Friday, September 9, 2016

Humour in Uniform – ACR English

Humour in Uniform

A Spoof


The word “unassuming” has a positive connotation.


Modesty is a virtue.

And – for an Officer in the Defence Services – Modesty is considered an “Officer Like Quality” (OLQ).

One of my friends was rendering the Performance Appraisal of an Officer called “XXX.

In the Defence Services the Performance Appraisal Form is called the Annual Confidential Report (ACR).

While filling up the ACR – my friend (the Initiating Officer or IO) wrote in the ‘pen picture’ column:

“…XXX is an unassuming officer…”

My friend was summoned by his boss (the Reviewing Officer or RO).

“There is a mismatch in this ACR – you have given very high points to the officer in performance rating column – but  you have given him an adverse report in the ‘pen picture’ – you have written that – “…XXX is an unassuming officer…” – you better rewrite the ACR – lower the points – and  please get the officer’s signature on the adverse remark...” the boss said.

“Sir – the word ‘unassuming’ – it is not an adverse remark…” my friend said.

“Of course it is an adverse remark – ‘unassuming’ means that he does not ‘assume’ things – well – let me tell you that  officers are supposed to assume things – to take initiative, be innovative, have vision – yes – officers are supposed to be ‘assuming’ – not ‘unassuming’…”

“Sir – being ‘unassuming’ is a positive attribute – ‘unassuming’ means being ‘modest’ – being ‘down-to-earth – ‘humble’ and ‘unpretentious’ – being a ‘gentleman’ – yes being ‘unassuming’ is a gentlemanly trait. Tell me, Sir – Officers are supposed to be gentlemen – aren’t they…?” my friend said.

On hearing this – the boss glared at my friend and said: “Stop bullshitting me…”

“Sir – please ask your staff officer to get a dictionary – I will show you what the word ‘unassuming’ means…” my friend said.

“Are you trying to teach me English…?” the boss said to my friend.

“No – Sir. I am just trying to prove my point that my use of the word ‘unassuming’ is correct and it has a positive connotation...

“Now listen to me – you may know what ‘unassuming’ means – I may understand what ‘unassuming’ means – but will those buggers up there understand…? Let me tell you that if you call the officer ‘unassuming’  it will be considered as an adverse remark  and  this officer will be written off. Do you want to write off this officer – is he so bad – that you want to finish off his career…?” the boss said.

“No – Sir. He is a very good officer…”

“Then please take back this ACR form and write a fresh one – you can replace the word ‘unassuming’ with some standard term like ‘sincere’, ‘hardworking’‘diligent’ etc – which everyone can understand easily – especially the ‘bigwigs’ upstairs” 


Well – there was a time when Proficiency in English was considered an essential “Officer Like Quality” (OLQ) 

But – this is not relevant anymore.

For today’s Defence Officers – a mere working knowledge of English is good enough.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

1. This story is a spoof, satire, 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 stories 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.

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Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Revised repost of my story “FAUJI” ENGLISH posted online by me Vikram Karve earlier in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog on April 19, 2015 at url:

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