Tag Archives: Relationship

The Story About A Cup Of Tea – Building Enduring Relationships

Time was running out. There was no option – my wife decided she would go to the bank (public-sector) to get the Tax Deduction Statement (TDS) needed for income-tax computation. She would not let me go because of my suspected friendly leanings towards Covid.

Expectedly there were few customers in the branch. She asked for S, an officer, and when he walked up, she identified herself. The magic words ‘TXX’ spoken ‘opened the doors’!

‘Yes, M’m, come in,’ S was all deference. One would have thought she was some high officer from the HO on a sudden field-visit.  ‘TXX spoke a while ago. If you’ll kindly be seated here…I’ll get it in a couple of minutes. It’s all printed and ready.’

As she sat down, a cup of hot tea was served with sugar to add!! A feat far beyond you to equal. Forget tea, I challenge you to get for yourself a glass of water – you would be politely directed to a watercooler standing in the hall. And rightly so, after all a bank’s charter of customer services does not include…

In all my years of regularly visiting the bank, I was always politely ignored by the friendly staff, never rude, envied for the attention by the young lizard lounging in the ceiling, despite trusting them with all my life savings – not a huge pile though being a salaried employee all my life. Strictly not true – I distinctly remember the occasion I was on the center-stage, very briefly though, drawing looks from everyone around when I had sent the glass crashing on the floor at the watercooler. Apologies for a little flippancy there, I couldn’t resist.

I was surprised when the lady of the house returned so soon, mission accomplished.

Ah, there were hardly any customers, so the quick turnaround – explains it.  

But the part about tea, that was still intriguing.

May be S was related to TXX or a close friend – simple as that.

When TXX called to follow up if everything went off ok at the bank – incidentally therein lies the subject of this post, you’ll find out soon – I told him about the service-with-a-smile-and-tea-to-go-with-it and everything was fine.  S was neither a friend nor a relative of his, I learnt. TXX was not even a customer of the bank.

It made it all clear as mud in rain.

So, why the tea, I persisted.

It emerged TXX knew the bank’s regional HR manager.

Ah…so that was it.

Well, it was like this: Until recently TXX was the big honcho in a diagnostic-services company. And the bank was his client sending its employees for annual medical check-up covered under various plans.  When it was the HR manager’s turn, at the request of his office, TXX expedited the matters cutting down the wait for him. Simply said, but not simply done – needed TXX, located elsewhere, to call up the testing lab many times to ensure the manager was not unduly held up at any test station.

That was the beginning of the relationship that endures till date, also the moving force for the service-with-a-smile-and-tea-to-go-with-it. Not a favors-done-favors-asked kind of relationship. It continues though TXX has retired from service since and is no longer in a position to help in ways he did during employment. Yes, the two have never met so far!

Many of us in our employment and outside are in a position to help or do favors and we do. Setting him apart is the sincerity and thoroughness of the process, winning the day and setting relationships in concrete for TXX. He doggedly pursues and pushes the problem-owner into action until the intended end result is achieved. In the above bank episode, offering to help, he calls the bank up ahead and tells them what was needed to cut out the wait for my wife and then calls her up later to check if we got what we needed without hassle or anything more had to be done.

This ownership, often far more than the problem-owner’s, endears him to those who seek his help!

It is not limited to those who go to him – he extends himself to any situation he thinks he could be of some help. Comes to him naturally. An engineer first, puts in place solutions not obvious to many, including the grunt work entailed.

Our own experiences of this kind are too numerous to recount here.

And, finally, I have no problems confessing I fall way too short by this standard.

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What We Have Been Searching for All Along…

From Marc And Angel:

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About a decade ago on his 37th birthday, after spending his entire adult life loosely dating different women, he finally decided he was ready to settle down.  He wanted to find a real mate… a lover… a life partner—someone who could show him what it meant to be in a deep, monogamous, trusting relationship.

So, he searched far and wide.  There were so many women to choose from, all with great qualities, but none with everything he was looking for.  And then, finally, just when he thought he would never find her, he found her.  And she was perfect.  She had everything he ever wanted in a woman.  And he rejoiced, for he knew how rare a find she was.  “I’ve done my research,” he told her.  “You are the one for me.”

But as the days and weeks turned into months and years, he started to realize that she was far from perfect.  She had issues with trust and self-confidence, she liked to be silly when he wanted to be serious, and she was much messier than he was.  And he started to have doubts … doubts about her, doubts about himself, doubts about everything.

And to validate these doubts, he subconsciously tested her.  He constantly looked around their apartment for things that weren’t clean just to prove that she was messy.  He decided to go out alone to parties with his single guy friends just to prove that she had trust issues.  He set her up and waited for her to do something silly just to prove she couldn’t be serious.  It went on like this for awhile.

As the tests continued—and as she, clearly shaken and confused, failed more and more often—he became more and more convinced that she was not a perfect fit for him after all.  Because he had dated women in the past who were more mature, more confident, and more willing to have serious conversations.

Inevitably, he found himself at a crossroads.  Should he continue to be in a relationship with a woman who he once thought was perfect, but now realizes is lacking the qualities that he already found in the other women that came before her?  Or should he return to the lifestyle he had come from, drifting from one empty relationship to the next?

After he enrolled in our Getting Back to Happy Course a few days ago, desperately looking for answers, this is the gist of what Angel and I told him:

One of the greatest lessons we learn in life is that we are often attracted to a bright light in another person.  Initially, this light is all we see.  It’s so bright and beautiful.  But after a while, as our eyes adjust, we notice this light is accompanied by a shadow… and oftentimes a fairly large one.

When we see this shadow, we have two choices: we can either shine our own light on the shadow or we can run from it and continue searching for a shadow-less light.

If we decide to run from the shadow, we must also run from the light that created it.  And we soon find out that our light is the only light illuminating the space around us.  Then, at some point, as we look closer at our own light, we notice something out of the ordinary.  Our light is casting a shadow too.  And our shadow is bigger and darker than some of the other shadows we’ve seen.

If, on the other hand, instead of running from the shadow, we decide to walk towards it, something amazing happens.  We inadvertently cast our own light on the shadow, and likewise, the light that created this shadow casts its light on ours.  Gradually, both shadows begin to disappear.  Not completely, of course, but every part of the two shadows that are touched by the other person’s light illuminate and disappear.

And, as a result, we each find more of that bright beautiful light in the other person.

Which is precisely what we have been searching for all along.

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