The interview for promotion from Asst Manager to Deputy Manager in that large PSB Bank, was going on that day since 10.00am.The Interview Panel had finished around 10 candidates so far but finishing the interview of the present lady candidate appeared specially challenging to them for one reason.Reason- she would not open her mouth even once,ever since she entered the room 5 minutes back!Till then, the Panel had a good time asking tough questions with ten candidates and enjoying their timid looks ! When Gayathri, the present candidate entered the room, she looked quite confident. Dressed elegantly in a light brown cotton saree, she appeared to be in her mid-thirties. When asked for her name she said ‘Gayathri’promptly. That turned out to be her last and only answer! Something appeared to have taken hold of her tongue and locked it. She looked stunned all the while and wouldn’t answer any question asked by the Panel. I was one of the junior Panel members and I tried to encourage her” Don’t be scared, Madam! Just relax !Be cool and answer.Even if you answer wrong,no problem.” But nothing seemed to work. After a few minutes of her silence, we sent her out.
Now, the Panel had to decide her marks for her ‘performance’ or ‘silence’! The Chairman of the Panel appeared a bit confused .Because of the strict lines of hierarchy ruling in the Panel,no member dared to express any view to Chairman ,on what may be done. Though I was the junior-most Panel member, I dared to open my mouth and said,’Sir,as I am in Personnel Dept,I know her background and abilities….’and told the Chairman , few of her achievements I knew of.I added confidently ‘Had she answered, I am sure she would have got atleast 17marks out of 20.Its my humble view that just because she got stunned,its not fair to deny her her due marks. Anyway,as the Chairman, I leave it to your good selves to decide, Sir!’.
The Chairman appeared pleased with the way I put my views,though I had ignored hierarchy.Surprisingly ,he readily endorsed my views. And you know what happened, Gayathri the ‘mute’ lady ,who did not answer any question, got promoted! All because of one committed member, who wanted to do everything right ! Gayathri might not have known what I did there, but God knows!
Not for promotion, not For Personal Gain But For—-–
If you ask anyone on what drives his life, most probably he would say,’ lots of money, material or recognition by all’ sort of. The danger in working for these worldly masters is that they are quite evasive.They are fleeting.They are not good masters. If the expected fruits of your labor, does not come through, you lose your joy and move fast into depression.But if you work for God,the only dependable Master, you need not bother about the results! You are always right in His eyes.Make God your only Master and be happy always !
My Punishment Transfer
In the institution I worked, there was an unwritten policy of posting righteous officials to known punishment areas. These centers had problems of accommodation, difficult people, scarce water supply etc. I was posted to one such center in Tamil Nadu as my Boss was not’ happy ‘with me. My bosses were never happy with me as I did not ‘work’ for them but worked for God. I chose to say’ No ‘boldly whenever my Boss’ order was not ‘in order’. That is the brief back ground of this punishment transfer.
When my transfer order was handed over to me, I decided to accept the transfer as God’s will, gathered all my luggage and set off towards the place.I engaged a cab from the nearest Railway Station and got down at the Bus Stand in that small town.Let us call the town as ‘Utapur’. It was around 6 p.m in the evening and I sent back the cab after unloading my luggage. I had decided to stay in a lodge there for that night. There was a restaurant seen nearby. I had some light refreshments and asked the owner to show me a good lodge for my night stay. The owner was taken aback and responded” What ?Lodge here? No sir, no lodge available in Utapur!” Then realizing my plight, he set up a table fan in a small room in the upstairs of the restaurant and asked me to spend the night there.
Amidst the mosquito attacks and the sultry weather that night, I took the first ‘official’ decision that night.As a Chief Manager of a major Bank ,I enjoyed huge financial powers.That sultry moment,I decided to find and finance someone in Utapur to construct the first AC Hotel in that town!When I happen to visit Utapur recently,I was happy to find that the hotel I financed is the pioneer among a dozen AC hotels in the town! Had I sulked about my punishment posting,I would have lost this wonderful opportunity to pioneer !Today, I tell my children proudly ’Look,this is what your Dad did that day,thanks to the Lord !’
Turn your Punishment Into A Reward!
