Do unto others….

(Introduction: “Bachche” is a Hindi word which is equivalent to the English word “child”)

Manager A to Supervisor P, his team-member, on the phone: Bachche, what are you doing?

Supervisor P: Nothing much sir. Clearing up my emails.

Manager A: Can you come over to my workstation please, bachche?

Supervisor P: Of course. Be there right away.

Manager B, who was with Manager A when he spoke to the Supervisor, to Manager A: What are you doing? That’s no way to talk to a person, even if he is your team-member. Show him some professional respect at least.

Manager A: What do you mean? Of course I showed him respect. Did I not say “can you come over….please?”

Manager B: Not that. I mean you called him “bachche”. Isn’t it derogatory, calling him a child? After all, this is a professional relationship. And he is a qualified professional in a different role. Him reporting to you does not mean you should not show him professional courtesy.

Manager A: Don’t worry mate, you don’t understand. He likes it. It is like a term of endearment. He knows I am his senior, more qualified, more capable, hence he is happy to have me call him “bachche”. I think you should try it with your team-members. They will like it.

Thirty minutes later

The phone on Manager A’s workstation rings. Manager B is still with him as they were working on an issue together. Their common boss, the Senior Manager, is calling.

Manager A signals to Manager B to keep quiet by placing a finger on his lips, presses the speakerphone button and says: Yes sir?

Senior Manager to Manager A: Bachche, what are you doing?

Manager A: Just finishing the project discussion with Manager B.

Senior Manager: OK. As soon as you finish, can you please come over bachche?

Manager A, a little ruffled: Sure. Be over in ten minutes.

After disconnecting the phone, Manager A says to Manager B in an agitated voice: What does he think of himself? Is this any way to talk to a professional and a colleague? Just because he is senior to me and more qualified does not mean he can treat me this way. He needs to learn how to conduct himself professionally.

Manager B: But what did he say? I heard him on the speakerphone. I don’t think he said anything offensive.

Manager: Didn’t you hear him call me “bachche”?

4 thoughts on “Do unto others….

  1. One more is “my” ————-. “My” assistant, “my” staff, “my manager”, “my so & so”. Come on the proponents of “my”, nothing is yours. Get real.

  2. Excellent observation Nauti. We lose individuality and start believing that our only identity is that as an employee of the company we work for. While great for the corporation, I am not sure if it is good for the individual. Thanks also for this thought for a future post.

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