Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Crazy Cabmate - True Story #5


Longest Train Adventure


Leave Travel Allowance (LTA) is among the standard perks that most Indian employees get from their employers.

The abbreviation stands for Leave Travel Allowance. What it means is that IF you travel on leave, it entitles you to a claim of the Flight/ Train/ Bus Ticket expense(s).

If you don't claim this money with original bills at the end of the financial year, the employer deducts tax from your LTA eligibility. This usually means you lose 30% of the amount.

Now, the truth is that most Indian employees don't really take much leave. So they fake bills.

But my cabmate's even better.

Six of us from the office are at lunch and the topic of "Where are you heading for your vacation?" comes up.

Teammate: "Kerala"

Cabmate: "How far is that from Mumbai?"

Teammate: "24 hours Train Journey"

Cabmate: "Oh? That's all?"

Teammate: "Eh?"

Cabmate: "You know, last year, I was searching for the longest train journey in the country...."

Now this is intriguing because we've never really imagined my cabmate to be a traveller. And we are all ears.

Cabmate: "So, friends, basically, I book tickets on the longest train journey in the country. Once I have a printed copy of the ticket in my hand, I just cancel the tickets online :)"

Friday, June 10, 2011

Crazy Cabmate - True Story #4


Fresh Vegetables


Long before I had the misfortune of 'getting to know' my cabmate, there were a handful of colleagues who had survived the ordeal.

There were three of them (plus the cab driver) on a peak-hour journey that would take 1-2 hours to office or back.

On their way was a bustling market where the city's fresh produce for the day would arrive - vegetables, fruits, flowers, seafood etc.

One fine evening, when traffic was at its worst and tempers were rising, Cabmate decided to take matters into his own hands.

Cabmate: "Driver, stop the vehicle near the market. I want to buy some fresh veggies"

Colleagues: "Eh?"

Driver: "Okay?"

Cabmate: "Give me two minutes. I'll just come"

Colleagues and Driver, a little shocked, but still playing along: "Okay"

Traffic can be a mess in the city with undisciplined drivers and general lack of road sense. Typically, in such a situation, a 2-minute wait can get you 10-minutes late.

Twenty minutes later, once office cab's lost it's time advantage, Cabmate arrives - with four bags of fresh veggies in his hand and a satisfied grin.

Cabmate: "This market has the cheapest, fresh veggitaables :)"

Friday, June 03, 2011

Crazy Cabmate - True Story #3


Thrifty


Cabmate: "Have you watched any movies recently?"

Me: "I'm not really into movies"

Cabmate: "You know, I got this really good deal from a movie renting portal"

Me: "Aha"

Cabmate: "As an introductory offer, for the first month, I get 30 Movies - a movie a day for a month - at 1 INR. They even send a guy to deliver and pick-up the DVDs :)"

Me: "Ah. So, you're going to take an annual subscription after that?"

Cabmate: "No. I'll watch those 30 movies for 1 INR and then cancel my subscription :)"