Friday, January 27, 2017

Humor in Uniform – “Rewards” of Office aka Rank Has Its Privileges (RHIP)

Humor in Uniform

A Fictional Spoof

This story happened nearly 20 years ago – when everyone used Personal Computers (PCs) – Laptops were not popular (or probably had not yet made their appearance) – and – Smartphones were non-existent.

In the Navy – though we used PCs in Office – most of us still didn’t own a personal PC at home.

Those days – in relative terms – PCs were quite expensive – and since – the pay you got was quite moderate – you had to apply for a “Personal Computer Advance” (“PC Advance”) for buying a Personal Computer – and – you paid back the advance with interest in instalments deducted from your pay for the next few years.

I had duly applied for the “PC Advance” and – as is usual in the Navy – I was put in the queue – and was patiently awaiting my turn.

One Monday morning – after our customary weekly Meeting – my Boss said to me: “By the way – your PC Advance had been sanctioned – I just saw the letter and cheque in the “Dak Folder” – you can collect it from my PA on your way back…”

“That’s great, Sir…” I said, “I will order the PC today itself…”

“Have you selected which PC to buy…?” my Boss asked me.

“Yes, Sir – I have done an extensive “market survey” and selected the state-of-the-art PC…”

“Which one…?”

I told him the brand and model of the PC which I wanted to buy.

“Oh – I have heard that it the “top of the line” PC in the market right now. But it is quite expensive – isn’t it…?” my Boss said.

“Yes, Sir – that is why I had to take an Advance for buying the PC…” I said.

“When are you going to buy the PC…?” my Boss asked me.

“Today, Sir – in the evening…”

“I will come with you – I need a PC too – and – I think I will buy the same PC – I have some savings in the bank…” my Boss said.

“Sure, Sir…” I said to my Boss.  

But – before I tell you the story further – let me tell that my Boss (a Commodore) was a man of integrity – he was scrupulously honest and upright – a man of principles.

In fact – he was my outgoing Boss – since he was under transfer – and – he would soon take up his new appointment as Commanding Officer of a premier shore establishment (a stone frigate) – a prestigious appointment which was a stepping stone to Flag Rank.

There was another person sitting inside the room – my “New Boss” – another Commodore – who was going to take over from our “Old Boss” – in fact – the Handing-Over/Taking-Over process was already in progress.

The “New Boss” said to my “Old Boss”: “Why are you wasting your money buying a Personal Computer…?”

The “Old Boss” looked surprised – and – he said to the “New Boss”: “Is buying a PC a “waste of money”…? I need a Personal Computer – so – I think it is certainly money well spent…”

“But – you are going as Commanding Officer…” the “New Boss” said.

“That is why I want to buy the PC here in Mumbai before going there. Don’t you think that here – in Mumbai – I will get a better choice rather than in that small place…?” the “Old Boss” said.

“I did not mean that way…” the “New Boss” said.

“Then – what did you mean…?” the “Old Boss” said.

The “New Boss” said to my “Old Boss”: “You are going as Commanding Officer – you just tell your Executive Officer that you want a PC in your house – and – they will put the best PC in your house for your personal use. They will even procure the model you want in case it is not available there…”

The “Old Boss” ignored what the “New Boss” was saying.

In fact – the “Old Boss” turned his face towards me – and he said to me: “I will come to your house around 5:30 in the evening – and – we can go the Computer Showroom from there – is it okay…?”

“Aye, Aye, Sir…” I said.

The “Old Boss” then asked me to take the “New Boss” to my Department and show him around and brief him about the important activities and projects.

On the way – the “New Boss” made a caustic comment about the “Old Boss”: “He is a rigid and dogmatic officer who refuses to avail the perks and privileges of rank. It is “Over-Honest” people like him who make all of us look “Corrupt”…”


In most organizations – especially in the Military – the “compensation” or “rewards” you receive can be divided into 3 categories:

1. Formal – official pay and perks

2. Informal – privileges of rank and position (RHIP = Rank Has Its Privileges)

3. Hidden – opportunities for misuse of rank/position for corrupt practices

Well – “Ethics and Values” differ from person to person.

The “Old Boss” believed that using office items for personal use was tantamount to “misuse of rank/position” and was a corrupt practice (Category 3)

The “New Boss” believed that using office items for personal use was a “Privilege of Rank” and there was nothing wrong about it (Category 2)

Dear Reader: What do you feel…? 

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1. This story is a fictional 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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