Articles for September 2007

Warning: If you're different, you could lose your job

I read an article where Amrit Lalji was sacked for wearing a nose stud by Eurest. This is ridiculous! What in the world is offensive about a nose stud? Or are employees not supposed to have any individuality at all?

Are people fired about earrings? Or high heels? Or folding their kerchiefs in a certain way? I can understand how a person could be offensive if she was supposed to be part of the service to VIP customers and dissolve into the background and suddenly coloured her hair purple and kind of defeated the entire purpose of unobtrusive service.

But a tiny nose stud? I mean, her face already has to be noticed for anyone to see that its there. Or should she be removing her face as well if she is stunningly beautiful? This is total nonsense and a prime example of how too much of “uniformization” can make an organization totally blind to any objectivity or sense of proportion in their actions.

I can understand bad service being an issue, or if a customer complains about how the nose stud is offensive, if it is really that noticeable, though I would ask the customer to quit staring at the staff and use the services. Are people in big positions in big organizations really all that idle to be creating issues out of personal presentation to such extents, where it is not even about aesthetics, but simple nitpicking? Who cares if a service staff wears a small nose stud because she likes it?

Just create clones for people. They should walk, talk look the same. And then, speak with pride how your organization appreciates individuality (but of course, not on the job). I wonder what comes next – firing left-handed people?

On the flip side, I find it really bizarre that the woman defends her nose stud with her religious beliefs. I think making a statement out of religion is fashion. Particularly if it breaks rules. But if that’s how the way things are, I would have fired the woman, not for wearing a nose stud, but for bringing a religious connotation into her professional image, considering that she is interacting on behalf of the company.

Honestly, I don’t even have anything about the religious image, but if that is the significance of the nose ring and such an immediate consideration rather than her right to wear what she wants, she’s probably going to explain the religious significance to any customer who comments on it too, which in my opinion gets personal, and emphasizes the difference between the organization and their clients, which could be perceived as a gap by a client and be harmful for PR.

So, coming full circle, I’m happy that she got fired, but I don’t agree with the reasons.

Indian worker sacked for wearing nose stud at Heathrow Airport-Indians Abroad-The Times of India

Jealousy – the engrossing occupation

Whoever said that nice people aren’t jealous was lying. Everyone is jealous. So am I. Each time I see someone have something I’d like to have…… there I go.

Do you have a perfect nose? Loads of money? Are a computer whizz? A whacky, funny creature? The perfect figure?

I want it all. And more.

This blog is me being candid and you guys can read and polish your halos and say how you are above such petty feelings.

And if you’re jealous of me for having the guts to come out and say it…….? 😛

Identifying goals

This one is not as easy as it sounds. Pay attention, because it may be one of the most important things you read in your life.

What is it that you really want?

Take a pen and paper, or open notepad and scribble. Write down everything that you want in life. Don’t worry about how much is possible or not, or contradicting other things you want…… just list everything that occurs to you without “editing” it. We will not be editing it at all – ever. We will simply be organizing it.

Sounds impossible? Don’t bother about that. Right now, work on that list. Make that list something that will have your life totally “sorted out”.

Bookmark this page, or simply minimize this window and don’t move ahead of this for the next hour. Ideally, don’t even read ahead until then. Keep working on that list until sated, and do something else for an hour.

Great. Now, I assume you’re back after honestly spending that hour elsewhere.

Open that list and take a fresh sheet of paper, or open another blank document.

I want you to move items on that list up or down, depending on how important/urgent they are. Again, don’t worry about the possible or not. Ideas of possible and impossible change.

Juggle around with this list. Look at it in different ways. If you’re serious about this, I’ll recommend creating versions of this list based on a variety of factors – urgency, ease/difficulty of achieving, sets of items related with each other, and so on. Heck, why not, even create one based on how possible or impossible they seem (though ease and difficulty may address that).

Now, come back to the original list based on importance or urgency and pick up the first couple of items on that list and see where they stand on the others.

These few items are where most of your conscious efforts are going to be directed. Keep coming to this blog to find out how to deal with them individually, but suffice it to say for now, keep them in focus always. Print those lists out or take those papers and staple them together and stick them on top of your fridge or computer monitor, where they will be staring right back at you.

Why? Because they are a part of your life. In fact, this lack is an important influence on your life. It is your dissatisfaction and we are planning on turning this into motivation. For this to happen, it is important that you stop running away from them when you can and being overwhelmed when you can’t, and learn to be comfortable looking at them enough to be addressing them as the time comes.

In the coming posts, I will be dealing with very common items on people’s lists and seeing how they can be managed. It will not be easy, but its not particularly tough either. In the meanwhile, if you think there is any particular “item” you’d like me to address, feel free to drop in a comment, and I’ll give it a shot.

What makes me certain that this works – its what I’ve always been doing, and I have managed to create a life for myself where I am not highly educated, I’ve never had a job, and have changed professions too often to have “stable earnings” in any one, yet, I have never lacked for money (earnings, not inheritance), am a respected professional, and have achievements, sources of income in multiple fields, and a happy family life (well, as happy as chaos can get). I have never earned money from anything I don’t like to do, and I never have to land up anywhere for work that I don’t want to go. Do I sound like I know what I’m talking about?

What is this independence?

We all are dependent on something or the other, so what is this big deal about becoming independent? It is about being responsible for ourselves. For some it may mean moving out of the parents house and surviving on their own. For others it may be about paying off education loans and moving on to professional lives. For still others it could be about getting rid of jobs we don’t like and becoming free, but still surviving comfortably.

Some facts remain common:

  1. Financial independence
  2. Having sufficient time
  3. Having the freedom to work toward dreams rather than survival
  4. Having a nest egg of money for emergencies
  5. being happy with the way life is working out.

This blog is chiefly about how to go about acheiving this elusive goal. About overcoming perceived handicaps and going around them, when there is no direct over coming possible.

Its about trusting our strengths and being aware of our weaknesses.

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