Sunday, July 5, 2015

MORALE

MORALE
The Meaning of Morale
By
VIKRAM KARVE

I am sure you have heard of the term MORALE – especially if you are an HR person or a Military Officer. 

But tell me, do you precisely know the meaning of the term MORALE ?

If you google the word MORALE to find out the definition, you will get a plethora of confusing gobbledygook.

The reason is clear – MORALE is an intangible entity which is easy to experience and feel, but which cannot be precisely defined.

So I will say only this.

MORALE comes from 3 factors:

1.    Having an important job to do.

2.    Feeling that you are doing it well.

3.    Receiving recognition for your good work.


That is all there is to it. 

Morale has got nothing to do with money. 

Morale is all about recognition  and the respect which flows from recognition.

Of the 3 R’s of Human Resource Management:

1. REWARD
2. RECOGNITION
3. RESPECT

Reward has got the least to do with Morale

Recognition and Respect contribute much more to raising Morale

So if you want to raise MORALE you must focus on the three points mentioned above and ensure that the employee gets due RECOGNITION and consequential RESPECT.

I will end with a quote by 
General George S. Patton on the importance of Morale:

Wars may be fought with weapons  but they are won by men

It is the spirit of men who follow  and of the man who leads  that gains the victory

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)
     
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

ARE YOU A GOOD HOST – Musings on “Hospitality”

ARE YOU A GOOD HOST ?
Musings on “Hospitality”
By
VIKRAM KARVE

When I was a small boy someone told me a fable.

It was an apocryphal teaching story of an Arab and his Camel.

I remember this insightful fable even today.

Whenever I feel too magnanimous  generous and benevolent, I tell myself this story and I try to apply the “moral of the story” in my life whenever the need arises.

Are you a magnanimous, benevolent and hospitable person?

Then you too need to read the story of the Arab and his Camel.


THE STORY OF THE ARAB AND HIS CAMEL

It was a cold winter night.

An Arab was resting in his tent.

He had tied his Camel outside.

Suddenly his camel peeped inside the tent.

“What is it?” the Arab asked.

“Master, it is very cold outside. Please allow me to put my head inside your tent,” the Camel said.

The kind master took pity on the poor animal and agreed to the camel’s request.

“Okay, put your head inside the tent,” the Arab said to his camel.

The camel put his head inside the tent.

A little later, the camel asked, “Master, my neck feels very cold. Please let me put my neck inside your tent as well.”

Once again the master allowed him to do so.

Next, the camel asked if he could put his forelegs inside the tent.

Once again the compassionate master agreed.

Then the camel wanted to put his chest, then his back, then his hump inside the tent.

The Arab agreed to all this.

This went on and on.

The camel asked, and his master, the Arab, agreed.

Soon the entire camel was completely inside the tent.

But now the tent was too small for both the master and the camel.

They both struggled to remain inside the overcrowded tent.

There was a scuffle and the much stronger and bigger camel pushed his master out of the tent.

Now the Camel slept comfortably in the warm tent while his Master shivered outside in the freezing cold.

Yes, the Arab, the Master, was pushed out of his own tent by his Camel. 


MORAL OF THE STORY

You should be careful before you extend your hospitality lest your guests take undue advantage of your magnanimity and generosity.

This fable teaches us lessons at both the macro as well as micro levels.


MACRO LEVEL MORAL - The Problem of REFUGEES, MIGRANTS and SETTLERS

Let us see a “macro level paradigm” ramification.

Suppose there is a war ravaged or strife torn country where there is so much violence that the life of citizens is in danger.

As a humanitarian gesture, a benevolent neighbouring country may open its borders to allow refugees to come in and live in safety.

Some countries may allow immigration of foreigners as a gesture of goodwill.

In other cases illegal immigrants may enter another country and settle down there.

The “host” country may be charitable not to deport them. 

Many “magnanimous” countries have such “guests”.

Soon the number of these “guests” becomes substantial enough to cause demographic change.

Now like the “Camel” in the story, the “guests” may soon throw out the “host” from his own “tent”.

Even if they don’t evict the “host” out of his own “tent” - these “guests” may make life uncomfortable for the “host” in his own “tent” just like the Camel did to the benevolent and hospitable Arab during the fable before pushing him out of the tent.

Refugees and migrants, legal and illegal, take undue advantage of their host country and start dominating the original inhabitants - and, sometimes, like the camel in the story, these immigrants may even succeed in evicting the original inhabitants from their homeland. 


MICRO LEVEL MORAL - “Guests” who overstay their welcome

At a micro level this can happen in your own home.

I have seen so many “guests” who overstay their welcome and so many who take undue advantage of the magnanimity of their “hosts”.

