The Labor Office

The thought of having to visit the Labor office was scary. I don’t know why but for some reason the idea was not exciting and I did it cos I couldn’t get someone else to do it. I imagined a crammed small office, with officers who would be very indifferent, touts pestering, and numerous visits to finish the task. And of course a big bribe to ensure the work gets done.


The first visit to the office situated on Bannerghatta Road, I realized that the Labor office was anything but small. It was a huge building with many floors. Strangely the huge building had a reception area with a lady seated there. Of course it didn’t say it was the reception. Actually it didn’t say anything. But I approached the lady & told her of my business. The lady didn’t know the officer’s name for the designated area I wanted, she asked a guy standing nearby & he didn’t know either. Just then a group of men passed by and the question was put to them. One of them answered. I was guided to the 2nd floor. Where on 2nd floor I asked? ‘You ask someone there’ I was told.


The corridors were empty. The many doors that opened into huge halls were divided I guess on the basis of the various areas in Bangalore & Karnataka. Not finding anybody in the corridor to talk to I entered one such hall & approached a person at the desk. When I stated my business, he asked for my area & then guided me to a particular hall & a particular inspector.


Once again I imagined an old, very irritated person sitting at the desk who would look at you like you were from another planet, may be find something missing among the documents & order you to come back again. For some reason dealing with somebody from the administration is always thought of on these lines.  But it was not so. The person I met looked very officer like, had a nice clean & orderly desk. He took a good look at the application I had filled up & asked for the fees. How much I asked? Thousand two fifty he said. And went on to write a receipt for Rs 300. I was actually glad it was only that much & not more.


I had started to converse in Kannada but he spoke to me in English & good fluent English at that. When he handed me the certificate it was handwritten & it was in Kannada He said I should display the certificate in the office & then he went on to list all the other documents I had to maintain. And finally he said, ‘once a year you should visit this office & uhhh…..have a give take policy with this office’. I nodded an OK & asked him the renewal details & occasions when we had to update the office which very strangely he explained in much detail.


All of this took about fifteen minutes. Lucky or what?

3 Comments so far

  1. radman on July 12th, 2008 @ 4:33 am

    wow, a 300% bribe, seems a bit steep. sounds like you found an efficient and corrupt officer, how refreshing…

    thanks for the story

  2. Deponti (bglr_deepa) on July 15th, 2008 @ 10:40 am

    Well….corrupt and efficient has got to be better than corrupt and inefficient, which is what we face most of the time! Thanks for an interesting post.

  3. wonk on July 16th, 2008 @ 6:30 pm

    You must be starting some small business if it’s only Rs. 300 fee. If it had been for a bigger setup, you would have been hit for a lot more money.

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