Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How did I learn to respect co-workers?

1986 – I was 22 years – Studying

I needed to work to earn some extra income for the family. My first job was at a catering local company as supervisor. Key features of this job were long hours and low pay. But at least I was bringing some extra income to support the needs of my family.

The owner of this company Khurshid Ahmed was a seasoned businessman. He lived in Germany for many years, hence had extensive international exposure. He was my first mentor (although at that time, I did not know the meaning and value this word Mentor carries!)

One evening when I was supervising a major wedding dinner of over 1,000 guests, and was in the middle of usual chaos, I saw a waiter in the pantry, having a chilled cola. My young blood started rushing toward my head – I pulled him aside and shouted “what the hell are you doing here, dinner is being served and you are enjoying your cola?” “go back to your position immediately” I said and snatched the pop from him. He slowly walked towards the dinner lounge.

It was a big reception, my mentor was also present and at the time when I was shouting at the waiter, he sneaked in and heard me.

The party went well, customers were happy and waiters got heavy tip. End of story!

Not exactly – next morning, my mentor called me in his office. He offered me chair and also a cup of hot tea. I thought, I must have done a great job and this is the reward of last evening. I was wrong!

I was told that I was awful and I had almost ruined the whole function – Why, what did I do, naturally, I was surprised! My mentor came close to me and said “the waiter you were shouting at was a nice man, otherwise you, me and my partners would have been serving the guests, because with one call from the aggrieved, whole team of waiters could go on strike immediately”!

I was sweating, “sorry”, I said. “I do not need your sorry, you need to say it to that waiter” I was told. Realizing the sensitivity, I went to the pantry, hugged that waiter and said sorry for misbehaving with him last evening.

Matter resolved – But two lessons for me:

1. Control your anger
2. Never misbehave

1 comment:

Mohammad said...

For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness. A very good lesson for us. Thank you Hammad Sahib for sharing your real life experiments with us.