I was stumped with a term ” strategic lubrication” coming from a close friend, also known for his sycophancy. ” What’s that?” I inquired.” As I go up the ladder, I realize the futility of oiling all and sundry. So I concentrate my lubrication power on a few key persons having a bearing on my career, ignoring the lesser mortals. That is the source of this term” he replied with a naughty smile.
Above lines are from the FB wall of a friend. But the truth in these lines is not far from reality. There are people who do all this. Though I avoid doing this, but I can understand if other people do it to their seniors. I am not sure though where to draw the line between genuine relation-building with boss and sucking up.
For example, I have seen people giving sweet packets to their bosses, when they are promoted or have some good news to share. I am not able to make myself do that, if I have to share sweets, I will give equal to all-seniors and juniors. Not party-pack to boss and single-pack to others.
There is this colleague whose husband is working abroad. I asked her to get some material on payment basis. She did not. but I saw her getting things for others. At that time, she was not reporting to ,me. After some months, she started reporting to me, then when her husband came to India, she gave me gift. I politely refused but she insisted. I could not make myself tell her about her two faces.
I have seen people opening car doors, carrying boss’s luggage, serving them meals. But I can’t.
Rather I deliberately avoid giving any gifts to seniors lest they think I am sucking up. There is one senior to whom I am grateful for what he did for me personally. So I go to his house every year for gifting sweets in festive season. But that again I started when he had left our department, and now he has retired also. Till the time he was our head, I never gave him any sweets and gifts.
As for promotion or holidays, I don’t see any reason for specially bringing gifts for bosses, other than for sucking up, which I can’t.
What say you?