The 1st time I took a flight on an A380 it was exciting due to the huge publicity it received for being a double decker flight and whatever else that came with it. As soon as I boarded the flight, I had double whammy disappointments – I wasn’t booked a window seat (my preference while flying) and I was seated next to the lavatory! The 2nd experience was linked to my flight from KL to Chennai when I was seated next to Neha Dhupia!
Now, how do you think I responded on both these occasions? For the 1st, I messaged my admin guy and chastised him for the lack of planning/attention to my travel; and for the 2nd, I called my wife with great enthusiasm to tell her about the 4 hour blushing flight!
In the last few years of work travels, I have been checked into swanky hotel rooms; picked-up and dropped off in time by courteous drivers to ensure I never had to miss my weekend flights back home. In retrospective, I must have taken some 350 plus flights over the past 5 years and I haven’t missed a single flight! I don’t recall being appreciative of this fact but strangely I can somehow recall a few faux paus:
- the driver or the pick-up failed to turn up or turned up late; resulting in me having to book a pre-paid taxi and rushing through departure;
- I wasn’t web-checked few times; hence was “forced” to endure a middle seat for a long-haul flight;
- My Indian vegetarian meal wasn’t booked on an international flight and I had to eat salads;
Statistically, the trivial misses would have been a mere 10-12 times against 350+ experiences. And on the occasions when something went wrong, I never failed to send sarcastic messages to my EA and/or admin person. But I somehow don’t recall having ever sent a “thank you” text or saying “thank you” on my return for a job well done! I don’t know why!
I could go on and on. There have been many times when I had developed a headache, fever, tooth ache, eye itches only to have my support staff arranged for the requisite medication in a timely and efficient manner, even if it was in in another city. Hmm… if I need such services closer to home, I would need to teleport myself back to my Mom’s place some 15 years back as my wife will certainly not tolerate these! 🙂
Why are we so “thankless” to our admin staff when few unintentional misses come our way especially when we are fully aware a large number of these misgivings are either our very own doing or beyond their control?
Once, an admin person told me, “Observe how Nithin speaks to any one of the admin staff.” Hence, out of curiosity, I came early to work the following day and chose to read the newspaper at the reception area. My colleague Nithin walked in and almost immediately begin to “bark” at the security guard as another colleagues had his (Nithin’s) parking slot; he then went up to the receptionist and gave her a mouthful for the cab service he received the previous day! (Instead of Indigo he got an Indica). As soon as he saw me, his tone changed to all warmth and respect and in that split second I got to see my best sales guy in his best ‘mono-act’!
I’m sure you witness colleagues who treat our support staff with scant respect on a daily basis; not empathising the fact that they manage some of the most sensitive and important support we need like getting in the lunch boxes on time; looking after our security; filtering us from people we don’t want to meet; and helping us reach our destinations in comfort.
Think of these very people whose support makes us thrive at work – the security team; office boys, our EAs and admin staff – and to whom we failed to reciprocate in kind. So many times I haven’t acknowledged their good work and sounded thankless by my acts. I don’t know why I could not think of my ‘thankless’ acts earlier!
Our baggage is so heavy that we can’t lift ourselves to say “Thank You”!