Call it a weird habit, or a permanent dent of my childhood. I have a penchant for observing people like nobody does. I do not mention it. Nobody knows about it. I always thought it would be something I’d take with me to my grave.
It is my constant need to monitor how people talk to others. My job involves me to always notice it.
So, I have been sitting on a very important chair of my workplace for over a year now. The job involves me to be a stickler for discipline, ensuring that everything goes as per clockwork precision. I need to be constantly on call and alert to the daily functioning of manpower. Maybe just maybe, surrounded by so many people and getting to command them with a bellowing voice got into my head. I had been taking my privileges of an authority for granted. Suddenly overnight, raising my voice and shouting at the slackers seemed perfectly justified in my head. I have also had a temper, but this seemed to be an issue of my desperation to be efficient. I often scolded a few simpletons of office with a nasty sarcasm.
So let me call this victim as X.
X is a simple, soft spoken man who had been in the office for a couple of years for a skill that he was initially not trained for. He is an undoubted idiot. Probably the slowest of his kind, yet better than the others who didn’t manage to make the cut for being worthy enough to do the job.
He had made some royal fuck up that increased my workload by a little over five minutes. Not a big deal. Yet I chose to get after him, probably taking out my own frustration at him, because it felt easy. I didn’t even think about it again and left the office for the day. In the evening when I was going through my contacts on WhatsApp, I saw his display picture with his wife and a very young daughter.
It hit me hard then. The wife and kid probably respected him to the lengths of the universe and back. He was probably an authoritative figure in his house making decisions, the kind who would probably be by their side in hospitals before a difficult surgery. The kind who would be the strong person, lifting a casket, or a pall bearer of a distant sister. The one who would give his parents , wife and his own in-laws the strength to go on, and here I was , belittling someone’s strength. Insulting him and giving him a hard time. I imagined how it would make me feel if his daughter was watching me do it. How crushed she would feel.
Would X take me negatively and go back to only to take the frustration out on his daily phonecall home? Would he snap at his daughter?
Most importantly, would I be able to live with this guilt?
Can’t I find a better way to address people with a firm stance without spoiling their day or hurting their morale ? Isn’t that what a good boss or a leader should be doing?
So, keeping all this in mind, I have promised myself to be respectful of people’s emotions. To make sure that I do not lose my firm stance as a staunch authoritarian yet remain the fulcrum of the organisation who can be counted upon.