When I first learnt it from our text books, I thought the term ‘Management’ was all about managing efficiently the vital and scarce resources of the organization – Men, Money, Machines, Markets, Material and such. Well, I, also, thought, that ‘Men’ – people – are the most valuable resources of every organization. When people management is floppy, organizations sink, gradually…

I have, always, believed in this lesson.

I just came back from two banks. One was an old Public-sector bank. Our family has been having three accounts in this bank for close to a quarter century. But, frankly, the staff does not seem interested in bank’s customers, including ones like me. We go there, complete our transactions, mechanically, and come back.  There is a lovely catch line: ‘The Banking Experience’…  I wonder, if that’s only for the dreamy ads made to woe us.
Well, there is this lady peon in this bank. She must be about 40-year old. Her main job is to receive the inward cheques… She has to stamp and return to us the Pay-in-slips. But, I have seen enthusiasm and zest in this lady. She really loves her job and she really cares for the customers... A smile, a greeting… the feeling that she has recognized you… and, above all, even though she is just a ‘peon’ – she is very, very approachable. So, I have seen customers, who cannot read or write, seeking her help – to fill in a deposit slip, to write a cheque or withdrawal slip, even to help them understand how much balance their Pass Books show… I saw, delightfully, the way she was explaining to a woman how much 5,980 was… “Cheh hazaar se bees kum’! The face of the woman on this side of the counter – a bank customer like me – lit up with joy!

When my turn came, I whispered to the helpful woman, that she had brought joy in the heart of a customer… I complimented her for the way she reached out, went that ‘extra step’…

And, I truly meant it.

The next bank I had visited was a well-known Co-operative bank. I rarely visit this bank. There was a sleek drinking-water dispenser. It had three options – cold, hot and normal. As I was struggling to press the button, the young security person came over to help me. It was his familiar territory and not mine. I could have handled it on my own, maybe taking a few seconds more… But, here was a young bank-security-man – whose job was to open and close the door as the customers came in and went out… He saw me, some distance away, and he came on his own to offer me help…

And, he touched me, sir!

After my experience in these two banks, I went to pick some farsan packets at a well-known store. I had picked four large-sized farsan packets. The salesman, who had dressed himself in a smart uniform, placed the packets before me while I paid the amount to the cashier. I knew about the ban on plastic carry-bags and I had not carried a bag with me either… I waited for a few seconds to enquire if they had an alternative. But, neither the owner of the store nor his smartly-dressed sales people and the cashier bothered to read my anxiety… The girl, who was doing the mopping, did. She politely told me, that the store had an alternative cloth-bag which was available for ten rupees per piece. I gladly paid ten bucks and got one… But, I wondered, why it took a mopping girl in the store to do the needful and not the ones who were ‘required’ to!

Maybe, because, the lady peon in the Public-sector bank, the security man in the Co-operative bank and the mopping girl in the farsan store had never read the Management text-books and never heard of that over-hyped phrase -  ‘Human Resource’!

Blessed are the simple souls of an organization – a lady peon, a security man and a mopping girl. For, the ‘Kingdom of Happiness’ really belongs to them!


Pic.: Uttam Ghosh


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