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Raghupati Raja Ram, Sharma ji syndrome etc. etc.

When I was in Mumbai someone had shared a saying that was very popular in Reliance- “Jitna paisa utna kaam, raghupati raghave raja ram.” In our professional lives we come across several situations that when narrated can turn out to be a joke or an incident that continues to be quoted in future as well. I personally consider them as an informal or Desi Dilbert.

Some of these jokes or references are so true that you remember them the moment it is narrated to you, faced with a similar situation and it is uttered. Such references are usually funny and help tone down an otherwise tense situation. Smiles on faces appear immediately those who hear it making them more malleable towards solution proposed for problem in hand. I will not hesitate to claim myself a master of this technique in my office. It has not only made me more friendly to my colleagues but also get the problem addressed. 🙂

Subu (my boss at Jasubhai Digital Media) had once shared an incident about an individual with surname Sharma who was known to create a situation and then solve it to prove his excellence. A term coined by my boss was “Sharma ji Syndrome”. I have adopted it quite well since then. Often, in my current role, I end-up having a situation which is quite tertiary to demand attention. Once you are involved and even before you get to the root of the problem it is addressed by the person who had escalated it. If reprimanded for blowing such small issues out of proportion they end-up justifying the importance of systems and procedures that are to be followed without exception. 

Most of the time I find myself in an awkward situation despite it being obvious that we are addressing a “Sharma ji Syndrome”. But overwhelmed by the reaction of the person we most of the times stop short of terming it a “Sharma ji Syndrome”. To further add to the embarrassment we often clap or announce person’s achievement. 

“PTW” is another term (full form Pretending to work) that I coined when I was in Denave. Again I am honored to take the credit for this very valuable trait that does not find its place in any of the personality assessment scales developed over several decades of research. Often you are faced with people at work place who are busy without having enough work. You may end-up revisiting their KRA to decipher where is the disconnect in your assessment. Finally, it takes some experience and smartness to conclude that the individual in question is a master of “PTW”.

I was lucky to receive a new saying from my friend on Whats App- “Kam Utna hi Karo ki Salary Jaada lage”. Annual appraisal cycle is on and when I shared this with my teammates they looked perplexed at why this is being told to them. Within their minds they were treating this as a signal (principles of Singaling Theory) to validate their expectation on the increment percentage. Some of them told me upfront, “No Sir, please do not say this. We will work hard and deserve a good appraisal this year”. I burst into laughter and that made them even more edgy. Just to comfort them I explained, “This means do work that is on priority and important. Just do not be a PTW.” Does any term exist that can be coined for such a smart interpretation?

“Corporate Slave” that my friend Debraj and I had coined together to define a working professional who complains about being in a rat race but fails to do anything about it. 

Next post will be on Principles of Signaling theory in corporate world… wait please it may take a week.  

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