After the selection in Civil Services examination, the life seems to have changed. We all have an inherent desire to gain an advantage of the position we hold in society. This sudden rise in the position on the ladder of social stratification took some time to sink in. During the UPSC preparation times, nobody used to pay extra attention to our requests. But now, a mere fact that I belong to IRS gets the work done. This success may lead to the evolution of some fatty egos. I, too, was about to join this battalion but was somehow shown the right path by a clerk in the RTO Office.
I was under the impression that me being an IRS Officer is enough to get the things done for myself. But, I was highly mistaken. Interestingly, since long time, the address on my Driving License was wrongly written. I never had the courage to deal with the RTO authorities as I was told that getting a new driving license is easier than getting it altered. Post selection, I paved my way to the RTO Office with my head held high as if a lesser known mortal has turned into a greater known one. I thought of meeting the highest graded officer but no one was found in the office. Then, somehow, I managed to get in touch with the person dealing with the alteration issues. I told him my issue and asked him to do my work instantly. Since an Officer was sitting inside my head, I was assured that the going would not get tough. The person concerned said that he cannot do my work and asked me to come through a proper channel. I got furious. I asked him whether there is no relaxation in the rules for the Officers from Income Tax Department. Then, it was the time for him to get furious. He said, “What has the Income Tax Department done for people like us? Why should we show them the favors?” I was astonished to hear the reply. That was the time when I convinced myself about the fact that there are certain rules also which exist in this country and I’ll gain nothing by entering from the back doors. This was the leverage stint which went down the drain. May be because, I was a new kid on the block.
Few months later, I was travelling by a train from Lucknow to Delhi. This train had an amusing departure time. It was 12.05am. I had booked the ticket myself. When the TT came to check the tickets, he discovered something in my ticket which was very unpleasant for me. The ticket which I had booked was for Saturday – 12.05am. But I had to travel on Sunday – 12.05am. The TT said angrily, “Your train had already left yesterday early morning.” I was in a fix. I told him politely that I belong to IRS and was going to Delhi to attend some felicitation function. His behavior changed dramatically. He suddenly stood up and assured me of his help. He ended up not only giving me a seat to sleep but also didn’t even charge a penny for that. He feared that if he takes money from me, I will lodge his complaint to his boss, and consequently he may get fired. Here, IRS was at work. I didn’t have to do anything in this case. Mere introduction was enough.
Next and most interesting event happened when I was on my way from Lucknow to NADT, Nagpur via road. It was near Sagar in Madhya Pradesh and our car’s petrol tank was about to finish. I asked the localites about the petrol pump and almost everybody pointed to the one nearby as there was none after that till some 50 miles. After reaching the place, I found it closed. In the nearby Dhaba, I thought of doing some investigation. Fortunately, there was Police truck parked in the vicinity. I talked to the Policeman sitting inside it. He was having a laid back attitude and was not in a mood to respond. I gave him my ‘introduction’. Then, inquisitively, he asked, “you must have cleared UPSC ?”. I said, ‘Yes’. He suddenly popped up from his seat and wore his shoes and shouted to the tea man to bring tea for me. I told him my problem. He gave all his assurance to pacify me. Instantly, he called up two beat constables from the nearby Police station and told me that they know where these petrol pump operators sleep during the night. The beat constables took us to that petrol pump, wakened up the sleeping helpers, got our petrol tank fuelled, and then escorted us till the main highway to see us off.
This incidence taught me something very noble. We should always be very polite and humble no matter what designation we hold. Merely getting selected in the Civil Services Examination is not an end in itself. People may not follow or obey you until you are nice to them. The leverage which IRS as a Service has given to me is appreciable. It shows the respect which the service commands in society.