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An interesting contamination in our society is saying "Sir." But before venturing into Sir-ing, let me share a few reader responses to my last week's article when I'd asked for more occasions we say Yes in India when we mean No (http:// bit.ly/ 13puNbK).
"On Friday I asked an employee of mine if he'd be around for a Monday meeting. He mumbled Yes. Later, when I logged into my email he'd sent a mail to HR, copied to me, saying he will be on leave on Monday! Did not want to say it to my face...," wrote a client of mine who's the CMD of a company. Another CEO client said that at 11 pm he got a resignation letter by email from his senior manager whose workplace was just adjacent, visible through the glass partition. They'd worked together that whole day, even had a good review and planning session and parted amicably at 8 pm. So he felt clueless and surprised that he couldn't mention his resignation face to face but had to send a mail at night. An eminent senior journalist of a news channel, Sudipta Sengupta, wrote "There is at least another reason: Haven't learned to
Reader Gopal Kulkarni wrote "Compliments for dragging out an unusual and unthought-of subject and converting it into a delightful piece of reading. It's a truly 100 per cent correct reflection of Indian society in diverse situations." He added his Yes input: "In North India, especially in Delhi, Yes has a tactical business dimension so as not to lose a customer come what may." He said the customer is kept occupied, even with a cup of tea, while the shopkeeper's assistant is secretly sent out to procure the item the retail didn't have. Another reader, Vibhu Haleja, wrote that people say Yes when not understanding that "No" is a complete sentence that needs no explanation. They sometimes shy away from No to avoid explaining why they are saying No. "Perhaps people simply lack the courage to say No," writes Vibhu. "Many are programmed from childhood to put the needs of others before self, so Yes becomes a habit that continues. Also, when you want to be liked by all or feel indebted to someone, you don't say No."
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