December 2009


Dreaded Numerical Juggleries
 
Recently we had an opportunity to see about a data jugglery unleashed by Citibank. Whilst I posted this, I just recalled about three similar incidents about numerical transpositions (aka) juggleries by similar organizations which I just thought I would share it across here:
 
Note: Specific account numbers and confidential numbers may have been masked or replaced suitably by fictious replacements for security reasons. If you are a statutory administration authority wanting more proof, please contact me through the ‘Contact Us’ form and I would be able to coordinate with you after due diligence verification of your credentials.
  1. Recently it happened that I had to close one of the previous organization’s salary account with Standard Chartered. The Standard Chartered was kind enough to send in a banker’s cheque for the amount of INR 95.56. When I duly deposited the same to the current Citibank ATM they had tried to process the cheque for the amount as INR 9556 encountering a cheque bounce and then again retrying the same. Are they so much blind to have missed the dot in the figure. Is ninety four thousand sixty rupees and forty four paise such silly amount of negligible difference for Citibank India?
  2. A few years back Birla Sun Life Insurance processed the premium payment. Though the premium amount was 2000 rupees and the policy number was like 96687, the premium paid receipt was showing as ‘Recieved with thanks the premium amount of Ninety Six Thousand Six Hundred and Eighty Seven only’. After bringing this to thier attention, they again sent me the corrected reciepts.
  3. This happened with Alagappa University. While my registration number was like 983214 and one of the marksheets was indicating the status for one of the papers as AAA (absent). After trying to bring in a comprehensive investigation it was found that the actual candidate who was absent from the examination was 983241. The examinations department had callously replaced the last two digits of the registration number.

I just thought I would share these simple-to-look numerical juggleries and transpositions of digits but which have significant and serious impact on the business on hand.

Should we give some rest to ‘Nuclear …’?
 
We very well remember the devastating effects of nuclear warfare that sabotaged two important cities in Japan in the year 1945 as part of World War II (WWII). Despite this there are stiff competing from multiple quarters towards this dreaded ‘nuclear’ concept both at nations’ and family level. Well. Let me simplify the story further.
 
  1. At the nations’ level, each nation trying to compete with each other to fortify their armed forces in terms of nuclear armaments is setting a cloud of hostility amongst the world. Even for our country, Pakistan and China involving in nuclear tests is setting deep tensions in this area. Any nations’ move towards nuclear testing dissident from the globally accepted ‘Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty‘ is strongly condemnable and vehemently opposable by anyone. Such vectors need to be quarantined regardless of their positions and virtues.
  2. Let us see the other factor related to ‘Nuclear …’. The growing trend in these days’ family affairs is proliferation of nuclear family concept and breakdown of joint family concept for very mundane reasons. Any quick to comprehensive research on Nuclear Vs Joint family brings to the surface a number of disadvantags of nuclear family over joint family. A few of them are summarized below:
    1. Gross neglect of parents’ welfare who have given their hard work to grow the current crew of the nuclear family.
    2. Mounting stress on the crew and their offsprings of the nuclear family because there is no elderly to properly guide them in the immediate family circles.
    3. Nuclear family brings a kind of selfish-mind with own blood-related kit and kin.
    4. The children miss the love and affection of grandparents, uncle, aunt etc.
    5. Separate housing for nuclear family increases the necessity of realty space consumption and separate cost of living setup.
    6. The noble gesture and attitude of ‘Acceptance’ and ‘Adjustment’ in lieu of ‘Adamant Attitude’ comes in a joint family setup as against in nuclear family.
    7. When a problem crops up in a joint family there is a colloborative effect that comes up towards arriving at the cordial solution towards the problem.

I admit that the atom or nucleus is the innermost undivisible entity in anything. At the same time, I would say it would be advisable to eradicate the social malefic practices based on the word ‘nucleus’ as we described above.

Citibank Date Jugglery
  
Whilst just updating the response from Citibank to my previous experience with them, I just realized another big folly that they had made with reference to the dates. Whilst the original report was registered with them on November 18th (which is succinctly visible from the same original email), the response given by them on November 19th clearly states as a reference to my report registered on November 28th 2009.
 
