presses the call button

Stew (coming running) – Yes, Sir, what can I get for you
He – Can I have a complaint form please ?
Stew (very flustered) – Sir, did we do anything wrong. Can I apologise. Can I get anything at all
He (in the most patrician voice) – May I have the complaint form please.
Stew runs away looking ashen and returns back with the “Cabin Services Director”
CSD – Sir, My colleague said you asked for the complaint form. I have it here, but Sir, could you tell me what is wrong
He – Nothing.
CSD – But you asked for the complaint form
He – Yes
CSD – But may I ask why sir ?
He – (In the most pompous of voices) I may need it during the flight !!

2. This happened a long long time ago – I can’t imagine it is possible in today’s world. There was this rather portly gentleman who was prone to forgetfulness and nodding off at the drop of a hat. He was a senior manager then and had travelled to Calcutta and was to return back to Bombay. He came to Calcutta airport to catch the Bombay flight, checked in, got his boarding card, boarded the plane and promptly dozed off. Two hours later, fasten seat belts, plane lands, the steps are brought, he deplanes, walks into the terminal, gets out, searches for his driver and can’t find him. As this was before the advent of mobile phones, all he can do is sit and wait. He waits, but no sign of the driver. Finally, he looks around and the place looks a little strange. For he has come to Delhi, when he should have gone to Bombay !!


A journey called Life said...

traveler one- ONE (many) TIGHT SLAP(s)

traveller two- must have knocked the living day lights out of him,what 'awakening'

ohh and i hope there are many more you will add to this series..had a good laugh..

thethoughtfultrain said...

Sighh... People like the "Lord", they are so exasperating!
The second story is hilarious! And I think it happened to one of my uncles too .. :D Imagine the trouble!!

Namesake said...

Ha! Ha! Ha! I think you made this one up. Good joke. Reminded me of the Sardar who had to go to Delhi but got up on a train going to Bombay and enquired of the passenger who was sitting on the upper birth where he was Going? when he received the reply Bombay he raised his eyebrows and remerked "kya tarakkee kiya hai" Indian Railways, upper berth is travelling to Bombay and the lower to Delhi. Bhai Wah!

On the recent one on PWC CA's rotting in jail without due process of law. Trust you to feel sorry for CA's one way or the other. Jokes apart, I have forwarded that to the mail of the current president of ICAI for whatever it is worth. Rgds

Ramesh said...

Hi namesake. Nice Sardarji joke. And no I didn't make up the story !! Thanks for forwarding the earlier post to the CA institute .....Of course, I'm partial to CAs ha ha.

Ramesh said...

@thoughtful train - did it really happen to your uncle too. Wow !!

@AJCL - Ouch. The SLAP will sting !!

Preeti Shenoy said...

ha ha ha ha..Wonder how they checked in the traveller two while boarding the plane!
As for traveller one--Gosh, you get all kinds. he is so isolated in his ivory tower, I am certain he has forgotten how to live. Or laugh.

le embrouille blogueur said...

Traveller one - learn to breathe ..else you will explode with all that hot air

Traveller two - he has dad ..who has used Boroplus s toothpaste several times in his forgetfulness....

Ramesh- your balance of topics that matter to the ones which cause the giggles (and also do matter) has been tremendous ...!!

rads said...

LOL @ traveller one's story, and as for Traveller 2 he must've had a heart attack...

Balachandran RV said...


I could go through your blog and find some interesting stuffs around.... why do you tell business is not the sexiest thing to blog about..??

Viswaram Group.

Ajay said...

Found the 6'6" Briton's behaviour very clever. He ensured right at the beginning that he would be taken care of very well through out the trip :) I don't think he meant to throw his weight around (which, you say, he did have plenty of anyway) :)
The other person must have been shocked out of his wits to find himself halfway across the country :)

Satish said...

Ha ha. Relating to travel, I was once coming back from Ivory Coast to Mumbai. The route is a bit long winded and one had to fly to Paris (an 8 hour journey) a brief stopover for 5 hours and then another 9 hour journey to Mumbai. At Paris, given the lack of Indian food for 5 weeks I was kind of cursing my luck, over a stale piece of hard bread which appeared to have white fungus - a delicacy I am told (sandwich was what I paid for)which I was eating for breakfast and waiting to get home. Suddenly there was an announcement calling my name asking me to contact the ground staff. I though the worst case scenario, that the flight was overbooked and that I would need to spend a day like Tom Hanks, albeit in Paris. However when I reached the counter the lady said there was a problem since there was no vegetarian meals left and if I would accept a non vegetarian meal they would upgrade me. With a straight face I told her that normally I would not agree, but since she had made the request so nicely an to save her from getting into trouble, this time I would manage somehow. Some tales have good endings too.

Satish said...

On travel one of the worst airlines I have flown with is Air France. Arrogant staff and lousy food. I ordered an Asian vegetarian meal and a tag was put up behind my seat. However the stewardess just rudely said it was finished and have something else (spoken in the French English way). Never one to give up or take an insult, I like the 6foot 6 inch Britisher insisted I wanted a AVML meal that I ordered and when it came, opened it, ate one tiny morsel and said I no longer was hungry. One up that time around. lol

Ramesh said...

@ Balachandran - Thanks for visiting. Glad that you find this "not unsexy" !!

Ramesh said...

@ Ajay - you are absolutely right. He knew how to get what he wanted !

@Satish - Lovely travel stories. Thanks for sharing.

Air France stories are legendary. A whole series can be written on them and their co uppity airlines.

Why don't you start a blog yourself - I know you are a good writer, so why not ?

Ramesh said...

@ Preeti - In the old old days, they didn't even count the passengers. It was a more carefree world then ...

@blogueur - really, the bit about your Dad ?? LOL !! And hey - thanks for your very kind support

@rads - Well No 2 became a legend in the company and this story was passed from generation to generation !!

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