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A certain Christian organization with three hundred and above employees was ranked first for its excellent administration. Self applause, “Highly honorable! Highly honorable!” lingered long after the sound had subsided. I heard about my friend Gerald’s manager working in that organization. He, a born again Christian, erudite, evangelist, preacher, married man with three grown-up children, is one who has read the following verses innumerable times to others. “But Jesus called them (His disciples) to Himself and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.’ ”
Gerald told me that exactly at five, his manager’s face would receive a refreshing look like a freshly cut red rose. A dash of deodorant on his body would send a signal alerting everyone that the closing time of work is near. His department will be closed exactly at five thirty in the evening. Punctuality and discipline were writ large on his face. Even before his subordinates left, he would be there in the railway platform to catch a special train departing at five forty five sharp.
My friend told me that a person like his manager with such a caliber of taking care of the family alone is worthy of overseeing the affairs of a church. Further he told me, “No wonder he holds responsible positions in his church as well. He indeed is an exemplary example.” My friend kept wondering all the while, “What penance had I done before to receive such a superior? How mindful he is about his subordinates reaching their homes on time.”
Hardly a month had rolled by. Then one fine evening, I called Gerald. He told, “Buddy! I am still in office.” I looked at my wrist watch and it ticked away “half past seven”. Later on I heard that work or no work his boss had indirectly wanted him to warm his chair. It seems while his manager could munch anything during office hours from inside his closed cabin, he turned into a snake if those who worked under him were seen with snacks. Many thoughts flooded the mind of my friend. Earlier, when many had enquired him, “Are you going to report to such and such a manager?” He could not x-ray anything within and innocently held on with this opinion of, “Is there anyone without a flaw? Let us consider the goodness in him” and put off those thoughts of others about his manager considering it casually.
The following news which my friend Gerald told, shocked me all the more. “Do you know the reason for my manager’s punctuality then and late sitting now?” Casting a look of frustration he peeked into my eyes and continued. “Earlier, his wife reached home exactly at six by car and therefore he had to hurry traveling by train to reach home by then. Therefore, we also reached home early. Now he has to wait till seven thirty for his wife whose place of work has been transferred to a spot close by and drive home by car along with her. Since he is the manager, we being his subordinates have to wait wasting our time until the arrival of his wife. Unaware, we are dancing to the beat of his song with no other choice left. It looks as if only the manager had a soul whereas his subordinates were mere robots. How dense is his venomous nature. He loves the best place in the wedding feasts of our co-workers, the best seats in the church, greetings of his subordinates wherever and whenever seen and to be called by men, 'highly honorable' as described in Matthew 23:6,7. Earlier, what my other co-workers told me has now proved to be only a tip of an iceberg hidden inside a costly costume called ‘hypocrisy’ ”
I happened to read the following:
“When I take a long time to finish, I am slow.
When my boss takes a long time, he is thorough
When I don’t do it, I am lazy,
When my boss does not do it, he is busy.
When I do something without being told, I am acting smart.
When my boss does the same, he takes initiative.
When I please my boss, I am apple polishing
When my boss pleases his boss, he is co-operating
When I make a mistake, I am an idiot.
When my boss makes a mistake, he’s only human.
When I am out of the office, I am wandering around
When my boss is out of the office, he’s on business
When I am on a day off sick, I am always sick.
When my boss is a day off sick, he must be very ill.
When I apply for leave, I am going for an interview
When my boss does that, it’s because he’s overworked.
When I do good, my boss never remembers,
When I do wrong, he never forgets.
I also heard that this management differentiated the managers from their workers in a peculiar fashion. Tea was served in a ceramic clay cup colored brilliantly and painted exquisitely to managerial cadres whereas the subordinate drank out of a dim ever silver glass tumbler. A little sense would reveal that one is consuming the content and not the container. Yet that is their way of expressing their positions as “highly honorable” ones.
Another method of differentiating the managerial level from the workers is accommodation in five star hotels for the former with payment of a paltry sum that would hardly suffice for the manual labor done by the latter. Managerial levels moved by flight whereas the worker by foot and if that was not possible by the next lowest modes of transport available. You may think that whatever I told above is common and customary in every organization. For such people, read the incident below.
The following is a report from another friend of mine named Jayakumar about his manager, a woman, in a secular organization, not a preacher, not an evangelist of course erudite, married with two children but a practical Christian. Eighty members reported to her. Once the fifth floor where they were working caught fire due to short circuit at eleven while they were in the night shift duty. Immediately she instructed all her subordinates to pick up their belongings and rush to the ground floor. While she hurried along with them, she made a call home on her mobile, “I will come home late today. Do not worry.” Upon reaching the ground floor, she checked whether everyone of her subordinates was safely transported to their respective home and the manager reached home only at three early in the morning.”
Now whether the above act is considered ‘highly honorable’ or not, believe me that as a Christian this is what God expects out of anyone who desires to be a leader. Lead by serving and not by being served. Jesus Christ has already given us the model. “And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." It is high time we check whether the so called “Highly honorables” are but mere ‘hypocrites’
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