Sunday, November 18, 2007

It's 0400 hrs but we still follow the Queue

Discipline is the key to success -this might have been drilled into our heads since time immemorial. Why we do certain things and don't do certain things depending on whether there's someone to supervise us or not?

Whatever may be the answer to that question, the following incident should clear one doubt - following a system irrespective of the hour of the day, or the presence of a monitoring person saves a lot of time and effort.

A couple of my friends had to catch an early morning flight, and despite my best assurances regarding their timely reaching at the airport thanks to Bombay's round the clock available transport facility, they wanted to book a cab. Unfortunately, the cab service had all its vehicles booked upto the afternoon. That left us with no option but to rely on the regular autos/taxis.

It was about 4 in the morning when we exited my apartment complex. True to my prediction, there was a queue of autos at the auto stand. But, all the drivers were asleep. Not wanting to disturb them and having observed movement of autos and taxis on the road, we decided to flag one down. All that we got for a good 10 minute wait in the morning chill was a few full autos and a Maruti Esteem which flew over a speed-breaker at about 80-90 kmph.

We then decided to wake the first driver in the queue. He got up without fuss, got ready and before leaving woke the next guy in the line and asked him to take his due place at the head of the queue. He then drove away.

As I went back to my apartment, I saw Driver #2 pushing his vehicle to the head of the queue and then walking back to wake driver #3.

Neat isn't it? I don't think this would happen in any other place in India.

There were also a few questions in my mind:

1. Do I doff my hat to the work culture of this place?


2. Do I doff my hat to the fact that Driver #1 considered it his responsibility to intimate his sleeping colleague that the numero uno position was vacant and had to be occupied?


3. Do I doff my hat to the chain reaction that set in among all the drivers?


4. Do I doff my hat to the fact that no one else would have occupied the vacated spot even if the other drivers had not woken up to push their vehicles?

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