Stories about reputation

Islamabad Etcetera: Have I got a story for you

Where at a time professions used to be identified by certain distinguishing marks, the nineteenth and twentieth centuries saw the universal sign of the labourer with the flat cap, the police with their badges and so on, these emblems also come with an assumed reputation. The flat cap was as depressed as the masses and wearing one immediately identified you as a proletariat. The ‘shield’, the policemen’s badge, appeared at once imposing and formidable. So too then by this measure does one see that by merely carrying a press card or announcing ones association with the fourth estate, a certain ...

Read Full Post

Listen to the customer!

Gone are the days when you needed to lodge a complaint about a problem in your telephone connection or electricity metre and nobody was available to even listen to your voice. Now, the scene has changed. Companies have started to focus more on customer service due to increasing competition in the marketplace. Many companies that didn’t even know about customer services now have state of the art call centers and customer touch points. Here they are not only listening to customer complaints but also resolving these on an immediate basis. However, there is still a place where customers are complaining ...

Read Full Post

The mockery of education

Pakistan is a country of 170 million people with an average literacy rate of 57 per cent only. The education sector has always been treated like an illegitimate child when it comes to annual budget allocations. A great chunk of the federal budget goes to military and defense. It has been the same old story this year. The defense budget was raised by 17 per cent in the annual federal budget under the pretext of ongoing war against militants while the spending on education is less than 3 per cent. According to a recent report by Sharmila Farooqui, advisor to ...

Read Full Post

Eyewash, hogwash, brainwash

Obsessive, manic, crazed, nutty, deranged, louche — writers have worked hard to cultivate a reputation for themselves. And most people expect of them pretty much what they do of all other kinds of freaks: visions, pipe dreams, fantasies and yes — deep, deep thoughts. Writers even tend to agree with this view of themselves. Consider Mr William Faulkner’s thoughts on the subject. “An artist is a creature driven by demons. He don’t know why they choose him and he’s usually too busy to wonder why.” Readers utterly love this kind of thing. After my last column, some readers wrote to me advising me ...

Read Full Post