Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The History of Anger

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It has been a difficult emotion, expressed indifferently and at unexpected moments in life.

It has affected my parents, me, my spouse, my children, my colleagues and somebodies whom I have directly or indirectly interacted in past.
But it was a call to the SBI call center which brought the anger expression into perspective.

I had ignored my SBI current account for few months. I was out of freelancing since a while and there was not much action happening there.
But I happen to see the yearly statement by chance while making a bill payment. I noticed that on 2 occasions the bank had fines me for around INR 650.
Instantly sent them email. Not satisfied called them up. A lady agent received the call and explained that “rules say”
If you do not maintain a minimum balance of INR 10000 per quarter you will be charged around INR 650 per quarter.
I explained that I was not aware of the rule.
She said, she cannot even take a complaint as it was crystal clear rule which I should have been aware of.
This is the moment in the call when logic fails and you take alternate path of force to enforce your point. At this juncture some people choose to
  1. raise their voice and make their point
  2. verbally abuse
  3. etc.,
I too had reached that point of inflection. On any other day I would have used the loudness of voice and sharpness of logic to cut through the point, even though here I was on wrong side.

Last few days I had been building a case of “shouting culture” at work place and how it is destructive for healthy growth of any organizations. Some people believe that a certain degree of fear and angst drives people to become more productive.
My developing theory against shouting culture was that
  1. it emotionally breaks an individual
  2. it kills their enthusiasm
  3. the drive to contribute to the welfare and development of idea/product/service fades
  4. the confidence goes out of window
  5. the nerves can touch breakdown point
  6. etc.,

Now coming back to the bank complaint call. I was on the verge of displaying vocal violence. At that precise moment this knowledge came from somewhere.
Its okay if I shout but its not ok if others shout on me.
I was stunned. Every one in past had complained about my mis-managed expression of anger. Now in that moment this realization moderated my tone and I continued with the complaint in most gentlemanly manner.
I requested to talk to her superior and explained to poor manager that
Customers can also be dumb and stupid. They can forget rules and regulations that banks impose. Banks are also equally responsible for not informing the ignorant customer about a rule miss, before, during and after the rule has been missed. And not make this as their primary business model.
For the first time in all complaints in my life I had felt that this fine of INR 1300 had opened my eyes to a different expression of anger. The anger in which you make your point in a manner which it is as human as can be under the circumstance and still don’t feel the pinch of losing out.

How has mis-managed anger helped/disrupted your life?
Do you think there is a link between meditation and knowledge surfacing at the right moment?
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