Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Kaleidoscopic Santosh - Never Ignore Warning Signs

Santosh was nearing forty but he prided that his hair never turned grey. One fine morning when he woke up he saw two blue hairs.  When he went to brush his teeth, two of his teeth had also turned blue. Funny, he thought. He ignored it thinking it was a temporary color change. Next week, two of his hair and teeth turned violet. The following week, two strands of hair and teeth turned yellow. Now, he was starting to look like a comedian and Santosh was worried. 

He wondered what could be the cause of the color change? But, he was very busy with office work and did not check his daily habits. The color change continued and there was a kaleidoscope of colors in his hair and teeth. One day, his company HR manager called him and questioned him about the color change. "We need multi-talented people, but we can't have multicolored people. We need employees and not jokers in office," the HR guy said. 

Santosh was deeply disturbed about this HR encounter. So, he introspected and started thinking about his daily habits. How and why did the color change happen? He was thinking deeply, and realized that he started taking the train instead of bus. So! There was a small shop in the station with multicolored gems, chocolates, and mithais. Oooops, so he found out his sweet tooth had led to color change. But, what was the remedy he thought?

He met the sweet shop girl the next day and angrily told her about the color change. The girl giggled and laughed out aloud. But, the small girl was a clever businesswoman. She said, you start eating white colored gems and mithai from my stall, then the color will go away from your hair and teeth. So, Santosh got back his original white teeth and the girl made a lot of money. But Santosh's hair turned grey now! And the moral of the story is, never ignore early warning signs. 

Note: In his book "Blink", Malcolm Gladwell talks about 'thin slicing'. Thin slicing refers to the many interactions that happen between two people, organizations and people, and even between a human being and the human body. These thin slices of interactions must be very positive to have a positive outcome. But, if the thin slices are negative, then the end result is negative. So, if a boss talks about firing people every day, he invariably fires atleast one person in a month. If a husband or wife talks about divorce every month, then they invariably end up getting divorced. 

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