Driver carefully, Meeting is with MD not Yam Raj !

Driver carefully, Meeting is with MD not Yam Raj !

Despite the daily onslaughts of e-mails, phone calls and memos and recent invention of WhatsApp - where the data and images are quickly transferred within a fraction of second subject to the availability of net work - meetings are still one of the most effective ways that people share and exchange information, get feedback, plan, collaborate and make important decisions for their organizations.
The meetings at the root as well as top level are more important and if done well, they can also be great for building morale and sales in production houses. 

I had observed that meetings are part of service for discussions over finalizing the plans.  Sometimes, these are called with lengthy agenda which could never be discussed in two-three hours meetings.  Moreover, the information asked is already with the headquarter office but they hardly take any trouble to tabulate them to update the data.
I recollect that once a meeting was arranged to discuss the issue of providing more staff to the Reconciliation Cell established in the Accounts Department.  To my surprise, the head of the department before allowing to have discussions over the issue over a meeting, asked the officer to first come up with a noting that your existing staff is inefficient which required creation of Reconciliation Cell so that we may first initiate action against them.  And the meeting was never organized during my more than decades’ stay at the headquarters.
But the incident of attending an emergent meeting in 80s is unforgettable.  The issue of disposal of damage of wheat stocks stored on the open plinths, due to shortage of covered cap storage, was so sensitive when I happen to accompany my boss  to attend the meeting at Chandigarh at dot ten in the morning.    In those days, the technology was not so advanced that the information could be tabulated and prints are taken out.  Each ‘babu’ has to update the data manually and get it typed for presentation. Anyhow, all the required information and data was made available by using the pressure tactics of attending the meeting.
Each district was provided with a jeep for touring and attending meetings with a driver.  The driver was told about attending the meeting on time.  But on way to the journey, I observed that the driver was little conscious than our journeys in the past.  He was driving at high speed and we had been saved twice hitting the opposite vehicle. 
Regardless of having read that defensive driving might seem dull but safety should be paramount consideration on the road but reaching on time at the meeting by us was also equally important.  I too had told the driver that drive in queue and drive at a distance is the only road safety mantra as the accident takes place with a decision in a fraction of second.
Anyhow, we reached on time for the meeting and back home safe.  I cannot forget the words of the boss advising the driver in a casual talk so that he may not mind - “Data Ram, drive carefully, I had to attend the meeting with the Managing Director (MD) and not Yam Raj (YR)”.   But the words of boss  are ringing in my ears for years.


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