Who has not heard of that cliché “The first impression is the best impression”? Not that it has ever been the best impression of me for anyone but it is true that most people who have formed an impression of me at some point in time view me always from that perspective through the rest of their lives. I presume it is true for most people.
I have always striven to give the impression of being inept – well, not that it required any great striving since it is, by and large, true of me. My aversion to work is also a byword among family and friends. It is a great help comes the time when something needs doing and people look for someone to do it. Their eyes sort of slide over me as though I were invisible thereby saving me the chore of ungraciously refusing to do whatever they would have asked me to do.
There is an added advantage. Have you ever seen one of those unfortunate souls who always leap to help people out? If, perchance, one time they fail to do it that is the instance that gets most talked about. “You know, you people always say Vinit is so helpful. It is all drama. That day I wanted him to get me some milk and he refused giving some frivolous excuse about having to go to the hospital to see a friend.” And things like that!
On the other hand, if one time I do something to help someone you can guess how it goes. “You guys have nothing better than to spread bad rumors about people. Suresh is so helpful – he got me a glass of water the moment I entered his house – and you keep saying he is too lazy to do anything.”
It is this habit of reporting only the exceptions that establishes reputations. If you were only to hear party gossip you would get an entirely erroneous impression of a modest and helpful Suresh being calumniated by vicious people while a sly Vinit has managed to hoodwink people into thinking that he was a helpful chap.
Not that it has always been a bed of roses for me. The one day when my office managed to corner me into working for nearly sixteen hours and I came home staggering with exhaustion did I receive any sympathy from my mother and sister? Not that I could notice!
“So, who were you drinking with till this time of the night? Are you not ashamed of coming home staggering like a homeless drunk?”
That was the day I realized that Life is unfair!