“If you have to say no, say it the very first time, because, if you say yes 99 times and then say no, people will forget you said yes 99 times.” — I will never forget this golden piece of advice given by my grandfather.
So you’ve probably seen these bosses who give you suspicious looks if you take two sick days in a year, who love to keep a punch clock on you, who never notice if you’re early but promptly notice if you’re late (or even receive reports about your time in, even if they were not around), and who even keep bitching about how useless you are at work — something they never say to your face. In fact, if you confront them, they’ll deny they ever said it!
So, at the bank, there was this Head of Dept named Mohan [name changed] who had all these lousy traits. He was only a dotted-line boss to me, though. My direct boss, in contrast, had a simple motto: “I don’t care when you come or go — I just want to see the work done.”
One evening, when I was about to leave the office, my colleague told me, “Wait ten minutes before you leave — Mohan just left, and he may see you.” I replied, “So you mean it’s a crime if I leave at 6.30? And if he doesn’t see me leave, is he going to think that I’m slogging my butt off?” And I left for home immediately, because I saw no point in trying to live my life to meet someone else’s skewed expectation/ perception of hard work and commitment.
Think about it: it would be impossible for me to please such a person all the time — suppose Mohan decided to work until midnight, would I stick around to impress him? No way! And since he was anyway known to have spies, would he really believe that I was working long hours every day? (And then, do long hours necessarily imply quality work?) So I figured I would just be myself from day one.