What goes around, comes around – II

Posted: December 20, 2009 in internships, respect

Continuing from where I left off in the last post…and especially since it struck a raw nerve with some anonymous persons… I just love to get under people’s skin, don’t I?

We were at a dinner with friends a few days ago at the Boat Club, and one of them, told us about her daughter’s experiences as an intern at a well known Hospitality Management Institute in Switzerland. Her daughter K is training to be a chef.

Every day at the institute K would ask her senior what her duties were for the day and was told to do the dishes. So for the entire week that’s all K did. One day she mustered up the courage to speak to her senior and she was told to do what she had been told to do. Her first thought was “My parents did not pay so much money to send me here, so I would end up washing dishes.”

When K spoke to her mother, who is a corporate trainer, she was bluntly told that during internships one did what one was told. When the girl told her mother that all she had been doing since she landed at the institute was clean dishes, she was given some sound advice on how to deal with the situation, without going against the rules. But she was told that she would still have to do whatever she was told to do.

This kid, obviously a chip of the old block, decided to do something about it. The next day as soon as she reached the institute and without asking or waiting to be told, she started cleaning.

Her senior demanded to know why she was doing this. The girl replied that since she had landed there all she had been doing was cleaning, so she presumed that is all she was supposed to do. So she started early, without being told. Her senior didn’t say a word. A little while later she was told to stop cleaning and asked to help the chef. Suddenly, she was being given respect.

A few days ago, I was really touched when one of the students, I was speaking to about a project on the cards, said, “Sir, we will work till midnight, but we’ll do it, because we want to.” Conversely, there was another group that initially went from “it can’t be done” to “won’t work on holidays” and finally to “won’t work after 6 pm,” before agreeing to work on the project. It was the same project and similar responsibilities, but each group approached it differently before agreeing to do it.

Someone once rightly said that one should not demand respect, one should earn it. So these kids have earned my respect. And they are the just like the countless others who complain about everything, instead of finding a way around it. Or are they from another planet?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Good one by Mohan, keep writing!Well said, 'One should not demand respect, one should earn it' I completely agree with this thought.Respect comes from within, cannot be forced upon.I would add here, ' For every problem there is a solution' and 'where there is a will there is a way'. We as human beings have to fight it out knowing the real facts behind every action. Everything is possible, if we wish to make it possible!

  2. Joe Pinto says:

    My dear Sinha,I am happy that you are hammering away at the same point from different angles and in different ways — citing different examples.I too was taught and tell my students that journalism is 24 hours a day; seven days a week. Some cannot fall in line, others will not fall in line. Either way, the students lose out.Life is lived and work is done on its own terms, not ours.Peace and love,- Joe.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the concern about the issue of Interns/freshers, who are struggling and are somewhere humiliated (directly or indirectly) by their bosses/seniors. The instance of the girl K is a bit appealing to calm an intern/fresher, who is undergoing similar experiences…It's really bad when you are forced to do the same thing again and again, just when you want to start a new one..I don't know what's the best way to stop on such happenings, because being an intern I am too going through the same experience – with some high hopes, but the nature of the place and people is not much appealing to me…After I read it, I think the best thing to do is to keep the mouth shut…let things go on as they are. Once again it is nice to read the stuff related to such problems. But I still have no proper answer…And one more thing –It is indeed hard to make a better deal without going against the rules….Sneha

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