Let is see a few apocryphal examples.


THE BENEVOLENT HOUSE OWNER AND THE UNGRATEFUL TENANT

I have seen a case where a benevolent big-hearted person rented out his new locked-up house to a friend who was in dire need.

The owner was in a transferable job and served all over India while his friend stayed as a tenant in his house.

Many years later, when the house owner retired and wanted to settle in his own house the ungrateful tenant refused to vacate and the hapless owner had to live on rent in another house.


CUCKOO - STEALING AFFECTIONS - THE MARRIAGE BREAKER “GUEST

I have heard a story, maybe apocryphal, about a guest stealing affections of her host’s husband.

A compassionate caring kind-hearted woman invited a cousin sister to live with her in her home in the city, since her newly arrived cousin sister was finding it difficult to find an accommodation in the city where she had found her first job.

The scheming cousin sister responded by seducing and stealing the woman’s husband.

Finally, the wily cousin sister settled down with the woman’s husband and the hapless kind-hearted woman was turned out of her own house.

Yes, like in the Arab and Camel story, the woman was turned out of her own house (and marriage) by her “guest” - her own cousin sister to whom she had been so magnanimous and hospitable.


LESSON TO BE LEARNT

This fable has a lesson to all of us that you must not be too magnanimous, benevolent and over-generous in extending your hospitality.

Be careful, otherwise there is a danger that you may become a “guest” in your own “home”.

Before you extend your hospitality to anyone, remember the story of the Arab and the Camel.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)
     
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This article was first written by me Vikram Karve 10 years ago in 2005 and posted online earlier in my blogs including at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/03/hospitality.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/10/are-you-magnanimous-benevolent-and.html

SLAM DUNK

SLAM DUNK
Fiction Short Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

“Well – the professional part of the interview is over,” the CEO said to me, “now we will hand you over to Ms. Nina who will ask you some questions.”

There were 3 persons in the interview panel – the CEO – who sat in the centre – opposite me – the ‘Head of HR’ – who sat to the CEO’s right – both elderly gentlemen in their 50’s – and a smart looking woman – around my age – maybe slightly older – in her late 30’s – or maybe early 40’s – who sat to the left of the CEO – and who the CEO had introduced as their ‘Recruitment Consultant’.

For the last one hour – it was the CEO who had asked me most of the questions.

The ‘Head of HR’ just asked me about my qualifications and experience.

The woman had remained silent so far – but she seemed to be observing me carefully during the interview – as I answered the questions put to me by the CEO and ‘HR Head’.

At the beginning of the interview – the CEO had introduced himself and the ‘Head of HR’ – but he had not introduced the woman.

I had thought that she was ‘sitting in’ as a woman observer – just because I was a woman – and the CEO and ‘HR Head’ were both men.

But now – the CEO had introduced her – just her first name – Ms. Nina – and the CEO had said that she was their ‘Recruitment Consultant’.

Ms. Nina smiled at me and said: “Well – as you know – this is a very senior position…”

“Ah – I must interrupt here…” the CEO said to Ms. Nina – then the CEO looked at me – and he said to me: “Let me tell you one thing young lady – if you are sitting here before us today – it is only because of Ms. Nina. Frankly – we did not want someone so young for this senior position – but Ms. Nina insisted on you – and the way you have answered our questions – I feel that she was right.”

“Thank you, Sir,” I said looking at the CEO – then I turned my glance and looked at Ms. Nina and I said to her: “Thank you, Ma’am.”

Ms. Nina smiled at me – then she looked at the CEO and asked him: “Shall I…”

“Oh, Yes,” the CEO said to Ms. Nina.

Then the CEO looked at me and he said: “Thank you for your time, young lady – I think we will now leave you two – Ms. Nina and you – to talk to each other – and we will get on with our work…”

The CEO gestured to the ‘Head of HR’ – and both the CEO and ‘HR Head’ left the room – leaving me alone with Ms. Nina.

Ms. Nina looked into the laptop in front of her – and then she looked at me – and said to me: “Well – as you know – you are being considered for a very senior post – a position of trust…”

“Yes – Ma’am…” I said.

“The ‘Ma’am’ is unnecessary – just call me Nina…” she said.

“Yes…” I said.

“You did not apply for this position – the company invited you for an interview – am I right…?” she said.

“Yes…” I said.

“Well – let me introduce myself – I am a ‘head-hunter’ – and it was me who ‘head-hunted’ you for this top level job…” she said.

“Thanks…” I said.

“I hope you don’t mind if I ask you a few questions of a personal nature…?” she said.

“Personal questions…?” I asked, hesitant.

