Today is DIWALI, the Festival of Lights celebrated by Hindus around the world. I woke up today thinking of my Indian friends both celebrating near and far. One of them that came to mind was my ex-hotel General Manager whom I worked with in the late eighties. He is Mr. NSP. We shall call him 'Jekyll'. He is an Indian national who has now recognized Malaysia as home. Jekyll was every hotel owner's dream. He produced the numbers, turned around difficult situations and was every customers' gem.
Situations that I remember of Jekyll:
BEFORE -Dining period at the Swiss restaurant. He was on his rounds and came across a discontented guest. The subject was concerning a bread roll that was too hard to be consumed. He immediately asked the Maitre D' to mobilize the Pastry Chef while he was making small talk with the guest. Before the Chef could even make it to the table, Jekyll FLUNG the roll towards the Chef in the presence of the other guests and cautioned him; "Never-Ever!! serve this piece of shit to any of my guest again" - word for word.
AFTER - He would then move along to the 'back of the house' with the Chef and with EMPATHY apologizing profusely hoping that he didn't hurt him.
BEFORE - As a young Sales Executive, I used to be TERRIFIED by Jekyll. Our work stations were located almost fronting the General Manager's office. 'Judgement Time' was 9.30am SHARP. We needed to exit the office for the marketplace or be exited. I recall that I was caught on the telephone with a client (there were no mobilephones then, sales people carried pagers). Five minutes after 'Judgement Time', I had Jekyll standing in front of his door and screaming at me; "F**k Off, F**k Off, F**k Off!!" Not realising that my brief case was still open, I grabbed it and it further delayed my exit, with all my sales documents sprawled on the floor.
AFTER - He would then approach me while I am 'shitting bricks' with empathy and apologizing repeatedly hoping that he didn't scare me.
I remember of another person today. Let's just call this person Hyde. A person with terrible mood swings. The swings are mostly severe, long lasting and hinders the person’s ability to function normally. This person suffering from this condition, however, would feel intensely elated, energetic, and irritable at most times and then experience painful sadness, negative thinking, and complete indifference.
Similarities on Jeckyll and Hyde? People like that are not in control of their EMOTIONS and their rapid mood change. There could also be complementing indifferent disorders like stealing, perpetual lying and yet they do not realise. Situations as these are called 'BIPOLAR'. My interest in this subject arose when I came across these videos recently, with the spate concerning Ex- Miss Singapore, Ris Low. She is a Bipolar sufferer which has resulted in her losing her crown.
Today is Diwali. It is a celebration of the VICTORY of good over evil; the uplifting of spiritual darkness. I pray that sufferers of this disorder with medication and support would be victorious. During this festival, some empathy on people that we know are Bipolar would be good. Check this blog on empathy, "Have A Meaningful Deepavali" by my friend Anas Zubedy. http://letusaddvalue.blogspot.com/
To Mr. NSP, you are probably in your seventies now. Despite your stern leadership and erratic mood swings, I have learnt a lot about hotel success from you. I have always thought of you as the 'Last Escaped MAHARAJA' that arrived our shores. To 'HYDE', I wish you well. To my other Indian friends, "HAPPY DIWALI AND MAY YOUR HOUSEHOLD BE BLESSED".
By the way, my current hotel CHIEF, is a Frenchman. He has also started blogging his thoughts and I liked his recent insertion on 'The Law of the Garbage Trucks', which somehow adds value to this posting. http://gruhier.blogspot.com/
It was said, "So.. LOVE the people who treat you right. FORGET about the ones who don't. BELIEVE that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance , TAKE IT! If it changes your life , LET IT! Nobody said it would be easy".