Sunday, November 13, 2005

R e p a r...tea

On my recent trip to South east asia, I was served huge glasses of tea which reminded me of an interesting incident that happened several years ago. My immediate boss was tremendously entrepreneurial( He was to get three cars and six promotions in just one year and go on to a build a mega business of his own) but at that time being at a relatively junior level, he was saddled with a boss who was exactly his opposite and used to impede every major and minor initiative/ issue with “Let’s discuss”. When me and my boss got an opportunity to meet the chairman’s son, he tried to prevail upon him the danger in discussing every minor issue. Observing that he was very upset, the chairman’s son told him ,” Lets discuss this over a cup of tea”. Over tea, my Boss began explaining how things were becoming bureaucratic and stifling with every minor step being impeded with “Let’s discuss” . Then looking at me he said ,” We are not schoolchildren that we cannot take decisions ourselves. Why don’t you say something?” He said this so suddenly that the tea in my mouth almost spilled out. For a moment, I was perplexed. Then I got a bolt from the blue. Addressing the chairman’s son, I blurted out, “ The situation is so bad, sir that even at his Wedding night, he probably did nothing. They probably spent the whole night discussing” Needless to mention, my boss and the Chairman’s son were in splits. Later on I came to know that even the Chairman had a good laugh. That was one heck of a repartee over tea.

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