“Well – you may feel that it is none of our business to probe into your personal life – but – as I said – this is a position of trust – you will have access to sensitive information – company secrets – so to speak – and since I am the person who ‘head-hunted’ you – I feel all the more responsible…” she said.

I remained silent – feeling a bit confused in my mind.

Ms. Nina looked at me and said: “Feel free not to answer any question that you do not wish to answer – or if you want – we can finish the interview right here…”

Ms. Nina spoke these words softly – with a smile on her face.

But the caveat was clear – if I wanted this job – I had to answer all her questions about my personal life.

And – I desperately wanted this job – which would catapult me into the top bracket.

“It’s okay…” I said – feeling a bit self-conscious.

Ms. Nina looked at me and she said: “I can see that you are feeling a bit shy – so I will keep my questions to the bare minimum – okay – I will ask you just one thing – tell me – why are you unmarried…?”

“Excuse me…?” I said, surprised.

“You are unmarried – aren’t you – it says so in the form you filled up just before the interview…”

“Yes…”

“You are 36. You never married…? Or were you…?”

“I never got married…”

“Why didn’t you get married…?”

I remained silent – wondering what to say.

Why was she harping on my marital status?

I felt a bit uncomfortable.

I think Ms. Nina sensed my feelings – so she said to me: “Don’t answer if you do not want to…”

“No – it is okay – for the first few years I wanted to focus on my career – and then – when I felt like getting married – there were no suitable bachelors left…”

“Is it so…? Well – it looks like you have found a suitable boy…”

“Suitable boy…?” I said, taken aback.

Ms. Nina pressed some keys on her laptop – and then she turned around her laptop with the screen facing me.

On the screen was a picture of Arun.

“We did some background checks on you – the customary vetting we do before hiring top level executives – and it seems that you are in a serious relationship with this man…” Ms. Nina said.

“Yes – we are dating each other…” I said.

“Just dating…? The report says that you are cohabiting with him – aren’t you two in a ‘live-in relationship’…?”

“Yes – we live together – whenever possible…”

“Whenever possible…?”

This was getting a bit too much – but I knew – that – if I wanted the job – I had to come clean and tell her everything.

“Let me tell you everything – he is an airline pilot – we met 3 years ago at a party in Delhi – we started seeing each other – and – last year – he moved in with me…”

“He moved in with you…?”

“Oh – it is not exactly like that – he lives with me whenever he is in Delhi on layovers – which he manages quite often – but actually he is based in Mumbai…”

“So that is the reason you want this job – so that you can relocate from Delhi to Mumbai – and ‘move in’ with him permanently – and convert your ‘weekend relationship’ into a full-fledged permanent ‘live-in relationship’…”

“Yes – but the main reason is that I want this job…”

“So – once you ‘move in’ with him permanently – do you intend to get married to him…?”

“Yes – that is the future plan…”

“Future plan…? Tell me – what are you waiting for – isn’t 3 years of dating including one year of intimate ‘live-in relationship’ enough to get to know each other well…?”

I was getting exasperated by her line of questioning – but I kept my cool – and I said to her: “Even if I do get married to him – there is no conflict of interest – I will be working here in FMCG – and he is an airline pilot…”

“That’s true – so you are living with him right now in Mumbai…”

“No – I flew down from Delhi by the morning flight – and I came straight over here – he is not in Mumbai right now – he is flying on a long trip abroad and will be back next week…”

“Oh – but he must be happy about this interview – if you get this job – you two will be in Mumbai together…”

“He doesn’t know about this interview…” I said.

“Really…? That is very surprising. So you keep secrets from each other…?” she asked me.

“Frankly – I did not want raise false hopes and disappoint him if I didn’t get this job…” I said.

“I see…” she said, “but it seems like you are going to get it. So your boyfriend is going to be very happy…”

This conversation was getting more and more exasperating – and I wanted to end it quickly – so I looked at Ms. Nina and I said firmly to her: “I think you have asked me enough about my personal life – and I am sure you are convinced that there is no conflict of interest if I am in a relationship with an airline pilot…”

“Just one last question…” Ms. Nina said.

“Okay…”

“Outwardly this company may appear modern – but the inner culture is quite conservative – and some of the Directors have rather old-fashioned views – so I have been told to specifically ask you this question – ‘Do you intend getting married to this man – Arun – and – if so – when are you two getting married…?’…”

“Yes – we intend getting married – and it is going to be very soon…” I said firmly.

Ms. Nina smiled at me – and then she said to me: “You can’t get married to this man – Arun – I am sorry – but – you cannot marry your boyfriend Arun…”

“Why…?” I said, taken aback.

“Because your ‘lover-boy’ Mr. Arun is already married…” she said.

“What…?” I said, stunned.

