Look Under The Covers

On August 1, 2013 by mohitsawhney

I generally get the gas filled in my car every fortnight, and make it a point to get the tyres pressure checked along with that as a ritual. Air pressure is complimentary service that most gas stations provide, although people sometimes tip a rupee or two to the overly ill-dressed guy who fills the air who looks rather more poor than he really would be. My general observation has been that since this is a free service, it is hard to get. This guy is usually indifferent and missing from the scene and there have been several occasions when I have driven off without the pressure checks, in frustration.

I hadn’t been able to get the air pressure checks since last two visits to Gas station and this time I was desperate. But as usual, the guy was not there. My usual practice is to blow the horn several times, and after that, I would come out of the car showing madness on my face, and shout around – “Where is this guy?”. No one listens I think and even if they do, they don’t respond. If they do after a lot of pushing for an answer, it has always been a, “We don’t know!

The above hasn’t given me positive results ever I guess, but I follow the same steps always nonetheless. That makes me fit into the definition of Insane people according to Einstein:

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” –  Albert Einstein 

So this time around also, I repeated the above steps and was about to leave in frustration, and that was the time when a Eureka moment must have happened to me. I think I realized I had been acting insane and I must do something different. I observed more closely that I had done in the past. There was a small shack just behind the Air machine. It had a thick curtain which must have been made of a blanket. There was nothing such as a door to know so I removed the curtain covers after making a “Knock Knock” sound. And there he was, the guy who fills air, was relaxing to glory and oblivious to the world around and apparently his own job. It is what it is, but I had found the guy and more importantly I had learnt a bigger lesson – “One that one has to look under the covers!”

This story is actually a metaphor for the mistakes I so often made in other spheres of life as well. I guess that is also true for others. In the face of a challenging problem, we would go running to someone else for a solution even without giving it the required time or thought ourself. We are so troubled in the face of a problem that our knee-jerk reaction is to quickly find someone else to address it. Let me shout around and if no one responds or listens, then I can easily be frustrated and say that it’s not my problem and just that no one helps here and people are in general very selfish.

Well, that’s the exact CHANGE of mindset I want to suggest in this post. I am also reminded of some Managers in the past, who would simply forward the mails to the whole 300 people team, the moment it arrived, with nothing added and no clear direction, that is with no value add. That is never going to help, at best it is going to leave 300 people reading something and trying to interpret it in 300 different ways ultimately leaving the same Manager frustrated and mad.

Look under the obvious covers and see if your solutions are hidden under. Chances are that they are. This seems so obvious but we still keep forgetting it. I started writing this blog day before but couldn’t finish it the same day. I can’t believe I myself forgot the next morning about it and had to stop myself and remind myself of it. My wife and I had decided a diet plan which meant we have bananas at the start of the day, before we had our bed tea. I went out looking for bananas but didn’t find them on the table where I expected them. I was about to run back to my wife shouting where on earth were they kept. Fortunately I recalled the lesson I had learnt the previous day and decided to do my homework first. I looked in the kitchen and in the living room, and finally in the fridge to find the bananas there.
Before you decide to shout…, stop and think – and look under the covers. It will be worth it!

10 Responses to “Look Under The Covers”

  • Hi Mohit, Really liked your simple way of putting things across. Read your blogs like the idea of not being insane and look around a solution instead of cribbing about the issue. We in our day to day life have strted taking things for granted. Will be a frequent to your blog.Happy blogging.

  • We may go on shouting to someone for solutions of our own problems as we understand that the person is going to solve the problem we just can co-ordinate with him and details our problem.
    The problem was not that the person was hiding behind the curtains. Problem was that you had to fill air in your tyres. So, you just tried a way to find the problem solver and get your problem solved.
    Anyways, nice writing skills

  • Nice one Mohit. In fact your story/incident is akin to what I generally tell myself in these situations, i.e. was it really worth the value/ worth the time/ worth the anger that I am exhibiting. At times, our ego plays a big role in formulating our actions, and these actions are generally harmful to self as ego does not drive us in a positive way but is generally self destructing.

    • Totally, Amit. It appears like such a basic one to miss, yet we regret later so many times.
      Thanks for sharing your comments! Means a lot to me.

  • Amazingly nice. Ur article makes me relate to ten thousand things where we face similar situations.. !

    • Thanks for the encouraging words, Renuka!
      Glad you could relate it with other things.

  • Nicely written
    My suggestion time has came to move from air to nitrogen. U don’t have to get it checked for 4 months

    • Thanks a lot Sunil! It’s very encouraging to read your comments.
      Besides, I will surely try to find out about how I can use Nitrogen 🙂 Cheers!

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