“When are you going back, Granny?” my youngest daughter asked my Mom as soon as she arrived for a stay with us.
“Never!” my Mom retorted, still reeling from shock over the question as she was yet to put her bags down.
“OMG!” my little girl said in disbelief as she quickly took off for her evening playing time.
“Both of you started off so soon already?” my wife asked my Mom as she tried her best to shrug off our embarrassment. In India we are supposed to welcome our Mother in Laws 🙂
Yes, my Mom is my little girl’s ‘pet hate’; the same can’t be said for my Mom, though; we know she enjoys provoking my youngest purely for fun.
The family takes pleasure in the endless hours of entertainment provided by this pair whenever they get into conversations; sparks fly, no less! I particularly enjoy watching the expressions on my daughter’s face when my mom speaks to her as I can literally see my daughter thinking of sarcastic comebacks
More dramatic and evident pet hates, however, can be found in the office. It is inevitable that we just know who can’t get along with whom at the workplace.
Let me give you the most obvious example – before X can even end a conversation, Y is already giving a smile of disapproval or ready to brandish her sword for an immediate verbal attack. And most times when there is a need for consensus on projects, X won’t agree to Y’s idea (and vice versa) which results in the rest of us circling around in disagreement just because these pet hates can’t see eye to eye for personal reasons! While pet hates can provide ample tea break entertainment at the workplace, it can be disastrous to the well-being of an organization as it creates pockets of opposing parties. This can go from bad to worse if the pet hates are in leadership positions and their followers fall in line with them!
In every organization I’ve worked for, there was always somebody I hated which I’m sure was evident to others. I recall Yuvraj who’s every email which included me will have me replying not only in the negative but laced with sarcasm as I roped in everyone by “Reply All”. Looking back, I know that my replies must have been a great source of amusement to those who were in the email loop.
I was so preoccupied with Yuvraj that I have no qualms going the extra mile by getting help from the office’s “prose queen” who used to sit next to me to draft my “special emails” to him. In fact, I did not stop merely at emails. Whenever Yuvraj visited my office, I would intentionally plan for client visits which will take me miles away from him or provide some lame excuses which come off clear as giving him a cold shoulder!
I would openly frown at any new ideas or initiatives which came from him without looking at their merits. Is it a surprise that he aptly reciprocated by terrorizing my reportees in my absence either through emails or calls; most times even name-dropping our common boss? I clearly remember a time when he launched a new technology which had me resisting it straight away as I described it to my team as “bakwas”; sure my team nodded. I failed to notice how we were pitched against each other by the rest in the office simply because they knew we were pet hates!
There are many such names I remember as I write this. Top of the mind at least 8-10. Too private to share :)(I actually typed and deleted them). I am sure all of us desist some of the people we work/worked with and somehow show it in our body language, tone, expressions. Sometimes subtly many times openly depending on the power equations we/they belong to. As much as we might be unaware of the entertainment we provide to others because of our preoccupation with the person, our colleagues surrounding us do pick it up and spread the word to their convenience.
So’ look up now and see around you, I am sure you will be smiling to know the “hate pairs” around you. And I’m sure too that there are others who are smiling right at you knowing of yours!
This feisty one is the inspiration for this piece. I need to take care of her so she is nice to my Mom, in return!