Ego takes many forms.

One of my bosses has this need for being sucked up so much that normal behaviour seems to be disturbing to him. Just because juniors in his earlier department used to butter him up both ways, he expects everybody to do that. So when I don’t disturb him for small nitty-gritties, he thinks he is being ignored. When I ask juniors to take files to him for signing, he feels I am not giving due respect to him. I say something as a joke, he takes it seriously and starts defending his stand. When I counter him, he becomes overly sensitive. I am still learning to deal him with kid-gloves. But I have my limits for such touch-me-not people, specially if they are bosses.

There is this colleague who is always jealous of me. Though most department people favour him because he has been working with them for 20 years and I came 5 years back from another unit. But he still has this feeling that I am given special preference. Never says hello, never smiles back, never speaks in a normal tone, and thinks world is treating him badly.

Then there was this boss who took the errand boy term literally and expected me to serve plates to CEOs. WTF. Next time onwards I started avoiding the official dinners altogether or at least I avoided him. Just because he was okay doing it, he thought anyone would love to do that. He even got it back when on a holiday he asked one of the juniors to fill up his water bottle. That junior gave him back solidly. So he was always cautious with that colleague always.

Then there are few bosses who expect that if they go to some functions, juniors must go in advance and hold front seats for them. This is specially the case with public sector or government people. I have seen private sector CEOs coming on their own and taking a back seat casually. As they say empty vessels make much noise.

I don’t know why opening car doors, gates, holding luggage of seniors is a sign of good performance.

I on the other hand am just the reverse. I feel awkward in giving gifts to my seniors on festivals or when I return from holidays. But I see people doing that and feel like I am missing something by not doing all this. But still I can’t make myself do all these things. My ego works against my interest.


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