“I knew this would come in handy some day!” I scream in excitement as I whip out my logarithm table in front of my manager to discuss the viability of my project.
The mind-numbingly redundant things we are taught in school are so rampant in our education system that we lose track of what's actually important and we end up wasting time. But if our schools magically thought about including legit lessons in their curriculum, what would they teach? Let's explore some options.
1. THE CALLING DILEMMA
As shocking as it may seem to you, no, it is not a good idea to call someone again if they didn't answer the first 15 consecutive calls. Who even calls, nowadays? Leave a single message on Telegram or Messenger like any other civil person.
Seriously, though. A lot of people fail to believe the fact that other people have their own agendas and they can be busy at 3 PM on a weekday. This is very basic knowledge, I know and you're probably wondering how a school teacher can actually teach this.
Well, in the subject of Business Communication, textbooks can include a chapter where they would explain the various cues of a person so that you can decipher their eagerness to talk to you. I know a lot of people who need a textbook to tell them that “Please go away, I'm busy,” doesn't mean “Yes, pester me with your b%l1$h%$.”
Oh boy, this is a doozy. I remember the first time I had to open a bank account. When the account manager showed up with a pile of papers resembling The Leaning Tower of Pisa, I looked him straight in the eye and said, “Bhai, I'm illiterate. I can't write. Please tell me where I have to sign and be done with it.”
He promptly obliged, took my identification papers so he can fill up the details himself, and smiled as he left after taking at least a gazillion signatures from me. I wonder why it didn't occur to him that an illiterate person knew how to sign a document. Maybe, this is something they can also teach us in school.
Learning how to decode the ancient language used in banking documents is a very necessary life skill. Lest, you be burdened with increasing credit card interest.
3. LEARNING TO ASK FOR HELP
Even though our textbooks teach a lot of philosophical theories, they fail to tell students that it's okay to ask questions if you don't know about something.
So many times, we've been scrutinised badly by teachers for asking a supposedly rudimentary question. It's my fault that I didn't know the Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell from the second I was born. When we grow up, this mental trauma directly affects us and we are pushed into this “know-it-all” mode where we have to pretend to know everything about anything. We don't ask questions, and we don't ask for help because that's for dumb people.
Real smart people jump into designing a marketing campaign without any knowledge about strategy and ultimately fail, blaming the young generation for their “unpredictable habits”. How dare they not associate with my outdated lingo!
These are just some of the things we should've been taught in school. If you have more, do leave a message on our page!
Shahrukh Ikhtear is a Management Trainee at Grameenphone and former sub-editor of SHOUT magazine. Send him business stuff or good music at fb.com/sr.ikhtear