Workers and shirkers : The Tribune India

Workers and shirkers

Workers and shirkers

Picture for representational purpose only.



Bhartendu Sood

According to NR Narayana Murthy, ‘Progress is often equal to the difference between mind and mindset.’ This was aptly illustrated during my trip to Europe. Accompanied by my wife, I was travelling from Cesky Krumlov to Prague in the Czech Republic by FlixBus. The bus had no conductor, only the driver. First, he checked the tickets of the passengers who had booked online; then, he issued the tickets to those who had no booking but could be given available seats. Thereafter, he got the luggage placed in the luggage chamber on one side of the bus. He would open the chamber, set the luggage right and then shut it. On its way, the bus had five halts and every time he got down from the driver’s seat to handle the luggage of passengers who got down or boarded the bus. At no point did I observe a frown on his face or rudeness in his behaviour.

In the hotels we stayed, invariably there would be only one person at the reception who would handle everything — no assistant whom he could give orders to. If a photocopy had to be done, he would do it himself. Cleaning his workplace was entirely his responsibility. After a week or so, I was convinced that people like him were physically fit as they preferred to do all their manual work themselves. Most of the ailments start developing because we keep sitting and expect others to do things for us.

After landing back in Delhi, we took a state transport bus for Chandigarh. This bus had a side compartment to keep the luggage. But, as the passengers proceeded to keep their luggage, the conductor made an announcement in a shrill voice, ‘Only those passengers should keep their luggage in the side compartment whose destination is Sector 17 bus stand. I will not open it on the way. I can’t keep coming out again and again.’ There was a separate man to issue the tickets. The only job that the conductor did during the five-hour journey was to have a sumptuous lunch at a dhaba, for which he didn’t have to pay. I wondered whether such state-run deluxe or AC buses really needed a conductor whose salary came from taxpayers’ money.

It’s a pity that our authorities have to take drastic steps, such as using a GPS-based tracking system, to keep a close watch on employees and identify the shirkers. Will it, instead, not be better for us to change our attitude towards work? It is rightly said that nothing can destroy a man but his negative mindset.

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