Taking credit

Taking credit

It is the way of the world to grab most of the credit when something good is done and not disown discredit when things don’t go as well as expected.

A recent incident highlighted this common human trait. There was a pile of garbage just outside our compound wall — an unsightly hillock, in fact — which kept growing at an alarming rate.

I called the BBMP and was told it would be cleared and advised me to contact A, which I promptly did. A directed me to B who, in turn, referred me to C. Never one to let the grass grow under my feet, I did so. C was ‘not in his seat’. I gave him a long rope, knowing that the breaks these employees take is stretchable. When I managed to catch him, he said ‘urgent matters’ had kept him busy and suggested I approach D. I couldn’t afford the luxury of irritation at being pushed from pillar to post (or in this case, from A to probably Z, only to return to A) what with the garbage level rising rapidly. So I set about tracking D. Not surprisingly, D proved elusive. Patience is a virtue and I decided to practise it, though it was beginning to wear thin. Before it completely gave way, I managed to corner D. He promised to take action. Being sceptical, I wasn’t convinced. As if sensing it, reassured me.
Even after two days, nothing was done. I was forced to tackle D again, treading warily as my interest was at stake. After a whole morning of requests and reminders, the garbage was cleared. I heaved a sigh of relief. It was such a pleasure to see the place all spruced up.

The very next morning, the door bell rang. A khaki-clad stranger stood outside. “I am Raghu,” he declared. As I had never seen him before, I didn’t recognise him. I couldn’t figure out why he was giving himself the celebrity status of Rajikanth. I got a bit suspicious, especially after the gory stories of assault and murder that the media publicises in painful detail. “What do you want?” I asked brusquely. He looked hurt. “How can you ask that? I am the one who cleared all that garbage,” he answered. I could recall the faces of those who had done the clean-up but Raghu definitely wasn’t one of them. He coolly demanded Rs 50 for a job which he hadn’t done.

I was more prepared to deal with the next claimant. The uniformed lady gave me a sweet smile and took credit for what was done and wanted to be rewarded for having done nothing. But who took the cake was a local resident who claimed the rubbish heap was cleared because she threatened to expose the BBMP by sending a picture of the rubbish heap to the press.