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?