My friend and ex colleague Balu, whom I have had the privilege of knowing for the past almost half a century, recently sent an interesting article on the brains of ageing persons in our WhatsApp group. For those interested, the article can be read here.
After reading that, I couldn’t resist a response – “Balu, it is all very well for people with brains. Totally useless for someone like me without a brain.”
Balu, being Balu and not one to leave matters hanging in the air, responded – “It is four much.”
That frankly stumped me for a while. Since I have already claimed that I don’t have a brain, and in reality, one that works like a tubelight, it dawned on me that it is a double superlative of “too much”. On further enquiry, I find that it is quite common but, something that came for the first time to me.
I doffed my topi to Balu and responded with this quote.
One aspect of WhatsApp is getting unsolicited motivational quotes from well wisher friends who think that sharing such messages would make the bonds stronger. I get more than enough of them to get frustrated at times. There are however times when synchronicity seems to come into play and today is one such day when I received two messages in succession. I reproduce them here without comment as they are both self explanatory.
Wisewebwoman has this hilarious post up which I strongly recommend to my readers.
I quote one paragraph from that post – “And if you’re a man reading this, imagine binding up your dangly bits in wire and rigid satin and teetering around in six inch (or any inch) heels. And thrusting all of yourself outwards in enticement. How long would you last?”
While this made me laugh out aloud, it also took me back to my first job as a salesman and a very wise old man who was my Supervisor, coach and mentor. He gave me a great deal of advice and I benefited from all of them but among them, there was one particular piece of advise that I not only followed all my life and continue to do, but also something that I passed on to many young men who too were starting their lives as Field Salesmen.
That advise was to wear comfortable underwear and footwear. These two important pieces of a man’s attire made all the difference while on field work which involved a lot of walking, commuting by bus and train and also often talking to customers while standing in crowded shops / offices etc. And, I am talking about the days when the fashion was to wear tight fitting trousers called drainpipes and pointed shoes. You can well imagine how uncomfortable it would have been with ill fitting underwear and shoes!
In my blog post yesterday, I had included a video clip of an interview with Kevin O’Leary of The Shark Tank fame. In that interview, towards the end, O’Leary justified the student continuing to study to get his Engineering degree and he adds that getting the Engineers’ Ring is a much desired thing among Engineers.
This one statement took me back to 1966 when I had to work in an Engineering Firm in Mumbai during my summer vacation as an intern for eight weeks as part of the requirement for my MBA degree.
In that firm, I was attached to an Engineer as my mentor who had a ring on his finger about which I was curious but, considering his formidable position and my own need to be on his good books to get a favourable report about my internship, I had kept quiet till the very last day of my internship.
The last day finally arrived and during my exit interview he asked me if I had any questions and I asked him about the ring. He smiled and explained that it was a ring that he had acquired in the USA having qualified as an Engineer there. I thought it was weird as I had not heard anything similar anywhere else but, kept the information to myself.
Yesterday I started reading a book which was gifted to me by a friend and a statement caught my eye. “A Professor in a School of Management who has written a book on Decision Making, was offered positions in four different organisations and consulted a friend on which one to choose. The friend smiled and said, “Why ask me? You have written a book on Decision Making.” The Professor responds, “But, this is real life!”.
As it happens so often in my life two things happened one after the other after having read that little vignette.
A class mate from Business School is visiting Pune and, my two classmates residing now in Pune and I met up with him over tea at my club last evening. During the conversations, we naturally talked about our two years at the school and some of the faculty members.
Some Alumni have collected funds for instituting an annual award and the visiting friend suggested to a local friend, an academic, that he should suggest a criteria to decide on awarding a gold medal to an alumnus. This led to some hilarious discussions on decision making and naturally no conclusion could be arrived at.
This morning I received a clip via WhatsApp which led me to an interview with Kevin O’Leary of Shark Tank fame, which too talks about decision making which I am sure will amuse as well as rile some readers.