Thursday, October 7, 2010

God is in the details....so is the Devil

Being a doctor isn't easy yet my husband never gets his work home. But it was different that day. He carried back two brown packets and headed straight to the room. He said he was going to be busy for a while. I didn't want to disturb him so I closed the door behind him and let him work.

Sometime later I walked into the room and saw him surrounded with ECG strips strewn all over the bed. He said "it is taking me longer to fold them back than to check them". I offered to help so that he could do what he should be doing ie. 'check them without the added stress of neatly folding those reels of papers'. 

As I sat there holding those strips I realised why he sounded so agitated. They all had different creases. There was no uniformity in the way they were pleated originally. So every time you gathered one set of it, you had to start from scratch and try and find its initial groove. It was quite frustrating. 

It reminded me of the times I would sit on a video edit and the editor would not name the clip correctly to save time or write just the tape numbers without elaboring if it was a digi or a beta or a dv. And then during the edit, because of these small oversights, we would waste time searching for one particular visual in various bins. It was quite annoying.

Even though these are things that are quite insignificant or small in stature, there is a neat and methodical way of doing them. There is a reason why all details have to be meticulously put together. It allows you to experiment, take liberties or creative freedom for bigger things! 

Taking pride in whatever you do and doing it right is the basis of dignity of labour which has got lost somewhere between the soap box union slogans and countless strikes demanding more and more rights.

There is a rhythm one follows when one is working. Flawless and smoother the rhythm, better the output is. But when you have to keep breaking it to take care of minor things, you lose the tempo and make mistakes. Just because you 'can', does not mean you should have to do things which others should have finished and handed over to you. Likewise when you dispense your services.

We encounter this everyday. Some brazen beings blatantly blame it on the system and wash their hands off saying 'we weren't given the right inputs'. But most will try and fix it at their end and take it forward. Is there something wrong in the basic training one is receiving or have we become so used to not paying attention to detail? 

Someday someone is going to put dangerous clauses as subtitles. It is true God is in the details but so is the Devil. Hope he doesn't catch us unaware on a rainy afternoon coz we never bothered to read the fine print.

8 comments:

  1. Vandu, 'God is in the details....so is the Devil'....so true. We just avoid to read so many things ya! Disclaimers!!! Now onwards, I will always remember your post! Very thought provoking!

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  2. Yes Anagha, we tend to overlook minor flaws. This in turn, patronizes mediocrity.

    And we also don't bother about the fine print coz we are the people in need of that particular application. Even if we don't agree with it we will have to accept it, so what's the point in reading; is the general notion.

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  3. Interesting thoughts. Here is another (smaller) perspective to the same issue! Often when presenting work to clients, if there are minor errors in it, clients immediately consider it to be a rough edit ... and then treat the situation as a free license to make dramatic changes. This process happens almost every time. Repeat the cycle a few times and all your enthusiasm ... and creative juices vanish. So I have learned this the hard way: make no errors, accept no work with errors and treat each piece of work you present as a work fit for Gods! The Devil will automatically get the hint and take a hike.

    As an artist when you do your own thing, following this approach is easy. But when you work in a team, taking that approach is very difficult. You are often labeled as an uncompromising Bast**d. Often you have to choose between earning your colleagues respect v/s earning their friendship/ goodwill. It takes clear thinking, courage and determination to make the right choice. Not everyone's cup of tea I'm afraid.

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  4. You are absolutely right, not everyone's cup of tea and sometimes you end up being the spoilsport of the team.

    I also don't feel everyone is blessed with the same IQ or resilience. But how difficult can it be to try and deliver 'to the best of your potential to the best of your knowledge' before it leaves that 'out desk' on your table.

    I understand Time & Monies always rush us to mediocrity. In the real workplace neither are available in luxurious quantities. But still...as much as possible...one can try ...right???? It is the 'let it be' सब चलता है attitude that digs us the deep grave.

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  5. Very true Vandana. I experience this while checking Audit Reports. There are so many silly mistakes...that I can hardly give any value addition to it.

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  6. Hai na Shriraj??? Instead of doing what you should be doing with free mind....you must be worried about the mistakes the person who handled the report before u must have made. It brings down ones productivity so much. And you only wish...arey zara tune zra dhyan se kaam kiya hota to mera kaam double nahi hota'.

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