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10 May 2012

Lessons from the Watchman in my office....

Every morning I reach the office parking spot, there is this guard who helps me park my vehicle. 
He is very efficient. I learn a lot from his simple act of helping me park my car.
For example....
First thing he does is that he establishes communication. He knows that when he is standing behind the car guiding me, I can only see him thru the rear mirror. He ensures that I can see him in the rear mirror by asking a simple question, "Saab, can you see me in the mirror?"
Over the few days, I have seen that he uses multiple gestures to help me park effectively. He guides me by motioning with his arms. The length of his wave ('Wave Length') is directly proportional to the distance of my car from the rear wall. If there is a lot of distance, his waves are longer. As my car approaches the rear wall, his waves become shorter and more rapid.
He has a fetish for perfection. He doesn't like if the car is parked at an angle. He wants exact parallel parking, with the car parked parallel and exactly in the middle of the two side lines and just behind the front line. However he knows that he cannot ask me to move forward and back to get the perfect position. So what he does is to ask me go as forward as possible initially. Then with the waves of his arms, he can guide me back, left or right.
With other guards, I occasionally have to go forward and back because I am very near to the car on my right or left. But not with this guard. Once I finish parking and get out, I am very happy with the way 'I' parked my car. The car is equidistant from the cars on both sides. Exactly midway between two parking lines. I am able to open the doors on both sides without much trouble (If at all I face problem, it is because the other car is parked wrong). The front of my car is just behind the line and the rear is about a feet from the wall at the back.
Perfect.....
Lessons that I learn from this person. 
First, Communicate effectively. Ensure that the communication is two way. He does this by the simple question 'Saab, can you see me in the mirror?'.
Second, establish communication guidelines. For example, long wave means that I can reverse faster. Short wave means, reverse slowly and gradually.
Third, take pride in your work. No job is beneath you. Anything you do will make someone happy, sad or angry. Strive to make other person happy.
Four, strive for perfection. This guard is best at it.
Today I will take his photograph and upload the same. I also see that I don't know his name. I will ask him today.
After all, he is my teacher....

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