Native Intelligence

Travel & Tourism invariably throw up surprises when you least expect them. In fact often such experiences add to the pleasure of travel and help us break the monotony of our daily lives.This is what happened during our recent visit to the temple town, Tiruchanur. Here is a brief account of what took place during our trip:

We visited Tiruchanur for a day as part of our brief pilgrimage after the wedding of our daughter in Chennai.
We completed our temple visit in the evening after our arrival and decided to retire early to bed as we knew that the following day would be equally long and tiresome. We got up early on the following day, finished our morning chores and set out to have our breakfast before leaving for Tirumala. Myself, my brother and sister decided to have simple and harmless Idlis for breakfast and went to a hotel nearby. Even as we were entering the hotel, I told the waiter that we would like to have steaming Idlis and nothing else. He simply nodded his head in acknowledgement. However, to our surprise, the Idlis served were cold and unappetizing. When Sambar served also was ice-cold, we lost our patience. We protested and walked out in a huff as the guys were not even bothered to explain the situation, clearly showing that they didn’t care.
Although disappointed, we were not in a mood to give up so soon and therefore ventured into a road-side eatery on the recommendation of a localite who vouched for its quality. The place was right in the middle of a busy thoroughfare but we didn’t mind because at that time quality mattered more than hygiene. But it turned out to be yet another disaster. My brother was the first to be served idlis & sambar. As soon as he tasted the sambar, he screamed out loud saying, “God, it is too hot & spicy”. My sister got up instantaneously and said, “if Ravi(my brother) felt it’s spicy, it must be some authentic ‘Rocket fuel’or ‘Gun powder’ straight from the notorious Guntur town in Andhrapradesh”. We paid up for the idlis that we didn’t consume and instantly performed a perfect vanishing act. At this stage, we almost gave up convinced that it was simply not our day. We were not in a mood to take any more non-sense.
As we started to walk back to our place, someone led us to yet another hotel in the same area. Although we were very reluctant, the guy was very emphatic and sounded credible about the quality of snacks in the hotel recommended by him. We entered the hotel disinterestedly without much hope. But then, to our pleasant surprise, our experience was completely different this time. What happened during the next 20 minutes had to be seen to be believed. The idlis were excellent. Not only that, we were coaxed into taking vadas & coffee too which were equally good.

Even as all of us were busy consuming the snacks served, I kept wondering how could this be so. What could possibly account for such a contrasting experience? I asked myself,”Who is the director of this excellent show?” The answers were not far to seek as I watched quite closely and intently. There was a lady at the cash counter who was virtually directing the whole show. She was welcoming guests, giving them suggestions on what to eat, commanding waiters to ensure prompt service etc etc. While doing all this efficiently, she still seemed to manage the cash counter well all by herself. It was virtually a one-man(rather one-woman) show! I was quite impressed with her all round management capability. It was an excellent display of multitasking. She had shown her skills of man management, customer service, and cash management – all at the same time. She also exhibited excellent marketing skills by encouraging us to try out different dishes and we obliged her without any hesitation. And the fact that the food was tasty proved that she was also good at Kitchen management and Quality management.

Here is a lady who doesn’t have any qualification or formal training, comes from a rural background and yet has exhibited wonderful native intelligence (another name for management skills?) which is on par with any well trained Corporate team.
What more proof does one need to say that managers are BORN and NOT MADE.


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