Author: Dr. Ajit Varwandkar

Laddu Pinto was a first-generation entrepreneur. As a part of his business promotion strategy, he organised an event on some particular subject. He made many efforts to publicise that event. Eventually, he could get about 90 plus confirmations for event participation. He made a personal call to each of those ninety people. Additionally, made a follow-up email and a WhatsApp message to all these people. Each one of them had confirmed their participation.

On the scheduled day, Laddu had to face a big disappointment. Out of those 90-plus confirmations, only 36 reported for the event. A large number of vacant chairs in the hall did not look promising. Laddu was under pressure to instantly arrange some more audience. He made frantic calls to a few of his friends and relatives to oblige by their presence. After all, he had invited a celebrity to the programme.
Somehow, Laddu managed to get through the session. Goes without saying he was grossly upset. He could not get the return on investment made by him for organising the event. Moreover, the 36 people who attended the event also got a shallow impression.

Well, friends, there could be more than one reason for the low participation in the event organised by Laddu Pinto. Through this column, I will highlight something else. It is not just about Laddu and his circumstance; you and I may have also encountered such disgraceful disappointments at some time or other in life.

Once, I had a family celebration at home, and a contract for meal preparation was given to a vendor. I recall having met a group of people before the event day. I thought it was an excellent opportunity to build relations with these new connections. Hence, I invited a dozen new friends for lunch at the same family event.
The next day, three out of those turned up. The rest didn’t even respond to my phone calls (except two people who informed health issues). A few of them were shameless enough to casually write off my invitation. Expecting a courtesy apology or at least an information of absence was far away from their character.

I strongly condemn such irresponsible behaviour. People must learn the art of saying a NO when they actually want to say a NO.

In both the anecdotes shared above, the gross embarrassment and financial loss to the event organiser could have been mitigated had people given an honest answer to the invitation. Many people prefer to say YES and wriggle out of the situation temporarily. However, the long-term implications of such false commitments can be much beyond their fathomable imagination.

A few of those twelve people are still in touch with me. Over time I got to watch their commitment character on more such occasions. I found that these were deliberately reckless people. Eventually, when there were a few situations where I could have shared business opportunities with these people, I intentionally avoided doing so. Not only me but there were a few other people who started professionally distancing themselves from such people who never demonstrated respect for their own said words.

One can never imagine the implication of socially irresponsible behaviour. What you say and how you behave in your social world gets recorded by a million people. One situation where you miss your commitment is still okay. But a consistent behaviour of false social promises digs deep into your persona. Once a negative perception is built around your name, correcting it in a short time becomes impossible.

My sincere request to people is to respect their words. Say Yes, when you want to say Yes and likewise, be brave enough to say NO when you actually mean to say NO. Refuse an invitation today and save yourself from disgrace tomorrow. In the short run, you may find it tough to face those disheartened eyes, but you are protected from irreparable damage in the long run.

Do contact me in case you have any career queries.

Dr. Ajit Varwandkar is the Director of He is a leading career counselor and can be contacted on 9826132972 or email him at

This column was originally published by the author in The Times of India