By Kalu Ndukwe
Combining work and study can be very hectic in itself. One of the things you wouldn’t want to experience however is to contact a colleague in order to get information, but got a sustained cold treatment that leaves you feeling embarrassed and humiliated. This was exactly what happened to a colleague of mine recently. The person and I had met. In the course of our conversation, he told me this story.
“I had completed a draft of my thesis proposal. And in a bit to get an insider information about the situation of things in school, I contacted one of us, who I suppose should be within the school environment, the fellow hooked up but cut the call on me before I could finish saying “Hi, good afternoon “. I called back on the assumption that the call ended due to network problems. But that call was busied. I tried the third time and the receiver busied my call also. Having reasoned that the receiver was busy, I sent an SMS introducing myself and requested to speak with him when he was less busy (this was for formality sake. The person concerned and I have exchanged calls in the past.)
“Days passed and there was neither a return of my calls nor was the SMS acknowledged. Shocked as to what was the problem, I even felt afraid that the person I’m calling may be unwell which could be why I couldn’t get a response. In a bit to know exactly what was the problem, I sent him a whatsapp message requesting an understanding for the unexpected silence. That too was buffed. I couldn’t figure out the meaning of all that crap of a behavior, nor was I able to understand the cause of it.
We’ve never had any quarrel in the past. That’s never happened. I was only shocked to see posts by that fellow in our Class Group handle. And I was like ”So the guy is alright and not too busy anyway? Thank God he’s fine. ” (emphasizing) I hold no brief for him in any way. I don’t give bunks, that’s why I chose to talk about the guy in the anonymous. It’s been over three weeks. I am yet to hear from him. Ain’t even thinking anymore about it though. I had since contacted two other persons, and got a piece of relevant information from them.”
I shared the story with the following note:
It is high time professionals had realized that it is not easy, all the time, to separate professional behavior from personal attitude. At one point or another, any personal attitude that is not nice might really show up in one’s professional life. If this is considered from long term perspective, it will be seen that it might affect one’s career, I am sorry, perhaps negatively. Those who are in a position to make a decision that may influence one’s professional progress are watching everyday. It is not possible to know all the persons who could be in such position. But when such occasion comes it’s very clear that what will be decided about one will be based on what is perceived of one.
For the sake of emphasis, no one has ever lived a day without the input of others in their lives. Nobody has ever achieved anything meaningful without support from others in one way or the other. Every one living today is benefiting from the benevolence of something or someone ( such as Providence, parents, siblings, relatives, friends, bosses or superiors, neighbors and sometimes, even strangers). If you think what you are getting from those is your right, can you have this smart rethink that, it’s equally the right of those benefactors including Providence not to grant your wishes?
Kindness is not always about the big things done than the little gestures overlooked. If you have followed the story carefully, you’d have realised that what made that experience ugly for the dude was not that he couldn’t get the information he needed. What made that experience a “bad day” for him was that he felt demeaned by the embarrassing manner he was treated by a colleague. To me, that unsavoury handling was seriously uncalled for. His pain and sense of loss was that after spending moments of his time to make those calls, send those messages, he got crap in return.
My point is that wherever we may be, may we always bear in mind that those who shy away from act of humanity are making themselves ungrateful people. Ungrateful because they expect favor from others but shy away from offering good gestures to other people. Isn’t that unfair? And may we please remember that if we have any personal reason why we’re unable to do something nice for someone, may we find a polite way to tell the person to try elsewhere.
The following day, there was an apology!