Emotion: Biggest foe, best friend- 10 July 2012

When Ratna saw Yash for the first time at an executive get-together of the company, she felt impressed. Yash was well-built, and very handsome. He was angry about something and was busy giving a dressing down to a group of people who stood with drooping heads. In the weeks to follow, both of them met several times and got drawn to each other. Both of them were doing well for themselves in the company. And one day, Ratna said a blushing ‘Yes’ to Yash’s proposal.
They made a fine couple. Because of Ratna’s amiable nature, she made many friends in the company and outside. She never faced any problems at work; everybody seemed to like her nature and ways of doing or not doing things. Her seniors were happy with her and the people in the section she headed were pleased to have a boss who understood them well. All the time she looked in control her faint smile never fading away. Empowered by all this, Ratna was making rapid strides in her career.
Things were different, however, for Yash. He was very capable. He knew his job better than others did. For the first few years Yash rose fast on the corporate ladder but seemed to have got stuck in the groove subsequently, in sharp contrast with Ratna.
There never was any doubt about his capabilities. But nobody seemed to appreciate his ways. He was quick to snap at anyone. He did not mind insulting anyone – his seniors, peers, or juniors. Nobody seemed happy with him. As a result, in the very first year after marriage and for the first time in his career, Yash was passed by on the promotion list. He felt slighted and very angry and he walked into his boss’s office to give him a hell.
Incidentally, the boss had gone for a meeting with the President and got spared of the proposed dressing down by Yash. Fuming and fretting, Yash returned to his office, determined that on the very first available opportunity, he would give hell to his boss.
If this had happened to Yash, Ratna had a great story to tell. On the same day, her appraisal was very positive and she was promoted to head a bigger and more important section. She also got a huge raise which surprised even her.
On the way back home in the car, before Ratna could share the good news with her husband, she realised that something was amiss. For, just as he started the engine, Yash started his big and angry outpouring. Everybody was a nut who deserved a kick. The company was going to dogs. The policies did not favour competence. Mediocrity ruled the roost. Appraisals were only a farce……
He went on and on for a long time even after they reached home. Ratna gave him a patient hearing all the while. In those five-six hours before their retired to bed, never did Yash ask her about what happened to her appraisal, but kept fuming and fretting and making dirty phone calls to his friends and colleagues. Her faint smile still intact, Ratna said ‘good night’ and slept soundly while Yash fumed and fretted and tossed and turned in the bed. Well past midnight, he suddenly felt a surge of anger for Ratna who was asleep in such calmness. He shook her awake and let loose his anger at her. ‘She did not feel bad for his plight’, he accused her.
Ratna said calmly, “Yash, please! That is not the case. I am as much pained as you but we will talk tomorrow morning. I also have something important to share with you. But that can wait for tomorrow. Please go to bed. We will solve the problem tomorrow. We will have lots of time since it’s Sunday.”
At breakfast on Sunday, Ratna talked to Yash calmly but without mincing words. She said, “Look Yash, while you got passed by, I got my promotion. You deserved your promotion but spoiled it due to your fragile temper. I got my promotion and that was mostly due to my peer-acceptability and amiability. Last time, I was passed by because there were too many people in the race. But I did not fume and fret. Instead, I extended full cooperation with those who got their promotions. So, I got good appraisal and have gone ahead of those persons. My patience helped me. In contrast, you seem to have no patience. That is your problem.
“Yash, your fragile emotion is your worst enemy, and my strong and stable emotion is my best friend. Okay, you have missed this stage. But never mind. Keep cool, and keep working harder and with calmness. I am glad, you missed the boss yesterday. For, that outburst would have hurt your prospects all the more. When you go to office tomorrow, stay calm and keep doing things as usual.
“The next time, you will reap good harvest of your patience and calmness. Listen to me. I am sure you have a great time ahead.”
For Yash, this straight talk was really an eye-opener. Only time will tell how Yash handles his emotion. But what Ratna told him was an all-time truth but a challenging one.

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