A young boy from a village reached to Bangalore city, an IT Hub, a Silicon city in India. A dream city for persons, who are perusing their career in Information Technology. After graduation, this was the first job he got offered and have no idea, where he is going, where he will stay. With his bag and baggage, he reached a corporate office, with a job offer letter in his hand. Young receptionist welcomes him, by saying a long “Hi…”. They offered him a seat on the reception lounge and told to wait. He was very surprised to see huge beautiful buildings, facilities, and decorations. This was a dream for him which comes true.
While waiting, he realized, that there is something very confusing. Some people saying “Hi”, some people yelling long “Hi…”. Some people were shouting “Hello”. Some people were shaking hands with each other, some giving short hug to each other, some hugs are very long and friendly and some were rubbing cheek to cheek, but only left or right cheek and some are rubbing both cheeks together.
How I came to know all this? Because I was sitting in the same reception and waiting for my client. And that office was a big branded giant and I was an employee there then.
When he shared his thoughts with me, I tried to satisfy him by saying that this is a headquarter of our company and from all over the world, international employees visit here. Every country has a different greeting culture, that’s why he can see a lot of direct verities of greetings gestures.
I was trying to make him satisfied, but a very genuine question took birth in my mind and I was revolving around it to find an honest answer.
Do we exchange our greetings in real nature, nowadays? When was last time our heart met with other’s hearts? Are we habitual to exchange fake smiles to each other? When we smile last time which was real in nature?
I took my office place two months before. One of their office staff is heading to the sales department. Sometimes I got interacted with her. I always found her stressed. She is very ambitious, hardworking, and wholehearted devoted to career. It took no time for me to understand that she was afraid of the loss of a job, she was insecure about her career aspirations. So always try to push herself hard. It seems she is compromising with a lot of things in her life. I never saw a genuine smile on her face. It does not mean she never smiles. She smiles a lot, but I can sense the difference between a cosmetic smile and genuine smiles. Her “Hi” doesn’t have any meaning. Her “Hello”, was always purposeful, like she is looking for more business from you or this is just a formality.
Last week of this month, I had a great experience. We have a musical event on the office premises. I told her something about her favorite Bollywood numbers, which she used to listen some time back. She never expected that information from any stranger. In a surprising voice, she asked me how I knew this.
Deliberately I did not give her answer, something was in my mind at that time, and I was expecting something. And yes, it happened. Before leaving to the office for the day, she glimpsed toward me and laughed for a while, genuine laugh. I can realize after a long time she met with herself like someone found its lost diamond. Memories are golden, precious like a diamond, but we never care for them. But sometimes they give us strength in our life. Past could be bitter or better, in both ways, it has either happiness or learnings.
Point to be noted here is she didn’t smile, she laughed. The smile could be cosmetic, she used to do that with every client, but laugh cannot be forced, it comes spontaneously. There was no corporate burden on her. She really enjoyed the moment. At that moment she was innocent.
The point here is not that. What if she laughed? But the actual point is her laugh was honest to herself. It was innocent. Try to remember, when it happened last time with you.
When mouth speaks, only ears listen. But when heart speaks than heart listens.
We have a very small life. We come here to play a natural game “Journey by Train”. Whose station will come first, the person will get down. Other have more day in life, so their station could be some days ahead. But at last, the journey will come to an end for all. What is wrong in it, if we able to return a smile on a face? A genuine honest moment to live with.
Cosmetic life never lasts long. In the corporate world, we are living a fake life. Nobody knows what is cooking behind the smile. Hardly, you will get any genuine person, else there is no friend and all competitors.
On one of my trips by the reputed airline, I met with an air hostess having long beautiful hairs. They were shining like sunlight. I started a conversation with her. When I heard the truth of conditions to join as the employment of air hostess, I was shocked to hear that one mandatory condition is, if you don’t have dense or beautiful hair, you need to get bald and wear a wig to look more attractive. She was wearing a wig on her hair. In my view, it is a height of compromise. Now if you see a beautiful air hostess with beautiful hairs, be careful.
But why are we compromising a lot? Why we accept becoming a puppet of others? Well, you will say, just for earnings. A fat salary entry, last day of the month, in my bank account forced me to do so.
Somewhat I should agree with you. In the age of competition, if you are getting a job with a fat salary, with a dissatisfied heart, and this seems OK to you then it seems to also OK for me. I am sure, you will easily push your heart down. You will succeed by making your heart understand, that from where you will get money to fulfill its desires.
I know you have a long list, parent’s illness, younger brother studies, younger sister marriage, your marriage and so … on.
Ok, now allow me to add more addition in the same list. When you become a married couple, the birth of your child, then their upbringings, their educations, your own medical file will be prepared by doctors, a big fat file. And one medical file for your partner along with file for your children. Another one more file, if you have more than one child.