Ms. Nina looked at me and delivered her coup de grace – she said to me: “Yes. Arun is a married man. He is married to me. I am Arun’s ‘legally wedded wife’ – and – as of now – I have no intention of divorcing him…” 

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)
     
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Humor in Uniform - NAVY WIVES AT WAR

HUMOUR IN UNIFORM

NAVY WIVES AT WAR
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Our ship reached Kochi (Cochin) after a long exercise sailing.

After a brief halt of 3 days at Kochi  we would be off to Mumbai – our base port.

A few officers from the local units had come on board our ship – and I was delighted to see my coursemate “X”.

“X” invited me home for dinner – and I readily accepted – for I was yearning to eat some good home cooked food – and also have a drink and catch up with “X” – who I was meeting after many years.

At 7 in the evening – “X” came to pick me up – and he took me on his scooter to his home.

There – I noticed that another coursemate of ours – “Y” – was the next-door neighbor of “X”.

“Hey,” I said to “X”: “I didn’t know “Y” lives right next to you. Let’s call him over…”

“No – let’s go in first…” my host “X” said – and he rang the doorbell.

His wife opened the door – and “X” ushered me inside – he made me comfortable and poured me a drink.

While “X” and I sat with our drinks – his wife went inside the kitchen to prepare some small eats and get the dinner ready.

“Hey – how about calling “Y” over…?” I said to “X”.

With unwillingness written all over his face – “X” said to me, “No – let’s not call “Y” here – let’s just the both of us sit together and have a drink ourselves – just you and me.”

I was surprised at the reluctance of “X” to call “Y” over for a drink – after all, we were all coursemates – and – in fact – “X” and “Y” were the best of friends during our Sub Lieutenant’s days – they had even been cabin-mates.

“Okay – I’ll just go across and say ‘Hello’ to “Y” – if you don’t mind,” I said to “X”.

“No – you can meet “Y” some other time – please don’t go to his house now…” “X” said.

I was totally puzzled on hearing this – and seeing the bewilderment on my face  “X” said to me: “Actually “Y” and me are not on talking terms…”

“What…? I cannot believe it…” I said, “You and “Y” were bum chums – you were the best of friends – thick as thieves – what happened – you had a big fight or something?”

“Actually it’s not us – it’s our wives – their relations have become strained to the point of mutual hatred  in fact  they just can’t stand each other – so if you go there to meet “Y” or call him here – my wife will get very angry,” he said.

“That’s sad – your wives – did they have a fight or something…?” I asked.

“You know how these wives are – they had many fights – and now things have gone from bad to worse – and our relations have deteriorated terribly  so we have just stopped talking to each other…” he said.

After dinner – as “X” and I walked towards his scooter – I had a sneaking suspicion that “Y” was watching us from the window of his house.

I felt guilty of not having called on “Y” – so next morning I walked down to his office.

“Y” was most happy to see me after so many years.

“Actually – last evening – I had come over to “X” house for dinner but…” I began to apologize.

“I know…” “Y” said.

“What happened between “X” and you…? You two were the best of friends since your academy days – and now you two are not on talking terms…” I remarked.

“There were some issues – between our wives – and things became pretty ugly – but let’s not talk about it…” “Y” said.

“But we all are coursemates….” I said.

“Please – let’s not discuss it…” he said.

Then “Y” looked at his watch – and he said, “Hey – it’s almost 12 – let’s go to the Command Mess and have some chilled beer.”

When we reached the Mess Bar – I was surprised to see “X” waiting for us – and he greeted “Y” in a most friendly manner.

Over beer – I was amazed to see the bonhomie between “X” and “Y” – as if it were back to the good old wonderful Sub Lieutenant Days.

“Hey – I thought you two were not on talking terms…” I said to “X” and “Y”.

Our wives are not on talking terms…” said both of them – “X” and “Y” – laughing in unison.

Seeing my nonplussed expression  “X” said, “Earlier our wives were the best of friends – so they used to get together and make life hell for us – so we realized that if we wanted to enjoy life – it was best that our wives are daggers drawn with each other – so we ensure that our wives are constantly at war with each other…”

“But how do you manage to do it…?” I asked.

“That’s our trade secret…” “Y” said with a twinkle in his eye.

Then  “Y” said to me: “Come – let’s enjoy our beer – now when I go back home in high spirits – instead of nagging me for drinking too much – my wife will be busy complaining about his wife – and vice versa…”

“Oh so the secret of your good friendship is to ensure that your wives are at war with each other...” I said, enlightened by this inimitable navy wisdom.

“Yes better wives at war  than coursemates at war...” they said in unison. 

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
1. This story is a spoof, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)
     
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

First Posted Online under the title HAPPILY MARRIED COURSEMATES by me