August 31, 2014

The Car Wash Experience

Last week, on Thursday, it was the eve of Ganesh Chaturthi. As the yearly ritual goes, we were all set to leave to our ancestral home in our native village. I decided to go to a car washing center to get my car ready for the upcoming journey the next day.

When I reached the service center, I witnessed a very busy and chaotic place. Cars were just coming and trying to sneak in, and every owner wanting their cars to be attended as soon as possible. The washing staffs were kept on their toes with no breathing space between each car wash.

I then saw a very busy man running around, coordinating and bringing in discipline in this chaotic place. As the cars arrived, he directed the owners to park it in queue. The owners then pounced on him and he gave numbers to the owners. He also went coordinated with the washing staff, and as each car was ready, he directed them to another area where ready cars were parked for delivery. Some cars also had to be checked for wheel-balancing, air pressure- for these cars he directed the staff accordingly with great time-management skills. In a couple of minutes, I realized that this man was the heart of the center, and he ran the show quite well. If it was not for him, the center would have been in total mess.

I parked my car and waited for this man to give me my number in the queue. I saw him coming towards me. He asked me- “Wh-wh-wh-wh which is your car??” I looked at him in awe. He was a fellow PWS. I pointed towards my car. He gave me a number and asked me to park behind a Mahindra Jeep, and went back to his work.

Still in amazement, I started observing him. He had to do a lot of talking. He had a very challenging task at hand. Show directions to customers, explain them, sometimes handle their complaints and frowns, coordinate with the washing and other staffs so that there is timely delivery. Along with talking, he showed good presence of mind to run this center efficiently. And he did all this with his stammer. He was stammering as he explained, talked to the staff and all that he did. But he did his job quite well. He focused on his job and not his stammering. Whether he spoke fluently or not, didn't seem to be bothering him. He did not seem to be highly qualified- not an MBA, nor a graduate or an Engineer. He must have only done his schooling. But there was lots to learn from him.

Focus on what you are good at, do your job well instead of focussing on how well we talk during our job. We can do very well in a job which requires talking- even if we stammer. This is what I have learnt from him.

I enjoyed every bit of the time I had to wait till my car was ready- observing him. I wish I could talk to him and say that he has inspired me a lot. But, he was too busy and engrossed in his job that he had little time to chat. I left the center with a clean and shining car, and a cleaner view about my stammering.


4 comments:

sachin said...

A masterpiece...
Deep observation. Thanks a lot...

abhishek said...

Very inspirational....

Dinesh said...

Such a beautiful post.. Brought out wonderfully.. Thanks Harish..

Ashish Agarwal said...

Very nice post Harish.
Yes, there are numerous examples around us where persons with issues more or less similar to us are doing their work proficiently without focusing on their strengths.