Till then, you are still compromising with your job. Before marriage, favorite part of your life was to go to your social media like your LinkedIn account, and click on “Likes” and write comments, where some big funds are exchanging between companies. And the amount was not small, it was always in billion dollars. Your dreams were high. And now high blood pressure comes in dreams.
My question is simple “When you will start living your own life?” After bed rest, or after death.
To get peace of mind, do not rush behind materials, which can give you peace. Just try to find “Peace of Mind”, then all material will start to give you peace.
In this ambiguous world, even emotions are also fake. Let us talk about a live incident that happened to me.
I was in Dubai for a project with my team. We stayed on a five Start Hotel Grand Millennium somewhere near Shykh Zayed Road. It was the last day of stay and we are preparing for checking out. The whole team reached reception. There were two people at the reception, but only one was free at that time. So he quickly started the process.
After checking out completed, he gave the final invoice print out for all of us. One of my colleagues Mr. Ravi saw his invoice and told the receptionist to sign on the invoice. The receptionist told it does not require. But when Ravi insists, again and again, and it turned into a heated argument. I was trying to understand the situation, in between, I heard a sharp and loud voice of the same person, who was telling “Get Lost, I am the owner of the Hotel” and you insist to sign me on this piece of paper.”
The first time I realized that one of the receptionists who was serving us was the owner of the Hotel. I quickly wanted to finish the quarrel, because our flight was scheduled and we were in a foreign country, where laws are stricter and we could not able to get any immediate help if something happens. I quickly calculated everything and rush toward the reception counter. A heated argument was on, and I interrupted swiftly in between and try to stop the quarrel.
As soon as I understand the situation, I got it that Ravi was wrong, it is a computer generated invoice, which does not require any signature. But that was not the situation, where I could convince him. So soon I requested to the owner of the Hotel that there is a misunderstanding. I told him that we knew that you are the owner of this hotel and that’s why there was a bet between me and Ravi that who will bring your autograph. Actually, he is not asking for a signature, he is requesting for your autograph on this piece of paper.
Suddenly the atmosphere changed. Hotel owner started laughing and he given his signature on the invoice immediately and appreciate us for our stay and requested to come again.
I realized the corporate EGO is nothing, but an on or off switch on an electric board. Hotel owners also want to compromise, but he wanted the point, where his ego is to be satisfied. We surrounded by diplomatic, strategic identities, and positions. But hardly will you get any person who becomes your real friend. Your manager will try to ask you about your family problems, but this is part of his job role. He is actually not interested in your family issues, he is looking for how flexible you are to serve the job better.
When I was in on the job, one day I got an email from “Fun Team”. Every Friday the team used to send something to engage the team with some fun activities. In the email there were two similar type of photographs, and we need to find the differences.
As soon as I went through the email body, I responded with “Reply All”, with a comment “It is easy to find fault from others, but it is very difficult to mend”. My Manager Ranganatha Natarajan saw this email and replied back immediately, “I am being paid for that and this was part of my training to find fault from others”. Fair Enough. He was right. Indirectly he accepted that when he is asking any of your personal issues, he does not mean it, it is the part of his duty.
When I resigned from my last company, I got an invitation from the Director HR, to meet her. We never met before. She wanted to have an informal chat, or you can say an exit interview. Our discussion started with the reason for resignation, but soon our discussion moved to other topics a lot about life, society, social issues, and we shared details of life events.
She was genuine, she understands the meaning of life, pain, happiness, and bliss. But I think during 45 minutes of discussion with me, she forgot her position. She became a human from a robot. She realized the difference between slavery and independence.
She started literally weeping, tears were rolling out from her eyes. I offered her tissue papers from the box lying in front of her central table, and I returned to my seat, without sympathizing with her. Because I wanted her to weep. It was good for her to bring out all the suppressed emotions.
After one month I got the information she is no more with the company, not sure, she resigned or she has been sacked. Corporate World has its own calculations. They want robots, not humans.
At last, I request to readers. Recognize yourself, remove your mask, you have one more identity within yourself, same as an innocent child, who wants to live a life without any condition. Bring it in front.
Be master in your skills. You should be perfectionist, ya agreed it will take time. It comes with experience. But no worry, have patience, you will achieve one day.
People should run behind you to take your services, you should not run behind them.
When you will run behind them, definitely you will compromise. Don’t lose faith in yourself. Keep your foot forward with confidence and strong will power.
Say Big No to compromise. Serve with dignity.
Just remember. You are born to WIN.
So preserve your smile the same innocent as the first time you smile, when you saw this world. Yes, your smile is very precious, It is your lost diamond.
Smile on your achievements not on fat bank balance.
You do not need Corporate Makeup Box to wear Corporate Lipstick.
Thanks for reading.
Bye Bye and Take care of you, yourself, families, friends and near dear one
Neeraj Bhatia ( Direct Email ID : email@example.com)