I often wonder why a person is good or bad. I mean the good ones really unnerve me. They see goodness in all things unlike normal people like me who rave and rant on issues that do not in any way affect them. Did I call myself normal? There are several people who beg to differ. An incident that took place long back comes to my mind.
It was almost 12 or 13 years back that a girl known to me joined our college as an assistant having got the job on compassionate grounds. The VC had been pleased to appoint her and she was to join immediately. Around the time several of our colleagues were working on ad hoc basis and were expecting their services to be regularized. They felt that the appointment of people on compassionate grounds posed a threat to the process of regularization of their services and opposed her joining. I tried to reason that the two issues were different and the vice chancellor’s order had to be obeyed. The VC may take their protests to mean dissidence and terminate their services instead of regularizing it. The very colleagues who had worked with me for nearly 16 years turned against me and interpreted my stand as my interest in seeing the girl, who was known to me, join our college. Sensing antagonism my colleagues tried to take me away from the scene. I stood right there trying to reason with the group. I then had an experience of dealing with mob frenzy and it was not very pleasant. At the end of the day my blood pressure soared and I was on medical leave for the next 15 days.
Till today my well wishers recount the incidence and say that there was no reason for me to have gotten worked up. It was not my service that was at stake and it was not me that was protesting. Why then did I have to worry about a bunch of ad hoc employees who were being fooled into believing that the appointment of one person on compassionate grounds would affect their being regularized? It was an issue between them and the vice chancellor and I was nowhere in the picture. It was enough to have to worry about one’s family and children. Did the group for whom I allowed my blood pressure to soar even acknowledge that I was truly worried about them?
While I get disturbed at the thought of my colleagues misunderstanding my intention, my friends think otherwise. They reason that with time the group did understand that they were wrong. The girl, whose appointment they opposed, did join on the very day and it was only 5 years later that services of the group of ad hoc employees got regularized. And above all I learnt a valuable lesson – to set my limits and never to take health risks. These days I try – remember that I only try – not to overdo anything. I have my friends to pinch me hard when I try to play the moderator and to advice me to allow people to learn for themselves.
I do wonder if I was wrong in trying to reason with a group of frustrated employees or if they were better off left to themselves. Like many other questions this question has either no correct answer or more than one correct option.