Harry was preparing for yet another day of intense training and exciting challenges with his team when Cheetee rushed in very agitated. Harry suppressed a smile and put up a face of calm composure.“Ah Cheetee! So what did you conclude finally? Do you still want to leave and find an opportunity outside this sector?”
“No!”, boomed back Cheetee, still visibly agitated and angry. “..with everyone around..”, thought Harry to himself.
“Why don’t you settle down and have a nibble at these juicy sugar cubes, they are fresh from yesterday”.
As Cheetee composed herself nibbling at the sugar, Harry recollected the conversation with her from last week. Harry was out in the field training his cadets on how to use their pincers effectively to clear the path and move fast. “Remember folks, doesn’t matter how sharp the pincers are, you got to find the weak spot and chop the obstacles in one go, you may not have a second chance most times, out in the field”. Harry watched as his cadets practiced on different blades of grass, sheets of white(paper, as the humans called it) and several natural and unnatural substances that get in the path of an ant when out in the field.
Then he saw this young girl cadet rushing in madly at him from a distance and instantly recognized her.
“How are you Cheetee?”
“Not happy, I want to leave this sector and came here to formally put a request, I can handover my responsibilities to anyone you identify and leave this place”, shrilled Cheetee.
Now to Harry, this was a surprise, Cheetee was a great addition to the team, or that’s what he was told by his camp lead (camp 52 was where Cheetee was deployed).
“I see no opportunity here and I have been doing the same job for the past several days, I want to be in the field ‘on the site’ and not stay back in the camp forever…besides, I don’t think we are doing anything great in this Sector Harry, with all due respect, I would like to explore other sectors and find something interesting”, exploded Cheetee in a breathless performance.
Harry understood that these conclusions were not uncommon for a young and energetic cadet who would like to do more and not getting the big picture of what is happening across the board.
“Cheetee you realize that our Sector has received the award for 8 years in a row for being the ‘most Antventurous group’ and that means that there is no other sector out there in our colony that could match what we do here?”, Harry stated without looking at Cheetee in a matter-of-fact manner.
“…I didn’t know that…”, came a confused reply.
“Do you also know that you we perform 150 specialized ant-to-ant tasks covering an entire spectrum of activities that are possible in an ant’s life only in this sector? The other sectors perhaps do a fraction of what we do here”, continued Harry finding his tone of inspiration.
“You were explicitly put in this job so that you appreciate exactly how the camp works. Were you not told by your team lead that ‘an effective knowledge of camp is essential for being an Excellant in the field’?”, Harry enquired kindly.
“…yeah he did, but it didn’t quite sound interesting and I didn’t understand why…”, Cheetee spoke in her defense.
“And did you try to find out why it is said so? Okay tell me this, did you meet with anyone else outside your camp? The other camp-ants for instance and find out how your work impacted them?”, Harry said encouragingly.
“…but I get so busy with work…I don’t get the time…”, Cheetee reflected.
“You aspire to be ‘in-the-site’, don’t you? And the most important thing for being in the site is being an effective ant, else it may cost you your life, and of those around you”, Harry saw that Cheetee wasn’t getting convinced.
“Okay let’s do this, I will give you a week and instruct your camp lead to introduce you to other camps and other field teams so that you get to talk to them and hear from them as to how they moved from camp to field, and when they were in the camp, how they practiced and trained for the field, and most importantly you will get to see why our Sector is recognized by the entire colony. Does it sound alright to you to postpone the decision to leave by a week?”, Harry spoke with conviction and concern.
“Thank you sir”, Cheetee realized suddenly that she was speaking to her Sector head.
“But on one condition, as you have these interactions, I would like you to do two things for me – 1. Make notes and ask questions (‘don’t make people guess what you want to know’) and 2. Reflect on how much of this you could have done by yourself without speaking with me today”, suggested Harry.
“That’s a deal Harry, being so long in camp, one thing I am good at is observing and noting”, Cheetee replied excitedly.
“I am done nibbling, thank you for the cube”, Cheetee spoke still gulping down the sugar and brought back Harry from his contemplation of previous week’s conversation.
“Okay so I met with a lot of other ants across the Sector and I am very very happy to find out how much there is to learn…”, expressed Cheetee.
“…and they all offered to help me teach new things and you know what surprised me most…?”, asked Cheetee innocently.
Harry put up his most intent look and readied his antlers in a sign of extreme attention.
“They are all looking for more ant cadets to join them, I mean there is opportunity in other camps, in at least a dozen field teams and at the outpost, and at the weaponry …”, proudly announced Cheetee.
“Wow I am amazed”, replied Harry with a reassuring smile.
“But I am disappointed with something else too…”, Cheetee went on.
“I could have joined any of these groups right away, if only I had those skills and knowledge, now it will take me another two weeks to acquire one skill and I was advised by Sam from the camp 56 that I should join there based on my current skill set and it will help me get to the field quickly”, finished Cheetee.
“But you were leaving because there is nothing interesting in this Sector?”, teased Harry.
“Nope I am not and I am getting back to my camp to talk to my camp lead, I need to make time and learn other things, I will train new cadets to offload some of what I am doing today”, rushed Cheetee as quickly as she rushed in.
Harry had a laugh, but he also held a camp lead meeting later in the day. “Anleads, we cannot lose passionants like Cheetee. Follow the Ant code – ACT – Appreciate, Communicate, Train – follow it to the core and let’s build on, on our great legacy”.
Harry told himself that he will personally monitor the ‘Passionant index’ himself going forward.