Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A little act that proved to be so big

The Lost Letter

Readers Digest, India.
I was doing well as a department head in a Mumbai firm, but my  relationship with the boss had become strained. Not wanting to put up with this, I resigned rather impulsively. But with no other job offer in hand, I soon became anxious.

Then, one morning, a Situations Vacant ad I spotted sought a person like me, and at an ideal location. I phoned an acquaintance, a placement agent, for tips. “I don’t think you fit the bill,” he opined. “They’d prefer MBAs with experience in multinationals, so don’t waste your time.” My wife disagreed. “Go by your instinct,” she said. “You’ve got nothing to lose.”
So, carrying my neatly typed CV and covering letter in an envelope on which I had written both ‘To and From’ addresses, I boarded a packed suburban train on a Monday morning to get to Mumbai’s GPO, where I could have it weighed, stamped and posted. Getting off the train, I joined the crowd of office-
goers out of the station and on to the street. Suddenly, I noticed, my envelope was missing!
I rushed back to the platform. The train was still there. A search of the compartment in which I travelled drew a blank. I waited impatiently for the train to pull away. It hadn’t fallen on the tracks either.

The logical thing to do was to go home, sit at my typewriter, make a new CV and covering letter and mail it. But losing the envelope was like a bad sign, so I gave up.
Three weeks passed. I received a letter that referred to my “lost” job application and inviting me for a meeting with the company’s managing director. I was stunned.
I soon got the job, and worked there as deputy general manager until I took voluntary retirement in 2002.

I still think about my application reaching its addressee. I imagine someone found it. He or she might have asked others on the train. Finding no claimant and realizing it would be important to a fellow citizen, the finder took it to a post office, stuck the stamps and mailed it. To that unknown friend, I want to say: Thank you for a little act that proved to be so big for me. 

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