All my predecessors who were posted to Utapur spent their days sobbing . Every day they talked about their punishment posting at least once and sobbed. Being a punishment centre, all staff posted there had some delinquency record. Unlike me, they had real instances of delinquency. An armed guard working there was posted there as punishment for ‘ threatening to shoot his Boss ‘in his previous place.When my friends heard about my posting they warned’Better be careful’!. One lady clerk there had allegedly committed a major fraud and Departmental Proceedings were going on against her. The staff union was powerful and enjoyed good liaison with my boss Regional Manager.There were much more problems that I can’t tell you. The choice before me was clear. Sob every day about all the insurmountable problems and spend my tenure in depression or make a difference and turn the punishment centre into a Reward Centre. I decided to be wise .I chose the latter!
We Steal The Lime Light!
I knew that the challenge before me was much more than what it appeared like. For years, the moment any one hears the name of my Branch Utapur, their immediate reaction would be ‘ What the hell did you do? How did you land there?’ I decided in my heart to change this negative image and promote the name to the positive image list.As I took over the administration, I assumed a tough but a ‘just’ administrator image. Co-operative staff were rewarded by me in some way, within my powers and others chided mildly in a language they would understand. Those days STD calls were very expensive and my staff were in the habit of making unauthorized personal calls from my office phone, when I was away. My phone bill touched high amounts exceeding my budgeted levels.Now how do I control this without rubbing my staff ?
I took a bold decision to allow personal calls to my staff,as long as they call in my presence.Even as my staff were enjoying my gesture,the monthly phone bill came down dramatically from around Rs 18,000/=earlier to Rs 3000/=. While I could cut establishment expenditure by Rs 15,000/- my staffs were happy with the free calls. My motivational techniques paid and our unit performance was edging up. Within a year, my Branch reached No 2 position among 75 Branches in my Region! Though my Branch was a Semi-Urban Category, we could out perform top Urban Branches. My Branch moved into Star Performer list attracting Rewards and Recognition. My General Manager honoured me and my family by hosting an all paid 3 day vacation in a villa,along with other Star Performers. Utapur was no more a punishment centre !It moved into a coveted reward centre! All because I worked for a real master ,that is God !Not for money or personal gains! We won so many Medals and Trophies,I got a show-case made for displaying all of them !
Make God Your Master !
Every time I engage a cab, the driver irritates me with lot of questions on how to reach my pick-up point. He does not seem to know places or any landmark I refer to. As a driver,is he not supposed to know places ?Why then he is so disinterested in his work?
We have a cute little puppy. So playful, any one would just love it! But the, Vet Doctor who visited our house, for a vaccine dose, was not interested in the puppy’s playful jumps. He was interested in the fees he was going to grab! Yes, money is his master. So nothing else matters.
The sales-girl in the clothes shop is not interested in showing what I want .The watch-man is not interested in guarding and the teacher is not interested in teaching ! Why ?
Your Master Decides Your Efficiency
In India, right from a construction worker to the top bureaucrat, no one seems to do their work with commitment, perfection and joy. They seem to work when you see them. When you are away, they return to themselves. A biscuit factory in Tamil Nadu had surplus capacity which they leased to foreign company.They imposed a condition that workers should wear gloves during work. The workers agreed but stealthily removed the gloves whenever the Supervisor was away! They sure were not working for God!
Reasons for Chaos Everywhere
Look in any direction in India. You find nothing but utter chaos. The traffic is chaotic. The governance and services are chaotic.We must remember that chaos is a joint effect of failures of all individuals involved in the management. For eg. if there is a chaos in traffic, it represents the combined failure of users, traffic police, road providers etc. If the individual role- players work for God, then there can be perfection only. High court Judge in A.P. caught while copying in exams, An IG of police in Kerala found copying, A High Court Judge in HP suspended for teasing a woman Judge Excise Dept officials in Tiruchi involved in the case of gold missing from Excise Vaults —- a sample of news items of Indian media. How can a High Court Judge dare to copy?
If God is made your Master, God watches all your actions. He knows what is in your heart. He knows the real intention behind all your actions. Your respect for God will never allow you to do anything bad. If every one works for God, every work will be perfect and fall in place. No one will rob his brother. Elder brother will not buy A BMW when his younger brother is starving to death. Mutual concern will rule.Ultimately the nation will prosper!
By Sundar A.S