Diaries Magazine

Only What I Owe

Posted on the 23 July 2018 by C. Suresh
"People are so demanding. They are never content", I burst out as soon as I sighted my friend.
'There he goes again', I hear you saying, and how right you are. My friends seem never to disappoint you in invariably disappointing me.
"What now?" Why that world-weary tone creeps into the voice of my friends as soon as they talk to me, I will never understand.
"There is this author on my Timeline. I even bought and read the damn guy's book, quite nice it was. Now he keeps putting up Facebook statuses about how happy his readers, who liked his book, will make him if they posted reviews. I mean, come on, why does he think I owe him a review?"
"Does he think he is owed one, now? Or is he merely saying that he would love to have his writing complimented?"
"It is so tough to write..."
"Yeah! I know! Complaining is always easy, praising is so damn difficult. But, if you want to make people happy..."
"Whatever!" I could see that this was going the way our conversations usually went and tried to shut him up. It works rather fine for teenagers, I hear, to shut up adults with this 'whatever' but, unfortunately for me...
"Remember the time I told you to surprise your wife every now and then with flowers and gifts and..."
"I know. Whatever for? I mean, I do my share of the house-work, get her presents on her birthday and our anniversary...I mean, every single thing she has a right to expect me to do, I do, so..."
"People WILL be very unhappy if you fail to do what they think you owe them but almost never feel happy if you only do what what you owe. But, then, were you not the guy who could not understand why I bothered to compliment the waiter at the restaurant for his prompt and courteous service..."
"Yeah! Why did you? After all, you were paying for the service and even tipping him, so..."
"It makes them happy, just as a review of a book you liked would make the author happy. It is your choice to make anyone happy or just stick to doing what you think you owe them. Only, if you want to act that way with everyone, don't come to me asking why people don't like you."
"Why would they not like me?"
"Well...that boss of yours...Raghav or some such...do you like him?"
"Of course not! He is an entitled prig. I slave for two consecutive days, without sleep, to complete an urgent job that would normally take a week. The asshole takes it for granted. Not a word..."
"Why should he? You are getting a salary and, after all, he will take it into account in deciding your annual raise. So..."
So? What does he think? That timely positive feedback is unnecessary because I am getting a salary?
What an idiot!

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