One of our officers, with whom I worked twice in two different spells, was very meticulous and particular about writing correct English. He never tolerated grammatical mistakes. Always believed in perfection.
While writing or replying to seniors, he was always tensed and used to correct and re-correct his own drafts many a times without bothering for the time he was taking to finalize the reply that would eventually go. He would get annoyed with slightest of distraction and would not even take phone calls while dictating.
Once, I remember, he gave a dictation to his PA and asked him to prepare a draft. The PA placed a copy of the draft on his table in which he made several corrections and gave it back for re-typing. The typed copy of the draft was sent in for his approval. Again some corrections were made and it was returned to PA for re-typing. Another copy of the draft was prepared and sent to his room which came back with a few more corrections. This went on several times but the draft reply failed to satisfy him. He was losing patience and getting annoyed at himself as well as on his PA although the latter had nothing to do with that.
As the PA was visibly irritated, I asked him to show me all the drafts that he had typed so far. He brought all the 11 drafts to me in which corrections had been made. I simply asked him to arrange the drafts in the order in which the same were typed by him and accordingly he arranged them ad seriatim.
I read the 1st one and then 2nd followed by 3rd and so on so forth. To my mind the 1st one was perfectly OK. So I asked him to type a fresh copy of the 1st draft with single spacing, on a good paper, and bring it to me. Although scared, he typed the draft exactly as per my advice and brought it to me.
I simply took one new File Folder, placed the neatly prepared Draft on it, attached a Flag “DFA”, tied the folder on a board and when the presentation was picture-perfect, I gave the file back to him and advised him to take it to the room of the Boss. He did the same thing and would you believe that the Draft was approved by the Boss in one go with expressions of appreciation on his face. No corrections and no questions asked.
I won’t go into the details as to why the first Draft was approved in one go. I am leaving this to your imagination…