This is the story of Sonia who had completed 12th with very good marks (>80%). Although she could not clear engineering entrance exam but she got admission in a very good college (through management quota). She completed engineering with 77% marks and got selected in a reputed company at a decent package.
Everything was good on paper yet she was not able to perform well in the organization. Reason - She lacked "Communication Skills". She did not know how to write emails and how to communicate with different people in different situations. Interestingly, she had scored 85% in communication skills.
To overcome her personality (communication) related issues she joined the best personality development course in the city. It was a three months course where she had more fun than learning.
What she was taught during that course was - "Improve vocabulary", "Improve English speaking", "group discussions", "public speaking" and things mostly related with interviews.
After three months, she was on the same grounds i.e. no developed personality. Reason - Neither she nor her teacher worked on the basics. As a result she did not improve her personality but learned how to speak difficult words and how to speak English with American accent.
Interestingly she learned how to speak with American accent and some bulky words but did not learn basic English Grammar. For example she would struggle when she had to differentiate between 'than' and 'then', 'advise' and 'advice', proper use of articles etc.
In her professional degree course as well, despite her good marks she did not know the basics. Most of us would be surprised to meet a mechanical engineer (B.Tech - 77% marks with 3 years of work experience) who does not know the difference between preventive and predictive maintenance, what are centrifugal pumps and negative/positive suction etc.
No one except the Almighty God or Sonia herself knew how she was able to secure such good marks in the examinations.
Knowledge is seldom an issue in any organization. Issue is "Ego". She had a big big "Ego". When the managers or any seniors tried to teach her or advise her, she would feel humiliated (and not grateful).
Her “Ego” would always remind her, “Look, this fool thinks you don’t know anything. You scored so well in exams and now you are in this company for some reason. He is not helping but insulting you. Don’t pay any respect to him”.
It would almost always happen when someone came forward to advise her. Actually she wanted to be the adviser but the situation was that everyone was advising her. She could not bear that.
Internet is the best supporter for such people.
Internet is helpful but still it can not give answer to many things. She required guidance but she did not want anyone to know that she was being guided. To the world she wanted to pretend as if she was the most knowledgeable person in the world.
Never did she give any credit to those who had ever taught or helped her.
She would just observe how the others around her were reacting to situations, how they were writing emails, making presentation and/or delivering speeches. In that way she was learning from them but silently. Without letting others know.
When she was in doubt and there was none other option but to ask, she would ask indirectly.
Example – In modern offices, generally there is no private space for employees. Everything is open (means anyone can look at your system and listen to whatever you talk to whomsoever). So she would keep an eye (and ears) on what her team member was doing. If required she would ask indirectly.
For an egoist – ‘How would you do this’ is always better than asking, ‘how should I do this’.
The first question seems to be a general inquiry while the second one may disclose that you don’t know ‘this’. And, she never wanted to let anyone know that she didn’t know even “This”.
She thought she was far superior to everyone else but she knew the reality. To overcome this complex, she went for some certification courses which helped her in changing jobs. Changing jobs was also important as the others around her were no fools to not understand her tricks. Her relations with anyone were not long lasting as the clouds do not stay in the sky forever.
Today, after so many years she is more confident than she was on the first day. Many things have changed in her life now. No one is there to question her on her skills. She has changed so many jobs to reach senior management level and handsome salary.
She has observed so many people to learn how to survive. Through Internet and observing others’ writing skills she has learned how to write effective emails.
She is the branch manager now and with time she has learned how to deal with different people.
Technically she is still not very strong (but still does not want others to think that way). So, in those tough times when someone important (and technically stronger person) comes up for a meeting or discussion she prefers one of her team members to be present there so that if anything goes wrong, no one could point fingers at her.
In the worst case, she would change the job!
Her many years of experience has taught her one thing – “Just keep on increasing the total number of years you have worked or what they call ‘keep gaining experience’ in some good companies and a time will come when no one will care about your knowledge and skills”.
Disclaimer: This is purely a work of fiction.
लाभस्तेषां जयस्तेषां कुतस्तेषां पराजयः I येषामिन्दीवरश्यामो हृदयस्थो जनार्दनः II