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Are you living in a freezer?

By G. Balasubramanian

Eric had invited Joe and Shim over a cup of Tea in the morning before they started their work. Eric was the Chief of the company in which both were working; and receiving an invitation from the chief was indeed a delightful moment for both. Having spent a few joyful moments, Eric put an interesting question to both. “Do you think it is possible to live inside a freezer?” Joe and Shim raised their eyebrows. “No. You would just die” answered Shim exhibiting his smartness.

Eric looked at Joe who was still introspecting. “It appears possible.” He said in a freak voice. “Possible?” questioned Eric. Joe continued “Yes. If several animals could live in polar regions where the temperature is sub-zero, there should be a mechanism to explore the possibility of living in a freezer.”

“Right. Now the task before both of you is to find out why are you guys living in a freezer? When do you want to see the sunshine? Sit down and brainstorm for the next eight hours. Okay?” Eric left the place leaving them in a fix.

Like Joe and Shim, there are many people in some organizations who seem to live in a freezer – yes, they experience a frozen life. A few tend to feel safe inside the freezer. For a few it is a comfort zone. For others, it is a heaven they have designed and articulated to protect themselves from lives which could impact or influence them.

And the minutes flowed into hours.

Hour 1: In the first hour of the informal chat, Joe told Shim “You always play the role of a victim. You think everyone else is just targeting you. So, you have low self-esteem. Therefore, you feel happy to be in a freezer and just do not want to socialize. You think everyone is your enemy. You need to change.” Shim did not agree with Joe “Hey! You too seem to be targeting me. How could you say that? Yes, I agree I am in the freezer, because I just don’t want to listen to any nonsense about me from others.”

Hour 2: With their arguments picking up, Shim countered “You know Joe. You have a bad habit of pointing fingers at others. You spend most of your time finding faults with others, least realizing that three fingers are pointing at your own self. In trying to do so, your focus is totally lost. Your time becomes highly unproductive. No wonder, boss said that you live in a freezer” Shim smiled.

Hour 3: Joe was not happy with the observations of Shim. “I may not agree to what you say. I have better business than pointing fingers at others. You say this because a deep sense of self-pity. Every time you talk to somebody in the office, you articulate your words in such a way everyone sympathizes you. Everyone feels sorry about you. You seem to condemn yourself by engaging into self-pity. When will you grow bigger and taller? In deep freeze, you will not have that sunshine which will let you grow. Think about it.”

Hour 4: Shim was really offended by the words of Joe.” Please do not mistake me, Joe. Sitting in the deep freeze, you feel comfortable in nurturing your grudges against others. You sit and plan for resources and opportunities on how to take vengeance against others. The freezer is a honeycomb for you; it is a place where you assimilate and store all your negative energies. That is why you don’t want to breathe oxygen outside.”

Hour 5: “Ha, ha, ha” Joe laughed loudly. “That is an interesting observation, Shim. You are indeed capable of making such fantasies of imagination because you have nothing else to do. You do not have the appropriate skills for the job. You are unwilling to listen or learn. You stay with your century old skillsets and tools. You do not sharpen your intellect or your talents. No wonder, the freezer looks comfortable to you.”

Eric appeared on the scene “Good guys. You seem to have had a great brainstorming. Keep it up. but do take a break, have a cup of tea before you enter the freezer again.” With a smile he walked away.

Hour 6: Shim remarked “Joe, listen, Eric has called both of us as people in the freezer. Why don’t we think together why he said so, instead of fighting with each other? Joe agreed and said “Possibly because both of us have never taken any frontline positions. May be, he has seen us not advancing ourselves to do anything which is beyond the dotted line.” Shim said ‘I agree. So, we are unnoticed. We are considered as less energetic. We appear as people without responsibility.”

Hour 7: Joe continued “Shim, do you recall last time when he met us, he said that we should learn to be independent He said “you guys are always waiting for your team leader to tell you what to do and then to follow it up. Could that be the reason?” Responded Shim “Yes, Joe, that also could be a reason. He always tells people that they should grow into leaders. Possibly, he felt that we have not exhibited any qualities of leadership”

Hour 8: It was nice to see Joe and Shim thinking together. Shim said ‘Indeed we have lost touch with most of the people in the organization. We had started living in shells with no socialization. Our people skills have been bad.” Continued Joe “Correct. We had been too cold in our workstations. We lacked the necessary warmth in relationships. We had hibernated like the polar animals in the subzero temperatures in their winter.”

Eric walked in saying “Hey guys! It is already eight hours. Your worktime is over. Before you depart, do walk into my room for another cup of Green Tea.

As they entered the chamber of Eric, they saw a white board which depicted his wit and wisdom. It read “Two People who lived in the freezer finally found why their lives were freezing all these days. The reasons they found are:

1. They had low self-esteem

2. They were unproductive

3. They loved self-pity and did not want to grow bigger.

4. They were busy in assimilating negative energies

5. They did not sharpen their intellect and their talents

6. They were less energetic and unwilling to take responsibilities

7. They did not exhibit qualities of leadership

8. They had poor people skills

Joe and Shim looked at Eric in acknowledgement. “Thanks Eric. The exercise was quite introspective. By the way, you had left your mobile phone on our discussion table. Have a good day!” With a smile they walked away. Eric took a selfie on his mobile camera with a smile!