A word to bank-employees :
In a training class for the staff of a particular Bank, I asked the participants at the start of question-time, "If you have another chance in life, would you choose Banking for a career?" As one man, the class responded: "Never, Sir, and even if we do so, we would not elect to enter this particular Bank for employment!" The Deputy General Manager (DGM) who had taken the initiative to organise the class was nonplussed at the vehemence of the protest which revealed in unmistakable terms the standing of his organisation with its own employees, until I intervened to explain: "This is the answer I get in all the offices I visit and not merely in Banks. The character of the untrained mind is to remain dissatisfied with the present, the here-and-now, and sigh over the grass on the other side of the river that always appears green!"
A trainee posed a practical difficulty thus: "While clearing a cheque for cash-payment I have to necessarily exercise certain checks but the waiting customers show impatience to the extent of tapping on the counter with their scooter-keys by way of hurrying me. I may be drawing four times the salary of the tapper; and if I am treated like a menial servant, will it not naturally cause resentment in my mind, Sir?"
"That is an occupational hazard of a counter related work. Cannot you seek a transfer to file-work?" I asked him.
"Promotional avenues are more in my present location."
"Well, you want to remain in the Bank and you desire promotion. In that case you must endure the discomforts of counter-work, for it is of your own free choice. Even if you want to improve your present position, you will have to reconcile yourself to it in the first place. Does not a sportsman in a long-jump event run fast before he takes a leap forward? If the ground on which he runs is slushy, would he be able to work up the requisite potential energy which is to be converted to kinetic energy?"
The class was listening with attention and I continued, "Now that you have realised the value of taking responsibility for your present position, I will give you a method to prevent counter-tapping by customers.
"When you enter your Bank on Monday-morning, you are in a state of peace. Resolve then and there that you would retain the peace and take it back with you in the evening, notwithstanding the occupational pin-pricks. For, no interest will be paid by the Bank if you deposit your peace there!
"As you open the counter, introspect and resolve further that out of 40 customers two may show irritation. 'Since I am not responsible for any delay, I do not have to take their temper to heart. Nor will I resent their attitude as they too must be having their own problems and worries. Let them keep their anger to themselves and not infect me with the poison.'
"You will not have sufficient inner strength to maintain this resolve to start with, but persevere. After 10 days you would feel lighter of heart which is a sure indication that you are winning the battle with your own mind.
"Your inner peace is your own property and you should not allow it to be alienated by others whether at home or on the road or in the office. If you thus succeed in keeping your cool for 15 days in a row, you will discover, much to your pleasant surprise, that a sea-change has come over the troublesome customers too. They would somehow feel that they should not tap on your counter since you are doing your best.
"The world is like a mirror. If you scowl into it, the virtual image scowls back at you. When, on the other hand, you smile, the image has no option but to return the compliment.
"While on the subject of counters, let me tell you an
anecdote about Abraham Lincoln, who started life as a shopkeeper. He entered
politics later and when he was contesting for the highest post in the
"Needless to say Douglas lost and