Compliment and Contribute

-Commander VK Jaitly

What is the simplest formula to help any organisation upgrade which you love? But you are not a part of that organization. However, you use their services or products. There could be many answers to this question. Many times, I come across a lot of friends in India as well as Indians who have settled abroad and carry the tag of NRIs very boldly. I have seen many of them criticizing India, Indian systems, Indian government, Indian schools, colleges, universities, Indian political parties, Indian Railways and even Indian culture. Though they are Indian in every respect including their eating habits, they do stand in Saavdhaan whenever National Anthem ‘Jan Gan Man’ or ‘Vande Matram’ is played. They claim that they love their country as well. But somehow they are into the habit of criticizing their own country at every opportunity. They feel that this is the way to bring about improvement in the system.

I am of the view that there are problems. Even at our home where we have full control from all angles, there also we can’t eliminate all problems. We may be head of a department or even the top Boss of an organisation, can we ensure that everything happens in an excellent manner and all our subordinates are fully happy? The answer is a BIG NO. Problems will be there. Failures will also be there. We must be able to differentiate between an occasional unintentional failure and a habitual wrong doer. If the intentions are good, then we must support such people by complimenting them for their sincere effort and in fact help them in overcoming their shock due to a failure.

Some people may ask how can one contribute to some Indian organisation as an ordinary citizen of this country? I give you an example of an incident that just happened last week. I was travelling from Madurai to Chennai in Tejas Express. The train was absolutely neat and clean. The platform at Madurai was spick and span and on the way at Thiruchirapalli station too was absolutely clean. The evening tea was very good. Then dinner was also excellent, very delicious and good variety. I decided that I must compliment and appreciate the staff which was providing such delicious dinner and an excellent service. In fact, each steward was having a smiley badge with ‘No Tips Please’ written on them. I asked the boy, who has serving dinner for the suggestion book. The word ‘Suggestion Book’ just shook him and his face became pale and serious immediately. Normally, people write in the suggestion book, when they have a complaint. So, his immediate reaction was “Sir, what happened? May I know the problem?” Poor chap looked scared. I smiled and assured him that everything was too good and I really wanted to record that in their suggestion book. I could still sense some disbelief in his eyes. But then he brought his digital tab to give online suggestions. I was further impressed with Digital India making further inroads. I gave a ranking of 5 out of 5 for most of the things mentioned there. I had no reason to give even one mark less. I was fully satisfied. In the comments box, I further wrote that the staff was very well dressed, very polite and served in a professional manner with a smile and the dinner was too good. I could see a cheerful smile on the face of that boy and I am sure when his supervisors and other seniors would have read it, all of them would have been very happy. According to me, it was a small doze of encouragement so that they keep doing a good job, in fact a better job.

So my request to all my readers is; to get into the habit of appreciating and complimenting whenever you see people doing good jobs. By doing this, you are contributing in improving that organisation even though you are not part of that organisation. This will be your contribution to the society and the nation as a whole.

Another incident happened while I was travelling by Air India last month from Delhi to Chennai. I was reading a book titled “Excellence; How to attain it” by Dr PK Chhonkar. The author of the book is a great friend of mine and very senior to me. He had come personally to my home with his wife despite health problems to present his book duly autographed by him. So it had a special value for me. I was reading this book in the flight. When I reached my guest house at NITTTR at Chennai, I realised that I had forgotten the book inside the aircraft. I felt very bad. Dr PK Chhonkar had requested me to give him some inputs about the book and I had jotted down some points also. But I had lost the book and my hand written remarks too. After 3 days at Chennai when I was to catch the return flight to Delhi again by Air India, I reached the airport about 2 hours before departure of the flight. After getting my boarding pass, I found that there was an Air India counter just next to the checking in area. I went there and met a smart tall gentleman Mr Giridharan. I told him the details about the book that I had left inside the aircraft on so and so date and I was sitting on so and so seat number. Without any hitch, he noted down the details and assured me that I will get the book back. He immediately got into action. I told him the exact name of the book and how it looked like and within 10 minutes, he informed me that a book was found and that it was taken on charge. My eyes sparkled. I was very happy to know that. He asked me the exact time of boarding on my flight to Delhi? I still had about 30 minutes with me but then security check was still pending. The book was probably lying at the Arrival Terminal with someone and we were at Departure Terminal. After sometime, Mr Giridharan told me to move on for Security Check as the boarding was about to start. He assured me that someone is on the way with the book. If it comes before the departure of the flight, the same will be delivered to me inside the aircraft. Otherwise, anyone could collect on my behalf from the Air India counter there.

I was highly impressed with the speed with which Mr Giridharan had taken action and kept on following it. I conveyed my thanks to him for his efforts and presented my book “We Can! We Can!” to him and departed for Security Check. I moved on with some satisfaction but still wondering if the book found was the same one that I had left and whether it will actually reach me. But then, the moment, I boarded the plane and sat on my seat, a young boy came with the book that I had lost. He handed over the book to me, took my signature on a slip as confirmation that I had received the lost item. I heaved a sigh of relief. I was overjoyed. My respect for Air India had jumped many more times in my mind. I immediately sent a WhatsApp message thanking Mr Giridharan for his highly positive and professional approach. I complimented him for the way he helped me. And I was happy that systems work in Air India. There are honest people and they help their customers. They are doing their duty, no doubt. But I feel that it is our duty too to compliment such people whenever there is an opportunity. Such gestures make good organisations great and more and more people are inspired to take the little extra effort and that matters.