I am known for my spontaneous replies which are mostly funny and intended at lightening up the mood. But and naturally so, it does back-fire occasionally and I end up landing into some not so comfortable situations.
This post is attributed to my tongue-in-cheek experiences which ended up with my foot in mouth. I am reminded of an 80’s Kannada song, “Kshamisi na helodella thamashegagi” (Forgive me, I say things for fun). This song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onopxdz8uo8) is perhaps the most apt one to explain how I have, at times made a funny statement without serious intentions of hurting the person at the receiving end and try hard to get out of it.
One of the earliest incidents happened during my growing up years, when my cousins and I were taken to the family physician for a vaccination in the wake of a Cholera outbreak in Bengalooru. The Doc asked my 2 elderly cousins and I as to who was interested in getting the vaccine first. My mother, who was accompanying us, suggested that I go first. And as the Doc took the syringe and asked me to put my pant down, I told him ‘Doc, I am warning you! Don’t come close’ that instantly left my mom and my cousins dumbstruck. It took some time for my mom to comprehend the situation and with some prodding, I finally agreed to get jabbed, but not without leaving the Doc disturbed. Of course once we returned home, I got treated to a few more ‘injections’ of the pinching kind and word went around in the family about what I said to the Doc. Man!! It was such a revelation then! 🙂
Adolescence passed by, but not without its share of red moments. At college, a lecturer Mr. PN, whom I was very comfortable with, wanted me to actively take part in one of the Comp Science seminars. I was one of the organising committee members and was responsible for logistics. As the days were nearing by for the event, in front of my fellow students, he casually asked me whether the logistics booking were done! Without blinking an eyelid I retorted, “You said, you will give me the advance money! How do you expect me to book without that?” Mr. PN was taken back for a second, but being this calm individual, he took my reaction smilingly and told me “Relax, I shall give you the money right away.”
But once I got into the corporate world, things changed. I knew I couldn’t speak anything and get away. So I started responding rather than reacting. Thankfully the worst has perhaps passed by. But habits die hard, and so a toned-down version of this has still remained.
At onsite, one early morning around 5:00 AM, I got a call from the Helpdesk about a priority issue with the system. Even as I shut the main door to head to the office (about 3 mins by walk), I heard my cell ring. It was Mr. AG, my Manager. I responded casually and mentioned to him that I was enroute the office to resolve the issue but still ended up hearing some strong words from the other end about why the issue was not yet resolved. I decided to ‘pay back’ later and shut my mouth.
Around 10 AM I updated him that the issue was resolved. As typical of a manager, he said “Good that the job is done. Did you have something to eat?” The ‘Scorpio’ in me shot back “Yes, I had some yummy breakfast on phone early this morning!”. And that put things to rest.
Few months down the line when i was set to return to Bengalooru, during the ‘Leaving Do’, he mentioned to the team “NK is an excellent **** blah blah ****. But if you were to tell him something, take him to a room and tell him, ’cause you never know what you may get to hear in return”.