Do you know what’s the one word that can describe most failed relationships, gender discrimination, office politics, domestic violence, saas bahu sagas? Oh wait.. Religious intolerance, Caste system, Mahabharata, World Wars? It’s this tiny yet significant word called EGO.
So let me deal with the several faces of ego that you find at workplaces. Some are in your face egoistic and some are fairly subtle:
1. Selfie le le re
Your ego has a big responsibility to ensure that you don’t get hurt. Self-reflection is usually painful and so like a strict parent, your ego literally bans you from any introspection. It blocks your ability to be objective about yourself. So sometimes very important to take an inner selfie and look at it without the edit settings
2. I have the power
Power has this innate ability to make your ego wear a Navvari saree and do the Lavni. It can make you dance. It can make you corrupt beyond repair.
“You have to respect me because I can reject your leave”
“You have to do me sexual favors because I decide your promotion”
“You have to pay me a commission because I can decide to stop working with you”
And it goes on…
3. Main tera khoon pi jaoonga
This is a slightly different problem than Ego No 1. He is very aware of his own and his team’s flaws. But if the same thing gets highlighted by an outsider, the Dharmendra inside him retorts almost instantly with a Main tera khoon pi jaonga.
4. AIB Boast
He is an ‘Anytime I can Boast’ person. He loves dropping names. He loves telling you some heroic stories about him. He loves laughing loudly while telling fun stories of his life. He loves to be loved.
5. The Silo Guru
Ego doesn’t allow you to see reality. It underestimates others around you so that you look better. This kind of person will always prefer working in silos as he thinks everyone else cannot match his genius.
6. Main tujhe dekh loonga
When good employees leave the organization, it is a straight dart to their Manager’s Ego.
“I did so much for you and you want to leave the company? I am hurt”
But it’s a bull’s eye when the employee wants to move to another team in the same company.
“When you leave the company I can tell everyone that you got a very good hike. But if you leave for another department, Main tujhe dekh loonga”
7. Dimaag ki batti bujha de
This guy hates it when people around him think. He wants them to do as they are told
“HR’s job is to just roll out the Offer. No need to interview. I have selected him”
“I am the Business Owner, I will plan the marketing, you only execute”
“You don’t have the experience, this idea won’t work”
8. What an ego, Sirji
When I was young, my granny always used to say… Don’t argue with your elders. And I could never understand why. Isn’t it a known fact that every new generation is smarter than the earlier one? Okay so that might be my child ego. But at work, many think if you don’t call me Sir, you don’t respect me and I cannot allow that. You are younger, you must obey.
9. Kalaakari Ego
Somehow those who are in the profession of Arts, make their art an excuse for their ego. I think they almost hate a layman’s opinion about their work. And let’s not even talk about Film stars. I think they get so confused by their alter egos, that they don’t know which one is them, the man in the mirror or the one in front of it.
10. Doctor, Bhagvaan ka roop
Most Doctors have 2 things in common – poor handwriting and an inflated ego. These days they have a special reason to get angry as patients google their illnesses and medication and question them. In the olden days, you had to leave everything on bhagvaan aur doctor and now suddenly that is replaced by a hungry curiosity which is very unhealthy for the doc’s ego.
11. Mr. Somebody else dunnit
This person’s ego puts a golden hue around self and confuses it with a halo. So everything is somebody else’s fault.
“My employees are not performing because HR is not conducting training”
“My product is not picking up because technology is not supporting”
“My business is making a loss because market conditions are bad”
12. Agar ma ka doodh piya hai to samne aa (nobody should translate this in English)
They are always standing in the Ninja pose to attack any and everybody. They think the whole world is going after them and their kingdom and so they have their Utility Belts always ready.
13. The Child ego
Have you tried getting a sorry out of a child? Can be very difficult. But more annoying are those adults who can never ever say sorry even when they know they screwed up. They think sorry is for the weak. Ma ka ladla bigad gaya
14. Men at work
“Women are meant to knit sweaters and make babies. How can they be making intelligent conversations?”
“Women can’t make tough decisions as they have a soft heart. That’s not their strength area”
15. I am the best. I am the best.
When this person talks, I can picture him standing up on a bench and singing SRK’s song ‘I am the Best, I am the Best’ from Phir Bhi Dil hai Hindustani except that the team they forgot to give credit to isn’t dancing around him. Sometimes he also imagines himself in projects that he wasn’t actually part of.
And the best part of it all is that Ego is like wearing dark glasses in the night. You can’t see all the people laughing at you. So are you one of them?