August 11th to 15th is a long weekend and I decided to leave Bangalore on August 11th. I booked KSRTC to Coimbatore. The boarding point, St John’s office is few kilometers away from my office in teachers colony. The pickup time was 9:45 PM. I booked Uber pool at 8:35. The first driver handcuffed me to cancel the ride with notorious usual reason - traffic. It took fifteen minutes to find an another car. The driver picked me up at 8:50 and started the vehicle in mushroomed traffic. I sat in the front seat. He asked my destination and reciprocated me about the co-rider pick up point. After battling traffic for fifteen, the driver picked up the second rider. As soon the co-rider stepped in, the driver tapped the unresponsive app on his android phone. The app wasn’t loading the information of the second rider. The loader was rotating in its galactic path. The driver killed the app and opened again. He restarted the app multiple times; nothing happened; finally, he restarted the phone. He started the car, moved few meters and stopped the card and opened the app. As expected, the co-rider information showed up on the screen. We lost 5 to 10 minutes and now the time was 9:15.
Now the driver is on the due to start the second rider trip. He clicked on
Start the trip button. Immediately pop up window appeared with the message
Null == value. I giggled inside, and programmer soul murmured “object type comparison has gone for a toss”. The driver clicked on the button many times with full of hope and anxiety. He drove few meters and again tried to start the trip. The Same error message popped. I was about to say him ”Nothing will change. We are helpless”. He made a wise move; logged out of the app. By this time, I started panicking. But I didn’t show it off and didn’t want to pass it on to him. Meanwhile, I got a call and lasted for 13 minutes. Now the time was close to 9:30. We stopped in front of a signal. He logged into the app and was still fighting with the same issue. He asked me to pull the diary in the door. The co-rider was looking into the app, and nothing was working in our way. He picked up the customer care number from the dairy and passed it on to the other rider. She started calling to customer care. Now the driver lifted the phone lying on his lap and placed on the dashboard.
He asked my destination again to both of us. I said mine and added, “I have a bus catch.” He accelerated the car and picked up the speed. I was worried but at the same time confident, I will get the bus. Only once in last ten trips, KSRTC was on time; other times the bus was behind the schedule by 10 to 60 minutes. I was impatient and asked what will happen to your payment. He gently replied the company would take care of it. While the car was closing the destination gap, the driver asked my payment mode. I replied Paytm and the car stopped in the signal. I requested him to open the door and thanked him and got down. The co-rider was still in the call, waiting to utter the first word in angst. I crossed the road and stood on the footpath and picked up the phone and time was 9:50. The car was still in my sight, and I started to gaze all outstation buses. The bus arrived after 20 minutes and I ran into an old friend too.
Though the error may be simple, the impact is a mental pain and turmoil. These failures panic passengers and the scene is entirely different for different age category and ill health passengers.
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