It was a regular Tuesday morning at work. I enter the rest room and see a girl sobbing – the body shake kind of sob. Her friends were trying to calm her down and reason. While I carried on with my business, I couldn’t help be curious. Unfortunately I did not know the local language and could barely pick up a few words – “manager….no respect…very rude…I work so hard…I don’t know…” I hurriedly left the scene not wanting to make the girl conscious.
On my way back to my desk, two things happened – One, memories of my first week at work came flashing by where I was sobbing in the ladies room after some supposedly harsh words were showered (now it just sounds silly). The exact scene enacted in a different city, different language with a different bunch of girls trying to calm me down. The funny thing is today I have no recollection of the person, the content or the girls who were there that day. Its a vague memory.
Two, I was forced to reflect on my professional journey since. How the professional, personal events as well as time has toughened me up. My perspective has changed. Over a period of time I have come to believe that any one perspective cannot shape your day or life be it your supervisor, close friend, classmates, peers, perhaps even family. It is up to you alone to decide the advice/feedback you want to take, and the ones you don’t. I have met so many people in the last six years – with so so many perspectives about right and wrong, about what one should and should not do – all the while projecting their personalities on people around them that I now am quieter, observe well and know better. In the end you need to establish your own standards and stick to them. You are answerable to no one else apart from yourself.
Over the years, I guess one develops a thick skin and sort of grows up, learns to navigate & make the most of the environment – be it work or outside. As I am jolted back to reality by the smell of the huge mug of filter coffee at my desk & the calendar reminder popping up on my screen for a meeting, I hope that the girl in the washroom would also learn with time.