Monday, May 12, 2014

Proverbial cliches?

The problem with people is that they label some things as cliches and think that, therefore, they are useless. A cliche becomes a cliche ONLY because it is true and, thus, you ignore it at your peril.

Take "The Boss is always right", for example. Most people seem to think of it as a joke. Why, the damn thing has morphed into so many humorous sayings like "I am the Boss in this house and I have my wife's permission to say so" and the like. I trace back the stress, that today's subordinates go through, to the fact that they have not understood the absolute validity of this saying.

Your boss may be the biggest fool ever born and with a capacity to be unerringly wrong. But, if you point out his errors every time, there is certainly a bigger fool in the office than your Boss - YOU! I have heard a lot of people - bosses - say that they understand the value of adverse criticism. They may even be honest about it BUT I have never yet heard anyone tell me, with any conviction, that they liked the person handing it out. Your advice may - I repeat, MAY - be valued but, rest assured, YOU will be disliked and, sooner or later, will face the fate worse than death - acquiring the reputation of 'not being a team player'. SO - start the day with this mantra - The Boss is always right - and, if he is wrong, let him discover it himself. You do not need to act the retriever dog for him - well you can if you are only finding his socks or hanky but not his faults.

"Squeaking wheels get oiled", everyone shrieks and goes off into peals of laughter. Then they go out into the wide world and think hard work will get them rewards. The problem, there, is that employers tend to think 'Work is its own reward' and end up handing out more work to these sterling folks. If you need oil, by God, you need to tell them that you need oil (Do not forget that, in most places, you also need to be a wheel and not merely a squeaker). Keep laughing at the 'Squeaking wheels get oiled' business AND you will soon be moaning around about "If you pay peanuts, you will get only monkeys", not realizing that THAT is exactly what your employer thinks you are, and also that they are perfectly happy with 'performing' monkeys.

Of course, you can always say "When the going gets tough, the tough get going", after you find your office becoming a tough place to work in. Well, the wise also 'get going' - AWAY! One more of the cliches that you ought never to ignore is that 'The first impression is the best impression'. It takes a lot of effort to change this impression of 'not being a team player', if you have been fool enough to create it in the first place, and you are better off trying to make a better first impression elsewhere.

Talking about the wise 'going away', I think it is time to make a rare show of wisdom and bid 'Au Revoir' to this series on proverbs so that you can say, "All is well that ends well'. Or, maybe, all you want to say is "All is well since it has ended"?

14 comments:

  1. In the world of cliches, truth is the biggest casualty, no?

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    1. Of course! We pooh-pooh the truth as 'a mere cliche' and celebrate the rest as wisdom :)

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  2. Another one! :) but once again well thought off and making complete sense! Esp. liked this line *Your advice may - I repeat, MAY - be valued but, rest assured, YOU will be disliked and, sooner or later, will face the fate worse than death * .. It is so damn true I tell you.
    Btw, do get these posts out once in a while, we all need a reality check :)

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    1. I do, Seeta! After all, it was my reality once :)

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  3. "start the day with this mantra - The Boss is always right - and, if he is wrong, let him discover it himself." - So well said, Suresh! And I also like the "get going" part very much...reminds me of someone, a boss I once had who actually used to use this very same expression every time he wanted some work done, of course as per his preference regardless of how the workers felt about that particular work or the way it should be done. And the poor worker could only sigh and say to herself - yes boss, because the boss is always right! :) An enjoyable read!

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    1. Lived that life, though I was lucky in my bosses but did have opportunity to see enough of the other kind. And, God knows, what my subordinates had to say of me :)

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  4. Cliches indeed! One obviously chooses to go by them only depending upon convenience.

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    1. As, indeed, with all words of wisdom and value-systems :)

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  5. yea..in these times, it is always better to blow ur own trumpet, ask for that can of oil....and soak in it or risk being fed peanuts! well said! applause on the curtain fall!!

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    1. Remind me of a cartoon in a Tamil magazine in my youth. Mom shows a guest two prize cups - one little and one gigantic - won by her daughter. Points to the little cup and says,"She won that for singing." Guest asks,"And the big one?" Mom says,"For stopping her singing." :)

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    2. hehehehe..... i have experienced that..... :) i was given an applause when i sang "pal pal dil ke paas" at a gathering...and enthused i sang the whole song.....it was only later that hubby told me that the first applause was meant for me to stop singing!! i even went to the extent of writing about my embarrassment!
      http://titli15081977.blogspot.in/2012/05/my-masters-voice.html

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  6. Cliche bashing has become something of a cliche, but that's once cliche I can support.

    Check this out on Forbes. How many of them do you hear on a daily basis at work?

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericjackson/2012/06/19/89-business-cliches-that-will-get-any-mba-promoted-to-middle-management-and-make-them-totally-useless/

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    1. Too late for me :) I promoted myself right OUT of the corporate world and AM totally useless :)

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