Cool as an air conditioner.
Since I was little boy a gentleman named ‘Ravi’ used to come to my house usually for any repair work related with our air conditioning units. He has virtually seen me grow up, from strutting around during my baby days to now dressing up in a suit and heading to work. Although I have changed dramatically, he remains the almost the same.
Always smiling, never forgets to have his glass of water after the repairs, very hardworking and great at what he does. A few days back he arrived for his usual repair maintainence work. I greeted him with his first name saying ‘Hi Ravi, long time’. He smiled back saying ‘Yes, how are you and how is work?’. I replied telling him all is fine while being as professional and polite as I could.
I was to leave immediately and told him he could phone me and send me the bill as usual if there was any payment to be made, he nodded and I left.
We spoke later that day about some replacement of valves which needed to be changed. And the day ended as usual.
The next day Mr Ravi came early morning to finish the work and as I opened the door, he immediately told me, ‘Don’t you remember I have been coming to your house since you were a baby in diapers and now you call me straight by my first name?. I don’t like it very much, please call me Ravi Uncle’.
I was taken aback a little but there was nothing to be said. He knew I didn’t mean disrespect and I knew I loved and respected him. It was just this conditioning of the things we are used to sometimes. For example, in my previous company there is a pretty straightforward way of addressing everyone by their first name, and not by calling your boss as sir or second name, etc. It was almost mandated, also in today’s ever changing fast business world everyone pretty much uses the first name while communicating. The ‘Dear Sir’ days are surely over, although there are many places in India where people still address their bosses as sir.
Personally I don’t care if it’s right or wrong. I for sure felt fantastic that Uncle Ravi scolded me and told me straight up what he preferred I call him :)
I guess some things are just simple like that. Don’t like something spill it out. Want to change something change it, Love something? Go and get it.
Thanks Uncle Ravi for keeping it real.
Or as Michael Scott say ‘K.I.S.S’ — Keep it simple stupid.