Gaurav, an IIT Engineer and IIM post graduate, worked with a big stock broker firm, since last 3 years at a middle management position. He liked the firm and its progress. Somehow, he did not like his boss (sounds familiar?). He left the job last Monday. Why?
You may be surprised for the reason. But it is worth pondering over…
Last Sunday, his boss, the famous stock broker and founder of the company, was invited to speak at a gathering. Gaurav had helped the boss putting together the presentation and drafting the speech. He also accompanied the boss to the function. Both of them were dressed in heavy formals. During his one-hour speech, the boss paused in between and said “Gaurav, can you get some water?”. Puzzled, Gaurav did not understand how to react, but finally, hesitatingly went and handed him a glass of water. After about half an hour, the boss said again “Gaurav, can you get some water?”. This time, too, he unwillingly obliged.
After that Gaurav was very upset “Is this what I am supposed to do here after IIT-IIM? Can’t he ask for water from somebody else? Asking a manager to get some water? In front of 400 people? And both the times, this man did not even have the courtesy to say Please or Thank you. This is the height of rudeness. I don’t want to work with such thankless people.” The next thing he did after the function was shoot his resignation mail to his boss from his Blackberry.
Of course, telling your middle manager to bring water in such public function is not appropriate and Gaurav had all the reason to feel offended. The boss could have just said “Can I get some water?” and whoever attending to the stage at that function may have arranged for it. By unnecessarily commanding his brilliant assistant to fetch some water for him, he unknowingly offended Gaurav. People do not like to work with those who undermine their self-esteem. As the head of the company, some wisdom and basic level of courtesy is expected. In the absence of that, we may unwittingly lose good team members, for our cultural illiteracy.
In our schools or in our childhood we are taught to say “Please, Sorry, Thank you” promptly and generously at each occasion where it is warranted. These are the basic expressions of courtesy. But, if we forget what we learnt in schools, we may not be able to keep those team members who may have returned from IIT-IIM.