JournalismPakistan.com March 13, 2013
Dear Mother and Father,
You will be pleased to hear that I am upholding the family honor and doing my best at my job. You will also be glad to hear that having got my mobile phone, Ipad and laptop as symbols of my success, I have now been selected for the biggest honor of all.
Yesterday, the Chairman called me to the office and I was naturally a little scared that maybe I had done something wrong and was going to get the ‘5 o’clock letter’ and then what would you think of me? The neighbors would have been thrilled and our relatives would have thought the worst as they always have.
It is not to be! Thanks to your blessings.
The Chairman said, “he was very pleased with my work” and handed me the executive toilet key. I could not believe it. I was lost for words. Tears sprang into my eyes.
He said, “congratulations”. I just stopped short of kissing his hand.
You may not fully appreciate the importance of the courtesy, mother and father, but the executive toilet key is the most major dividing corporate line and separates the men for the boys. Now, you know you have arrived.
The key is a power symbol and the 11 of us who have the right of entry find an awed silence descend on the throng when we walk past the corridors, discreetly holding the keys but letting everyone know we belong to the exclusive club.
For many years I have watched with envy and sworn that I will work hard towards attaining that goal.
I know that you will be very happy for me. I wish I could see the faces of the neighbors especially ‘you know who’ because he always thought I would amount to no good. You may, of course, mention it to them in conversation next time you meet.
Your daughter-in-law is very proud of your son and she says that with my obvious and on-going newly acquired status we should take the children out of Bharat Natyam classes and send them for ballet lessons. As I write this she has gone to purchase tutus, this is the dress you wear for ballet.
When I came back to my office everyone asked me what had happened in the Chairman’s office. First, I did not say anything but my secretary had the news already because the Chairman’s secretary had told the Vice President’s secretary who in turn told the senior accountant he had told my secretary as they both came from the same village.
I think there was a little envy but people were pleasant and patted me on the back. I then showed them the key and they all said, “I deserved it”!
This morning I went for the first time to the executive toilet. It is such a difference from the public convenience where people have no manners or courtesy and they make the place dirty. The executive toilet has fluffy towels, soap in liquid form, and even an electric hand dryer with cosmetics in one corner. People actually pull the flush after use! No more dirty public toilets where you can be found next to just about anybody and his soaked cigarette butt.
I have put the key on the chain that you gave me and also made a duplicate in case I lose the original.
Father, my cousin heard about the perk and they came over to see me yesterday. I do not want to say this but I was a little disappointed in his attitude. He was visibly upset and his wife made a few unpleasant remarks about how her husband never tries to curry favor or compromise his integrity to get ahead otherwise with his ability he would have gone very far!
The inference was clear and though I felt bad I decided that family is family and it would not look nice getting into a quarrel in front of everyone. So, I kept silent but it spoilt the mood and he showed no interest in my achievement.
I will close this letter now and hope that when you write to me you will tell me how the neighbors reacted.
I am your loving son.......
The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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