by Vaman Acharya
It was a happy occasion for Pravin to celebrate third anniversary of his shop Pavan Medicals. Spurti was working in the store since the store first opened. Manjula had joined three months back. Being an auspicious time at 9am the priest performed the religious rituals. The prasadam was distributed to all.
Pravin left the premises to attend an urgent work and told them he would be back within half an hour. In his absence Manjula, instead of attending to the customers, entered in to an argument with Spurti.
“Spurti, when you don’t know the basics of business ethics, I wonder how you are serving here for the last three years? You don’t have minimum basic knowledge of the medical business.”
“Manjula, mind your language first. You have joined the store just three months back. You don’t know how to address others. It shows you don’t have minimum courtesy to give respect to your own colleague. You are free to lodge a complaint against me. But before giving complaint, I advise you to-do your homework first.”
Manjula did not expect such an answer from her. She felt uncomfortable and decided to meet the owner.
It was very hard for Spurti to bear the insult from her colleague. Spurti being a senior to Manjula, had to undergo difficult situations. Manjula was in the habit of finding mistakes in her work and report the matter to the store owner Pravin. Her only intention was to see that Spruti is out of this job so that she can manage the work alone. She was a graduate in pharmacy and earlier worked in another medical store. Nobody knew why she resigned. Praveen may know the answer.
Spurti was a diploma in pharmacy. She had wonderful qualities like honesty, courtesy and simplicity. One day as usual, Pravin came to the store and occupied his seat. Before commencing his work, he always spent few minutes for prayer. He used to come half an hour before the opening time of the store. Manjula too arrived to the Store early. She rushed inside and disturbed him during his prayer so that she could talk about Spruti.
“Sir, due to Spurti’s carelessness to verify the expiry dates of drugs, we have lost the potential business. Customers are fed up with her. I am hearing one or two cases everyday. One customer even threatened to report the matter to Drug Controller to cancel the license. Our customers are going to another medical shop. If you don’t remove her immediately our entire business will be shifted to another shop owner. You might be aware that the other day one customer was shouting for the delay.”
“Manjula, have patience. Before framing charges on Spurti, you should think pros and cons. I know Spurti since three years. She may be slow in the duty. It does not mean that she is a liability to our business. The customer you are referring to is a temperamental person by nature. He always does like this. Soon he will realize his mistake and beg apology. Do you know how many times he has rendered apology? You are pointing out she is slow in her work. Such delays will be only when the drug is not available and asking the customer to wait and get it after some time. I don’t believe that Spurti is negligent in verifying the expiry dates.”
“Sir, I have done my duty. It is up to you to initiate action against her.”
At this moment, Pravin thought of removing her from the job. But Pravin, who always seemed to have a sixth sense about Spurti decided to retain her irrespective of her drawbacks. She was an encouragement to develop his business. Among the top ten medical stores in Pavanpur city, Pavan Medicals had maintained good reputation. The proprietor Pravin was young and energetic. He was a post graduate in Pharmacy securing highest marks. He had ample opportunities to get suitable employment abroad. While studying post graduation in the university, he was working with a whole sale pharmaceutical trading company. He believed in the philosophy 'earn while you learn.'
By virtue of his excellent entrepreneurship qualities, he had decided to start a medical store. He invested nominal amount of Rupees five lakhs. He initially obtained a bank loan for Rupees one lakh to meet the working capital expenditure. He started business in a commercial area and luckily got a good shop
on rent. The shop is located in such a place, where a number of clinics and hospitals exist. In the beginning he himself was managing the store. After one month due to increase in the business, he appointed Spurti, a young lady belonging to a respectable family, on the recommendation of a famous doctor. She was honest and obedient in discharging her duties with full devotion. Her only drawback was that she was slow in attending to the customer. Pravin was very much aware of this fact.
In the third year the business turnover was increased almost double compared to last year. Observing the honesty of Spurti, he entrusted the duties like cash tallying at the end of the day and supervising the bank account. Pravin himself took the job of attending to customers. Those who visit the shop were under the impression that Spurti was the owner of the shop and Pravin was a salesman. Once a customer had requested Pravin to allow 10 percent discount on printed price. Pravin politely rejected his request. The customer asked Spurti presuming that she was the owner of the store. She became nervous and could not reply. Pravin came to her rescue. Pravin had a cordial relationship with the local doctors. In spite of his busy schedule, he used to conduct special classes to train the upcoming entrepreneurs in customer relation and business ethics. Spurti also found it interesting to attend his classes..
Manjula was unhappy for not removing Spurti from the service. She was waiting for an opportunity to put forth her desire. On a number of occasions, Pravin warned Manjula to stop ill thinking about Spurti and be like a younger sister. Manjula agreed to change her behavior. But she didn’t like to sacrifice her desire.
For almost a year there were no major problems. The store’s business was increased and earning substantial profits. Pravin enhanced the salary of both the sales girls. During this time, Spurti was silently observing the attitude of Manjula. There were number of occasions to inform Pravin against her. She never lodged complaint against Manjula.
Why Pravin likes Spurti? It was her day one when Spurti reported for duty, Pravin was very much impressed on her. The way in which she was giving answers to his questions was wonderful. He was not only impressed by her but he was in love with her. It was love at first sight. He didn’t disclose this for nearly three years. When Manjula came in to his life, he wanted to go closer to Spurti and express his desire. He was waiting for an opportunity to fulfill his desire. Men are very, very hesitant to reveal their intimate emotions to any one. Pravin was no exception to it. He went to USA to deliver guest lecture on “Recent Trends in the Pharmaceutical Evolution” His lecture was applauded by the eminent persons participated. After returning from abroad, he became ill. Spurti gave him all support like admitting to hospital, enquiring his condition from the doctor and getting medicines in time. She was giving him capsules, tablets and syrup from time to time.
Pravin was fully recovered from his ill health after a fortnight. During this time the medical store was closed. When Pravin was ill, Manjula met him twice. This was made Pravin to think against Manjula. He had developed bad opinion on Manjula. At the same time, he thought of expressing his desire to Spurti. On the occasion of her birth day, he expressed his desire to marry her and told her the events after she reported for duty in his store. She was astonished and was unable to give her consent immediately. He told her to take time to come to the decision. After one month, Spurti gave consent for marriage. In a simple marriage ceremony, both became husband and wife. This was shocking news for Manjula. She wanted to end her life by resorting to suicide. Spurti came to know this development and persuaded her successfully not to take such extreme step. Manjula realized her mistake of misunderstanding Spruti.
Why Manjula had ill will against Spurti?
Spurti was a step sister of Manjula. Since childhood, Manjula hated Spurti. Wherever Spurti went, Manjula used to step in and try to malign her. After knowing the true story of the sisters, Pravin was astonished. Using his influence in the market, he arranged another job for Manjula. ****