A demon called egotism



They say that the flaws you see in others are a reflection of the flaws in your own self. If that is indeed true, it means I'm egoistic and rude. Because honestly, inflated egos and a predilection for rudeness are all I've been witnessing at my workplace lately. Whatever I do, I don't seem to be able to command a healthy level of respect, admiration or even a feeling of being liked. It's a Herculean task for me to get anything accomplished that requires the assistance and/or cooperation of other people. This is why I've always preferred being a solo player. I simply cannot deal with the idiosyncracies of people.

I believe that character quirks have no place at the workplace. Whether you don't like taking orders or being told what to do by a woman, you have to do what is required of you at the workplace. I see smooth talkers having an easy time of it with well-timed jokes and a decent dose of man-to-man inappropriateness. I'm not sure this is a man v/s woman issue but I wonder if my being a relatively young woman has something to do with the fact that men don't seem to want to listen to me, address me by the disrespectful Hindi title 'tu' or feel they have the right to speak to me rudely. Case in point - I asked a designer to align a few lines of text on a page-making software and he flatly told me it couldn't be done. Reality - I managed to do most of it myself; so I knew for a fact that he was merely giving me a hard time.

People have often given me a hard time. Can you then blame for me wanting to shun them whenever I can? I love the people I hold close - the ones who are there for me. I know that strangers have no obligation to you. But as colleagues, don't we have an unwritten requirement for courtesy, teamwork and sincerity? The other day, a pantry boy screamed at me for purportedly using the wrong cup for hot water. He has a system which in my opinion, I have understood. But he still gives me a hard time. A showdown or two later, he still hasn't apologised.

Don't think I haven't noticed that these incidents seem to occur with me most often, though other colleagues have also occasionally faced issues. I know for a fact that I have a hot temper and an ego that rears its head now and then. Ego in itself is merely an affirmation of one's identity but egoism on the other hand brings a fall sense of superiority and alienates one from other people. Trust me, I have tried my best to be humble and respectful whenever I can. But after numerous episodes, I've lost my desire to try. I feel like I should return rudeness with rudeness.

Gandhiji's words - 'an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind' resound in my ears. I know it isn't the right approach. Every morning when I wake up, I reaffirm my commitment to humility, good temper and contentment. But as the day advances, irritations pool within the insides of my head and give me a headache. I am done with this daily routine of dealing with - and then suddenly, someone is nice to me unexpectedly. And everything seems a bit better. I gather the courage to brave another day and another bucketful of temperamental challenges.