Thursday, October 6, 2011

It is a pleasure to work with those........

Perry Mason stories have thrilled millions of readers the world over for decades. There are claims that the series is the most widely read in history. The TV serial series on Perry Mason's case are still popular and being shown even today. Only regret is that the characters of Perry mason, Della Street and Paul Drake are nowhere near the description we get in the books themselves. The actors have acted quite well in the episodes, we have to concede. These stories have fascinated generations of readers. In each and every case, somewhere in the many pages of suspense and intrigue, there is always a peculiar principle of law. There are also some truths of life and some analysis of human behavior by a trained mind. No surprise, E S Gardner's "Court of last resort" could establish innocence of many convicts. "The case of the Howling Dog"was made a movie as early as in 1934.

Among the many cases is one by name "Case of the Mythical Monkeys".  Mason suggests in the courtroom for matching the finger print of a witness, Mrs Joseph Manly, with one found in the scene of the crime to solve the murder mystery. Lt. Arthur Tragg is in the witness chair, being cross examined by Perry Mason in the court of Judge Arvis Bagby.  Mrs Manly, sitting in the court room starts running away from the court. At this point, I quote from the book:

Lt. Arthur Tragg half arose, then settled back in his chair.
"Aren't you going to follow that woman and bring her back?" Judge Bagby demanded indignantly of Lt. Tragg.
"Not right away,"  Tragg said, with a slow drawl.  
"and may I ask why not?"
"Well, it's like she said,"  Lt. Tragg observed, "the fingerprints in the cabin proves she was lying, but that's all. But her flight is evidence that the district attorney can use in case against her when he's trying her for murder.  So if she is foolish enough to resort to flight, I'll give her a good start before I catch her."

Slowly the look of annoyance on Judge Bagby's face was replaced by a smile. "It is always a pleasure to watch a really efficient officer at work,"he said.

We meet dozens of people at work every day. Some give us a sense of calm of security and comfort when they handle our issues. We feel we are in safe hands. But many leave us with goose bumps. Some grasp our requirements pretty fast and some others drive us crazy. Some are efficiency personified while some others are down right incompetent. We have often recall "Peter's Principle"and understand that we are dealing with incompetent officials. Officials who can quote ten rules to tell you why your job cannot be done. But the same job is done ten times by another official, and well within the same rules.

If we go to a school and ask young kids "What is apple?",  they are more likely to say that it is a company founded by Steve Jobs. "Apple is a fruit" could be the second best answer. Steve Jobs was a man who knew his job. He was more than that. He was a visionary. His dreams were not for himself, but for a generation of people. 56 years is not an age to die. He looked more and more frail in the last few years.  But the vision appeared to become stronger each day. "For those of us lucky enough to work with Steve, it was an insanely great honour..........." said Bill Gates in his tribute. "Had the pleasure of working for him and knowing him. he was our Edison"said actor-writer-director Albert Brooks.

"Design is just not what it looks like and feels like Design is how it works." are his famous words. And his products at apple worked.  Long after similar products bought elsewhere stopped working. Many of us did not know him personally. We did not have the pleasure of working with him. But we did have the pleasure of working with the products he pioneered.  It was a pleasure to work with him for thousands. It was and still is a pleasure to work with the products of Apple for millions.

 As Judge Bagby said in the "Case of Mythical Monkeys , it is always indeed a pleasure to watch an efficient officer at work.  It is indeed a pleasure to work with  those who know their jobs.  Especially for those, who do not know theirs, we may as well add.


  1. congratulations on a beautifully written tribute to the Apple founder.
    i am a friend and erstwhile colleague of the late Subbanna of BARC.
    Satya Jyothi

  2. Jobs, they say, was only next to Thomas Edison whose inventions are more than a thousand. We require more of their species in the world today.

  3. "Jobs takes iWay to Heaven" read the TOI's opening page... :(
    This tribute truly does justice to the man.

    Must add though, it also took me back to the days i devoured Earl Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason. Someone mentioned Della one day and the to my surprise the first thought that came to my mind was Della Street!! I longingly look at those series in your bookshelf every single time i come home..:)