Biggest Fear6 mins 290 6 mins 290
Every person who had visited the Good Home Center never forgets Mr. Rao for he was such a cheerful and a vibrant person. He had been working at the store since its inception. From a worker in the stockroom, he had now become the store manager. The dedication and the meticulous service of Mr.Rao was commendable.
The rapid rise of e-commerce and technology caused a tremendous decline in sales of the Good Home Center, the management could not cope with huge losses and rising debts. They finally declared that they would shut down the store in a month's time and they also agreed to pay fair compensation to the employees.
Rao was devastated,he felt as if his small little world came breaking down into a million pieces. On the last day of his work, he pulled the shutters down of the store and his 30-year-old stint at the Good Home Center bidding a conclusive adieu.
A week later, Rao bumped into Mr. Michael, a very old and a regular customer of the store " Hello, Mr. Rao, how have you been. How come you are here? ", said Mr.Michael. "Our store closed a week back. The management had been in a sea of problems for quite some time and they had to shut down ultimately. But luckily I found myself a job at the Infinity Store in the Regal Mall. I am joining there starting next week. Kindly excuse me Mr.Michael, I am in a rush now, will catch you later.", said Rao and hurriedly left the place.
That night Michael reflected on the short conversation that he had with Rao. He found that he was not the same person he used to be at the store and felt something was wrong, but he reassured himself that he was thinking too much.
A few days later, Michael could not stop himself from thinking about his meeting with Rao.
He recollected his troubled look, trying to avoid eye contact, his perspiring forehead, the lunch bag in his hand. All these gave rise to numerous other thoughts and Michael could sense big trouble ahead. He went to the Infinity Store at the Regal Mall and his suspicion became clear when they said that Rao was not working there.
To his luck, he found Santosh there, who was a salesman once at the Good Home Center. " Santosh, do you know where Mr.Rao works now?", asked Michael. "Sir, he said he is going to Bangalore next month along with his wife since his son is studying there. He also said he has found a job there in a huge departmental store.", said Santosh. Michael did not reveal anything about the meeting. He asked Santosh about his whereabouts and also learnt that Rao's wife works as a teacher in a school near his house. He thanked Santosh and left the place.
For the next few days, Michael started following Rao to study his activities. Rao left home in his old scooter every day with his lunch bag after his wife went to school. He used to aimlessly wander the whole day, sometimes sit in an empty playground, or a park and return home at the same time as he used to when he was working.
Michael probed a little about Rao. He lived in his ancestral house since the time he was born. He hardly traveled and was complacently cocooned in a tiny pod of his family, house and the store. He had never wished for anything more nor wanted to change his habitual, mundane way of life. Michael understood what Rao was going through. "Metathesiophobia", he said to himself.
The next day Michael approached Rao. He said he wanted to talk to him. With a little hesitation, in the beginning, Rao agreed to come along with him. He sat on the chair silent and perplexed. Michael sat next to him and said," You can speak your heart out and tell me all your fears and worries. If you don't wish to speak, then take this notepad and write down all the feelings that you have buried deep down inside you. You can trust me, my friend, you will feel better and I can help you in overcoming your fears and inhibitions. I am a life coach, counselor and therapist. I can sense what people are going through from their actions, words and body language." Rao then wrote down all his feelings and gave it to Michael.
The note read. "I had a very simple and straightforward life but I was very happy with it. I am emotionally attached to the smallest thing around me. Be it my house, my old fashioned furniture, my 15-year-old scooter, and my beloved job at the Good Home Store. I never wished for anything better and most importantly I did not want anything to change around me. I can't adapt to change. It makes me very anxious and petrified.
When I came to know that the store was shutting down, I was shattered. I did not how to accept such a big change in life. My colleagues started looking out for other options and even recommended me a few opportunities in other places. But I refused to attend any interview. I cannot work in a new environment. I have a fear of losing my job again. I can't think of starting all over, adjusting myself with new situations and people. I lied to my wife that I found a new job because I did not want her to know what I am going through".
Michael said, "Life can never be stagnant my friend, it's full of changes and unexpected situations. When batteries die out, we have to change them to restore the gadget in it's working condition. People get an organ transplant or replacement when their organs don't function as desired. The world is full of options and opportunities for you to grow and get geared up to move ahead. Mr.Rao, first you must gain the courage, to tell the truth to your wife. I am sure she will understand you. You need someone beside when you are going through an emotional turmoil. I assure you that things are going to get better." Rao, left the place feeling a little lighter and solaced.
Two days later he revealed to his wife on what had happened. She understood him thoroughly and stood strong by his side as a confidante, bringing him to sanity. After a few counseling sessions with his trusted moral advocate, Michael; Rao slowly began to overcome his biggest fear of " Change". He realized that life cannot be paused into a still scene forever and he must press the play button to move ahead for a renewed future.
Things began to fall in place and a few months later he found a new job as an inventory manager of an online grocery store. Michael saw the optimistic and lively Mr.Rao once again.