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Pitfalls of judging a book by its cover

Of the cuff remarks, sweeping statements about colleagues are often made by some in society, particularly in the workplace.

Published: 01st May 2017 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st May 2017 12:23 AM   |  A+A-

Of the cuff remarks, sweeping statements about colleagues are often made by some in society, particularly in the workplace. Unfortunately, this group with a glib tongue is quite popular going by the number of supporters they have and the number of laughs they can draw from those present. Those not toeing their line of thought are most likely to be targeted. Someone sporting a base model of a mobile could be labelled a miser just because he does not carry a smart phone, even though the existing gadget adequately serves the purpose of communicating. Not joining for kitty parties may be another ground for calling someone a sissy or a ‘kid’.

How much such comments can hurt the individual concerned is seldom considered by the loudmouthed commentators who do not realise that they may be humbled any moment by circumstances.
Much depends on the environment in which people grow up or their personal experiences in life. There are people who prefer to maintain a low profile. There will not be any show of excitement on their face even on occasions when they have got the much coveted promotion in the office, amidst stiff competition. Probably such people would like the initial euphoria to die down and not exult in excitement, in the process hurting those who have not been successful.

A friend of mine was branded an introvert by some of his colleagues in the office. His company organized a three day get away to a beach resort as part of its annual feature. The employees had a whale of time with liquor flowing freely and high cholesterol food available in plenty.  My friend being a teetotaller and a staunch vegetarian chose to abstain from the revelry. He became the butt of all their jokes. All their taunts that he was no longer a kid and must not have any reservations on such occasions fell on deaf ears. His stubbornness only grew to stick to his principles.

Recently, my friend and his colleagues had an invite to attend a star-studded function in the city. They were well behind schedule while leaving office but hoped to make it up while driving in the car. At the gates, they quietly left behind my friend under the pretext that there wasn’t space for him and he would be comfortable travelling in a public transport as usual. At the venue, my friend could not spot his colleagues. As there was an overwhelming response, the organizers chose to close the gates. My friend had the last laugh on learning that his colleagues had made it to the venue but missed the function losing out on precious time searching for parking space.

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