The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Good manners guide for group D
Conduct Code
Greet a guest with a smile
and request him to sit
If the person is elderly,
help him/her take the seat
Offer a glass of water
Ask the visitor what his/her
problem is or whom he/she would like to meet and assure help
Help the visitor reach the
official concerned
Do not speak to superiors

Burdwan, May 24: An effort is now on to teach the brash group-D employee and the indifferent chhotobabu in a government office a lesson or two in good manners.

The Burdwan administration has taken up a training programme for about 23,000 group-D and clerical employees. Out of 22,000 of them, about 10,000 have already received the training ' part of a pilot project under a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) plan.

At a camp supervised by the Administrative Training Institute last week, the group-D staff were taught how to receive visitors, communicate their needs to the right officials, make telephone conversations 'in the proper manner' and maintain good relations with colleagues.

'We told them that when a person arrives at a government office, he should be greeted with a smile and asked politely to take a seat. If an elderly person visits an office, he/she should be offered help to take a seat. On a warm day, a glass of water should be on offer,' said Deba Prasad Mukherjee, an officer of the district collectorate who was among those who imparted the training.

The employees have also been asked to play an active role in helping a visitor.

'We told them to ask visitors what they wanted, whom they would like to meet and what their problems were. The training also included lessons on how an employee should speak with a superior,' Mukherjee said.

Brajen Das, a group-D employee of the collectorate, was happy to learn what he did. 'I have been working here for the past seven years. But this was the first time we were taught how to behave with visitors or co-workers,' he said.

Mukherjee said the employees were earlier not aware of their responsibility. 'We tried to make them conscious of their duties and responsibilities. The assessment of their performance will depend on their interaction with the visitors and behaviour in office.'

Dhurjati Majhi, an employees' union leader, too, admitted the need for 'training'.

Like in most places elsewhere in Bengal, the residents of Burdwan had had enough of rude behaviour in government circles.

'Some time back, I went to the regional transport authority office to get a duplicate blue book for my car, but impolite peons and group-D employees would not even direct me to the official concerned. I had to keep running from table to table,' said Arijit Goswami, a sales manager of a pharmaceutical company.

He was not the only one complaining. Raja Dubey, an unemployed youth, said that he was 'harassed' when he went to renew his card at the employment exchange.

Not just manners, the employees were also given lessons in how to manage accounts books. 'We taught them the proper way to maintain files and undertake day-to-day work. We also told the low-income group to keep away from gambling, liquor and lottery,' a senior official said.

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