Dear MxM by Jaisurya Das: I find that a junior has been given a higher raise than me

18 Aug,2016

By Jaisurya Das


Ladies and Gentleman, it is my pleasure to welcome you back to this week;s edition of Dear MxM, India’s only counselling column for the media, marketing and advertising fraternity.

Yes, India has come a long way since 1947. We have gained tremendously in various spheres and this wisdom has made us an emerging global

powerhouse of industry and human capital. Much pride!

And yet somethings don’t change. ’The Great Indian Ego’ empowering a huge cross-section of our citizens with the ‘I know it all’ syndrome for instance.

This is an amazing creation of our time that for some reason sees no limits or expiry dates. I for one have had the unique honour of encountering this syndrome time and again, from prosaic interactions with masons, plumbers and painters who seem to know almost everything, about anything. Different matter that it is your house or office they are talking about.

It’s quite unbelievable how matters can be complicated with their amazing repertoire of half-baked knowledge that is bandied about. No, it doesn’t stop with this. Quite a few corporates and huge enterprises have this breed too.

At multiple levels too. Modified versions of the ‘I know it all’ manual are also released for the public at frequent intervals.

Version 1.2 released a few years ago is essentially centred on ‘Oh, we have done all this. It doesn’t help’, ‘Ya ya I know but this doesn’t work for our business’. Interestingly they probably don’t even know what is being referred to, so much so, that this retort often comes at the very outset of being spoken with. A door slam in its refined version.

I have been an amused silent observer at several meetings just soaking in these enlightened folks, in the hope that I will also at some point of time, learn the fine art of ‘knowing it all’…

But, alas, in all these years I haven’t learnt a thing, resulting in my complete ignorance of most topics that little relevance to me. Maybe it’s time I get to learning some of this, to be able to move on in life.

If not anything, I may look the part. What say?

On that note it’s time to brace yourself for some interestingly funny questions this week from our readers in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi..


Sir, don’t you get bored of answering the same kind of questions week after week? Don’t you get dejected and disillusioned when you hear others relate their woes to you?

Ha ha, yes, of course I do… boredom is pretty much part of life isn’t it? Quite recently a serial mountaineer friend regaled me with how he had moments of boredom while he scaled vertical mountain faces. I did try and caution him against mountain climbing… tsk tsk!

So, yes, I do get bored of answering questions but somewhere there is also a strange sense of satisfaction. This feeling is quite unparalleled and dejection just doesn’t figure anywhere. In fact it’s pretty much a top-of-the-world euphoria that envelops me when I get thank you mails from readers whose queries have been answered.

I wouldn’t give this up in a hurry no matter how boring or staid it may seem. To make a positive difference to the lives of our fraternity is what Dear MxM is committed to. In fact that is our raison d’être. Nothing will change this.



I have taken an off on August 18 as a couple of my lady colleagues have threatened to tie a Rakhi to me. While I am glad they consider me worthy enough of being able to protect them, as is the spirit of Raksha Bandhan, I am hassled that I won’t be able to flirt with them. I know this is not a relationships agony aunt, but can you advise what I should do?

Bravo! This is a unique question indeed. Flirting and ‘Raksha Bandhan’ have normally no sync but you have just redefined this auspicious occasion. While I understand the amazingly complex dilemma you are going through, it may be prudent to have a few of them tie Rakhis on you.

Let me explain the strategic objective in this piece of advise.. Assuming you are most keen on flirting with 2-3 of your lady colleagues of a total of 7 then 4 may be given permission to become sisters. This will only increase your chances of comfortable flirting with the rest. It’s matter of ratio after all.

Now all this is based on your assumption that they’re queuing up to tie this sacred thread on your wrist!  All the same, proceed with caution, go to work and handle them diplomatically. The ladies who you refuse may be given a wicked smile so that your flirtatious instincts are made more apparent.

All the best, Casanova. Do keep the nearest hospital numbers handy!


I find that a junior has been given a higher raise than me. The sad thing is I got to know from the salary slip I accidentally saw on his computer and not my boss who should’ve given me a reason why he has done so. Should I take this as a message and look at greener pastures?

No wonder my wise ancestors once said ‘The grass is always greener on the other side’! This time it’s the salary slip which is nice and green with grass and envy isn’t it?

Hold your horses, my friend. Why in the world are you going around comparing your salary with others in the first place? This is no hallmark of a professional, unless of course you don’t believe you are one.

I have my doubts on your career plans assuming such benchmarking is part of your character. Talent, craft and acumen aren’t about age and number of years of service. If he/ she has been given a higher raise, his/ her work must speak for itself. Instead of wasting time peering into the computer screens of others, get your act together and do some good work.

Prove to them that you are worthy of more. Quite simply, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee!


Sir, my new boss can’t speak a full sentence in English fluently, but he’s supposed to be quite a whizkid in the media? How come, Sir? Isn’t the knowledge and fluency of/in English essential to rise high as a business executive in media. Please enlighten me sir.

Ah, the eternal ego that goes with English! Since when has language been the measure of success? I can show you so many examples of very senior business executives who aren’t fluent in English.

It’s all finally based on the role that the person has to perform. For instance, in the media, there are several leaders in the vernacular segment who are

top- notch performers who manage quite well without fluency in English.

I have personally worked with people who power large initiatives for some of my consulting clients in the vernacular space. I have never had am occasion to doubt their acumen because of a language gap.

Yes, I do find it easier if they can handle English, but that doesn’t really hamper progress in any way. So each to his own my friend. Please do not forget that acumen bereft of language can work fine, but not the converse.

Sharpen your craft and leave language to the linguists. After all its their job to get all that right.


Wow, this month seems to be flying past! I guess it’s about all these holidays and chill time that we are enjoying. Have a lovely time with your sisters and to-be-sisters this Raksha Bandhan. Pamper them silly with chocolates and gifts and regale in your success.


Have a great weekend and keep those mails coming to Please do mention ‘Dear MxM’ and your ‘City’ in the subject line. Till the next week then, it’s Dear MxM saying Sayonara!


Jaisurya Das, maverick and media evangelist, eats, sleeps and makes love to brands. His consulting interventions are aimed at making brands powerful and sustainable. He is also Contributing Editor of MxM India. The views expressed in this column are his own.




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