Yes, am a little particular. I cannot sit in smelly or unclean cars. I have had to do that for two days in a row on Wednesday and Thursday and I needed Friday to recover before I could write about it !! 🙂 I don’t have a great sense of smell, I can only see and hear really well but a couple of smells just get to me – Body odor, bad breath and the smell of rexine in chairs, car seats. Drivers who sleep in the car and have not taken a bath, the odor is just unbearable. I have usually held my breath in these situations, but can’t hold it for too long and in most cities in India the car window cannot be wound down, the noxious fumes will just not let you breathe … Ok, am not being a snob here. Somehow I just feel people in India don’t care about how they present themselves in public and I have a problem with that.
I dread airplane rides in the evenings.. People sneeze without using a tissue or a handkerchief. Everyone gets a cold, but please use a paper tissue as you sneeze or snuffle – your fellow passenger doesn’t need to get your germs. Same thing with people coughing. You only need something to cover your mouth as you cough, and cough away, get well soon. Picking your nose in public, plucking your facial hair, touching different parts of your body while meeting anyone, burping loudly…. Just avoid. If you are comfortable eating food with your hands, there is nothing wrong with that, but don’t lick the food off your fingers please, it’s just not done, and don’t make sounds while masticating food, keep your mouth closed and don’t speak with food in your mouth.
In the global world that today’s executive works in, appearance matters. You don’t have to look like Miss World or Mr. World, but a clean well groomed look is just a fundamental requirement. A Tshirt and jeans that have been washed and the person has taken bath – is fine. Not looking for the Armani suit. Similarly working women have to focus on their grooming. We have one group that goes over the top, and another that just doesn’t care.
I have huge issues with the “nightie” or “gown” culture. Women in India, especially my fellow South Indian women, need to ditch the “nightie” except in the night. We have so many different clothes that are available for women in India – the quintessential sari, the salwar-kameez, the lehenga… Anything is fine, in natural fabrics, cotton, silk, jute, and we get them easily. But women spending their entire day in a nightie with a towel wrapped around it when they go out to buy something, is just not acceptable.
The care to present yourself well, extends also to the way work is done. Do not write emails or make presentations with spelling mistakes, margins that are off, stick to your organizations guidelines on the font, color and logo placement. The other place were we need to do better is during meetings and conference calls over phone…. Never interrupt someone who is speaking, do not speak over someone else, and please don’t have side conversations. Excuse yourself if you have to interrupt and let people speak. Being Arnab is not valued at the workplace.
This is not a campaign for expensive perfumes and Ivy League grooming schools – but there is a dire need for our children and the youth of India to understand the value of grooming and being well behaved in public. Remember presentation is key, you are leaving an impression every time you are in public … And people are forming impressions about you. If you don’t care to present yourself well, you may very well miss getting your dream job or promotion and also your dream man or woman. Presentation is key, get better at it and pronto.