In the Navy, for the sailors, we have a Divisional system. That is, the ship’s company (crew) is divided into small manageable Divisions that are generally named after parts of ship, for example, Foxle (this is how forecastle is pronounced) Division, Quarterdeck Division, Engine Room Division and so on. Each division is under a young Lieutenant called the Divisional Officer. The healthy Divisional system is the backbone of the Navy. Hence, tact, empathy, and other skills of the Divisional Officer are often what makes the difference between a spirited ship and the one that isn’t.
One young Divisional Officer was proud of being blessed with such attributes as would keep his division happy as well as performing its task ably. Following conversation took place between him and a sailor who approached him for leave:
DO: You have asked for ten days leave again. Why do you go on leave so often?
Sailor: Sir, my wife is pregnant and there is no one to look after her.
DO: (Taking out from the table drawer an open letter envelope) Ah, here I caught you A Singh; I received this letter from your wife only yesterday. She has complained about your going home, getting drunk, and not being of any assistance to her. Indeed, she says she is with her parents and can go through the total pregnancy with their help and has requested that you shouldn’t be sent on leave. What do you have to say to this, A Singh?
|Pic Courtesy: Popeye The Sailor: Volume Three|
A Singh, all this while is crestfallen and does not know what to say. Finally, he says, “Thank you, Sir” and starts retreating. However, from the door he turns back and approaches the DO.
A Singh: Sir, before I go can I tell you something heart to heart?
DO (Savouring his not-so-small victory over A Singh): Go ahead, A Singh, and ask for any assistance you may require.
A Singh: No Sir, I don’t require any assistance. I just wanted to tell you that all this while I thought of myself as an accomplished liar; but, you have beaten me hollow…you see, Sir…the truth is that I am not married.
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