It looks like Citibank has a time machine which can travel ahead in future too. I have attached a sectional screenshot of the conversation along with this note for the information of everyone. Furthermore, this comes from the desk of their head customercare. I have also registered another note with them clarifying on this front. In the screenshot, I have masked the names, reference numbers and contact information leaving the offending dates alone marked and highlighted in red for quick reference.
 
Let me update this post with what they come up as a response to this issue.
Shameless Citibank Team again barges into an Unsolicited Telemarketing despite its assurance
 
Despite its tall claims and stiff assurances that went in our previous experience with Citibank, they have proved that their telemarketing staff are truly thick-skinned and can barge into any amount of illicit telemarketing. The latest incident that struck is as follows:
 
Telephone Number:+914464559909
Incident Date: 21st December 2009 
Incident Time: 15:11
 
The caller was pleading, begging and borrowing virtually for an appointment towards explaining about some crappy investment decisions towards the current financial year. The same has been filed as a report with Citibank Team.
 
Let us see now what is the response that they come out with again.
It doesn’t mean spam can support floral fantasies and bring in any fragrance to the desktops through the wire …
 
I have compiled a list of websites that post junk comments across weblogs with just plain words like ‘Nice content’ and a link back to their website. A few of those websites are: [not hyperlinked]
 
  1. http://www.ahmedabadonnet.com/
  2. http://www.gurgaonflowerplaza.com/
  3. http://www.bangaloreflowerplaza.com/contactus.htm
All of them have been posted with the same authorname as ‘Shallu’.
 
I have been getting at least half a dozen of spam comments fortunately entrapped by Blogger/Wordpress spam engines.  Nevertheless, I just thought of sharing out these websites with other bloggers/readers for the following reasons:
 
  1. Businesses that try to thrive on free advertising or piggybacking on others for a free ride can not considered trustworthy.
I have reported these domains to Ministry of Information Technology besides the respective registrars too. I admit that without a concrete CAN-SPAM like act to contain spam it is little difficult to completely eradicate these spammers.
 
The Spam Report of Flower Domains can be viewed from here as PDF.
How does haplessly helpless hysteric people start behaving?
 
This post is not intended to hurt and/or to pinpoint any particular person. The moral or bottomline of the post is simple. People should start realising their mundane follies in resorting to unethical things and piggybacking on others for their own material gains. Again it is a huge topic and hence let us discuss a few incidents either I have witnessed and/or come across and thus we can learn of the things from these incidents itself.
 
Incident Number One:
We have been discussing about a neighbor in my apartment and it had been morphed by us a good-to-use guinea pig for a number of experiments on how we should start cultivating ethical behavior with others and a dire need for us to avoid such bad people in our (close) circles. Since I had been significantly instrumental in kicking this guy’s butts towards silencing his malicious progress and having realised that he is turning impotent in more ways than one in the apartment, he seems to be now seeking a sort of solace by resorting to sending out spam-invitations to p0rnographic websites.
 
I have compiled all his spam messages along with the complete internet headers as a PDF document. The purpose of having publishing this document are as follows:
 
  1. Point number (2) of Misuse of Power and Responsibility has revealed of illegal securing of employment. With such a base attitude, he might involve in a lot of other antisocial activities too. I have also recorded a report of these spam messages to Chennai Cybercrime Cell and Chennai City Police as a proactive measure.

    Just because our Indian IT laws still does not have a concrete law to deal with this type of spam (aka) junk messages such people cause small to largescale sabotage in their own whimsical manner.

  2. I see the dire need of a good spam reporting to authorities is that a good format of reporting spam. In this particular protocol I have adopted the following structure in the message:
    1. Internet Headers
    2. Message (if not combined with (1))
    3. A quick pertinent screenshot for illustration and expedited recognition of the spam.
  3. I have put it as a PDF instead of inline for the following reasons:
    1. Even when he is causing a sabotage, I don’t see an ethical reason for us to demonstrate the same type of attitude to the person. A PDF instead of normal inline text can save the email addresses (@ pattern) from being exposed to spam robots.
    2. When challenged by authorities, the PDF can be readily presented for investigation without  any delays.

