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15 June 2012

Appreciation paradox....

I was thinking...
Yes, contrary to what you think, I do think sometimes.
For example, just now, I was thinking about the 'appreciation paradox'. I was wondering if we follow double standards when it comes to appreciating a good job.
A 'Caste system of appreciations', if you see what I mean.
For example....
Just now I landed in Bangalore airport from Mumbai by a domestic airline.
The captain, Mr.Vijay Jose, did a very professional job. His communication over the in-craft mike was clear, crisp and complete. The landing was very smooth, one did not feel any jerks (Ok, a few minor jerks), I loved it.
And finally, as one was disembarking, there was Captain Jose, all pleasant, wishing all a good day.
A complete package, as it were.
Regular readers of my blog (Where are you hiding?) know that I have a thing or two to say about appreciating a good work. I like appreciating a good work when I see one.
Here was a good work with a capital G. I appreciated the Captain and told him that he did a very good job and a great landing and that I enjoyed flying in his aircraft.
The captain was happy.
I was happy because I made him happy.
All hanky dory, if you see what I mean.
All would have been fine, if it were not for my 'Analytical self'. It had a question or two for my 'Appreciating self'
"Why did you appreciate him?" asked my Anaself.
"I appreciated him because he did a good job. The whole flight was very enjoyable and he did a very professional job", replied my Appreself.
"But that is his job. His job is to fly the aircraft professionally, so why should you appreciate him for doing his job?" persisted my Anaself.
"If you see someone doing a good job, you should appreciate. That will encourage him to repeat the good work and this in turn will increase the stock of good work in the world. That is good for all of us", my Apprself replied, a little pompously, I thought.
"I think that you appreciated the pilot because of two reasons. One, you are in awe of airline pilots. When you sit in the aircraft you are tensed up and your appreciating the pilot on safe landing is only an expression of relief that you are feeling. Another reason for your appreciating an airline pilot is that you feel self-important and want to show off that you are a great air traveller. Either way, your appreciating the pilot is for your personal reasons and not because you appreciate the job of the pilot. After all, he has done his job. Good job? Yes, but his job neverthless." boy, was my Anaself being ruthlessly honest?
"I am not sure if I agree with you", replied my Apprself, trifle doubtfully.
"Well, in the last one month, how many times have you appreciated your driver for driving you safely to office and back home? I am sure he is doing a good job." questioned my Anaself.
My Apprself was quick to reply, "Well, today morning I gifted him Rs.500 (USD 10) for his good driving. That is an appreciation, right?"
Anaself conceded the point but pressed on. "You had a haircut today? Did you appreciate the barber for the good work? Everyday, your wife gets up in the morning and keeps food ready for you to take to the office. How many times have you appreciated her? How about your son? How many times in the past year that you have appreciated him?..." Questions were coming in torrents.
"Let us look at it another way." continued my Anaself, "In the last month how many times have you found fault with your wife's cooking? How many times have you got irritated with your son for things he did not do? How many times have you found faults with people?" Anaself piled on the misery.
"My point is not that you should not appreciate the airline pilot. You should do if you think he has done a good job. But keep in mind that you should appreciate good work whenever you see one. In a drive of 30 kilometers, your driver would have made one mistake, but would have made 10 good steps that helped you reach office safely and quickly. So you appreciate that also. Appreciating the airline pilot for a good flight but not appreciating your car driver for a good drive is double standards." Anaself finished his monologue.
Anaself had made a strong case...

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