Known by several tags, he or she can be flunkey; patsy; stooge; puppet. But the common one is Yes-man. Literally, ‘he is a person of unquestioning obedience’. An always agreeable person. The one who tells people what they want to hear. Pleasing all and sundry, especially superiors/bosses because of the fear of reprisal for showing any dissent.
Such person reminds one of the popular television programme of 80’s called Yes Minister, a classic comical satire of British politics. The characters Jim Hacker and Sir Humphrey made an interesting and entertaining combination of a gutless minister and his shrewd secretary. The subsequent series was later named Yes Prime Minster.
Yes-man is also the name of a bestseller authored by Danny Wallace, a British writer and producer, besides being the leader of a cult Karma Army. The book is based on the principle of saying ‘yes’ to all things, from humdrum affairs to the knotty ones in daily life. The author narrates a momentous anecdote of his random travel in a late-night bus where he falls into a conversation with a co-passenger. A mystery man, he casually tells Wallace-“Say Yes more”. For the next few months, this mantra is embraced by the author, leading to a bizarre change in his attitude. From poking a Buddhist monk on television to Internet and mail spam, and meetings for people who believed that aliens built Egypt’s pyramids, the yes-man is steered on a trail of unforeseen comedic escapades. Becoming a globe-trotter, he journeys to various parts of Europe, incredibly wins 45,000 dollars, astonishingly attains a nursing degree, staggeringly stumbles upon a hypnotic dog, and wonderfully comes across his love. Though marshaling an upbeat effect in his daily life, the new mantra eventually scuffs him.
An American comedy movie Yes-man produced by Potter fame David Heyman for Warner Bros. is based on this comedic memoir of Danny Wallace. Starring Jim Carrey, the plot of the movie follows a troubled man who decides to change his life by saying yes to everything life throws at him.
Yes-man as a character is very instrumental in getting things done as per his own designs and plans, because ultimately he wants to see himself happy. And for yes-man, happiness is elusive and atypical. He can locate his happiness even in misinterpreting events and misleading people.
A comic flyer posted in inbox showed a boss saying—‘Don’t bother me with facts. Tell me what I want to hear.’ Same is with most of our high executives and officers. Relying on the briefings by their yes-man, they are led into wrong decisions that whip up controversies and clamor. At times, high officials have flawed assessment or knowledge of the matters, and this is easily exploited by the yes-man who calculatingly never corrects them. Reason is obvious: To grind own axe, and gain unwarranted benefit and unmerited recognition.
Most of our organizations and offices are infested with cunning yes-men. Lobbies of scheming are watered by them. They make things happen just by the knack of their sycophancy. They butter up to manipulate things. Sweet and smooth talk is their hallmark.
In Urdu dialect, yes-men are known as Chamchaaz. In Kashmiri, they ought to be called as Chonchaz to qualify for the superlative degree of yes-manship they possess, given the detrimentally loyalist suggestions they offer for managing issues from constitutional mutations to law and order manoeuvres.
Generally, such yes-men hold soft-soaps as their only qualification. Magnifying the miniature, the grand things are vague and unfathomable to them. They endlessly praise their small attainments. Self-aggrandizement is their manna; in fact they carry out the Satan’s task…..
Khud Satai Payshay Shaitaan Boud
Looking busy but doing nothing worthwhile, they bring foundations of institutions crumbling down. Some of the yes-men are ‘loyal of the loyalists.’ They bluff on behalf of their bosses even when not required. And ludicrously, they forget the lies they dish out.
Playing second fiddle, yes-men have no individuality. They lose it to their high-ups who, in the long course, either treat them as ‘disposables’, throwaways dumped in trash of ignominious obscurity. Or else, they are rewarded in the form of rehabilitation or prize postings. Both ways, individualism is never a YES for them!