You can download the Spam_Report PDF from here.

Incident Number Two: This happened in my previous organization, way back in 2003. Since the company itself has downed its shutters now as of 2008, I think this can be a good candidate to quote. Me and my friend (Santosh Kumar Sinha) were starting to Triplicane to see an automobile consultant for purchase of a bike and securing a driving license. The then official for recruitment and human resources (HR) was running frenziedly hurriedly and was telling us that there is some meeting now by a visitor from US. We were telling that it is not applicable to us. She was arrogantly replying “I don’t care about your vehicle purchase plans and those things we can see later. I want you guys to attend the meetng now”.[translated into English]. And the organization itself has met the doomsday in less than five years.
 
Incident Number Three: This incident again epicenters around the same previous organization. They had a bad practice of monitoring other people’s activities through Internet media like email even those who have left the organization and wired channels typically the female staff through shadowy means. One of the illfated director was actually suspended but the dog’s tail failed to straighten even after that. The simple reason for him to behave that way was to ‘steal credit’ of those creditworthy and to bestow the same on his ‘favorites’.
 
Again these incidents are just handful of samples. If you have similar incidents please share them across as comments. These should be serving as an eyeopener for the society so that such malefic parasites do not infect a large section causing a pandemic peril.
Misuse of Power and Responsibility
 
I just thought of sharing out this observation wherein people at least in this part of the country (Chennai) are kind of crazily, aggressively, boisterously fond of misusing the ethical powers vested with them in a significant unethical fashion besides demonstrating a high degree of irresponsibility in upholding their responsibility. Since it is quite a broad topic, I just thought I would touch base on the same through a few incidents which might be acting and substantiating to us as salient succinct examples:
 
  1. In our most recent post on ‘To Negotiate or to Litigate‘ we covered a topic about a foul-mouthed ill-minded neighbor who was nurturing illwill only to be silenced in a war-footing basis. Using him as a guinea pig, I could deduce one irresponsible person working right in the Inspector General office. This person being a lady was threatening everyone in support of that deranged neighbor to ensure that everyone succumb to his avaricious greedy needs. Not sure whether they had any undertable money exchange or beyond that but that is not part of our discussion. To summarize, this particular lady had misused her power and responsibility being in Chennai City Police to unleash a kind of rowdism in our otherwise peaceful area/apartment.
  2. This again belongs to the same neighbor that we described in (1). One of his daughters seems to have secured employment in a reputed two-letter hardware-cum-software multinational organization based in Chennai. Whilst she had miserably failed in the previous interviews with the same organization, she had to take help of her brother-in-law who was in a more commanding position in the same organization and thus her technical impoverishment and medical challenges including histories of epilepsies have been meticulously suppressed not to mention about a quick bouts of promotions she is found boasting almost every two months. This stands clear of misuse of responsibility given by the organization to an individual to further their advances in the organization.
  3. These days where there is a feeling of insecurity everywhere and the private security folks deployed in many business establishments and task forces deployed by the state police in arterial places like railway stations and temples etc. These people do not care to check the affluent people and/or people from high ranks but when it comes to a poor/common man, they would frisk him to the core till his last droplet of red blood cell and white blood cell. The following are the inferences from these observations:
    1. Misuse of responsibility of the security folks in not checking the affluent thus exposing the otherwise secure area into grave security concerns. What if the affluent guy himself had previously turned into a human bomb and had come to blow off that place? Should the security folks treat everybody on par? They don’t check the affluent in an base attempt to flatter them and advance their career/monetary prospects.
    2. Sometimes the security folks throw off the responsibility to the air and bring in a curiosity in their looks on the various goods that are in the bag and baggage of the visitors. It is not uncommon for anyone arriving from international destinations to airports like Chennai and Mumbai only to witness a few of the goods in the checkin baggage mysteriously missing out (and as a matter of fact they have been forcibly parted as a philanthropic donation to the customs officials at the airport)
We can always get a lot of such incidents in our day-to-day life. There is nothing we can do to totally abolish these. We can only try to be as much proactive as possible to nip off such things in bud, take preventive care so that such things don’t affect us directly in any way and strenghten the fortress of our residence and business from such people.

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