Two years back, it was my first time and I had loved playing a strict mentor. A group of interns were allocated under my project and I had thoroughly enjoyed acting bossy.  One day, my manager had come around my seat and introduced me to a set of new, nervous but exciting faces. Later I had come to know that they were the graduate trainees fresh out of engineering colleges who had been selected in the company and were supposed to start with the new project that I was taking forward. I must say it was both fun and nerve wrecking to work with the newbies.

Having been in their shoes five years back I could relate to their first-job jitters in the early weeks. There were 6 boys and 3 girls in total who would gang around me every morning. Since I was the acting team lead for them, it was my job to guide, allocate work, assess and team them up according to the project needs. Fresh bunch of energy kept me on my toes all through the initial months and I must say I did enjoy appeasing their curiosity. From their side, they all tried to put up their best because they knew their feedback lay in my hands. I absolutely enjoyed acting a task master as well as mentor to the hard working lots.

In a few months, I had come to have a opinion for each of them. Work related, it was always very easy to reprimand and I guess they were making their best efforts. But there was one girl and a boy whom I really wanted to convey more. My colleagues had complained about the girl’s rude and non-cooperative attitude. And the guy who was a decent chap needed some real gyaan on being presentable in the office. He often turned up to the office in a shabby look with unkempt hair and unshaved beard. I had noticed he was good with work but severely needed to read about dressing etiquette to office.

I had noticed that the other trainees often left him aloof when they planned their parties or get together after work. And one day even my manager singled him out when he had to introduce some foreign visitors who had paid us a visit regarding a new assignment. The guy wore an un-shaven look and I was sure my boss had left him out for this reason primarily. I felt bad for him because he was good with other things and it was just his casual behavior with his daily habit that had come to play a spoilsport.  That very evening, I lectured him hard for his shabby, unshaven, ungroomed manners. It was first time that I had scoffed someone not for work but for looks and I felt guilty. Thankfully I did see a change in him henceforth.

Last week there landed a mail in my inbox. It carried joyful news for all who had made it to list of ‘Employee of the year’. I read through it to scan a familiar faces and there he was ‘Abhishek’, the guy who had gracefully heard my lecture on ‘being presentable and well groomed’ in office.

Later that evening, Abhishek pinged me on the office communicator and wrote the below.

Hi Ma’am,

‘Thank You’ ! If you had not said the below, I would not have set things right for me.

‘Its corporate world and people are expected to work super hard and look best all the time. Everyone is short on time and you just get one chance to make an impression.  And remember since we live in a superficial world, good looks definitely attract us first, work follows.  Be neat, be properly dressed,  be prim and proper. It will help you win girlfriends too. You got to be presentable Mr. Newbie. And mind it better shave your stubble everyday.’

Oh he remembered it all. It felt good about the day!


Written by

Manjulika Pramod

An engineer who loves to be called a blogger more!
Traveler, short-story writer, voracious reader, foodie is the better me!
Reading, eating, traveling, exploring, observing and blogging are the beautiful highs of my life.