As a student I was made familiar with the terms Intrinsic or Face Value & Local value.As an example a digit say 7 is taken.Its face value is 7.But local value is altogether a different matter. Placed in the ten's place , it becomes 70; in the hundred's place it becomes 700..........so on and so forth ad infinitum.
In a hierarchical structure and system as it prevails in Government offices, this phenomenon is more manifest.Talking of district administration of which I have been a part for pretty long time, the D.C., ADC, ADM ,SDM have vehicles allotted to them against some monthly deduction made from the salary .
Now a driver is a driver but the local value or importance of the driver varies with the rank of the officer with whom the driver happens to be attached.So the Deputy Commissioner's driver appropriates to himself more importance than those attached with junior officers down the line.
Another thing that I have observed is that no driver willingly drives a very old vehicle and whenever a new vehicle arrives, everyone wants to be at the wheel and the driver who drives a new vehicle rouses some envy in others.
An old Ambassador car fell to my lot when I was holding a desk job in a district.I had the bare minimum repairs carried out to make it roadworthy and it worked fine for plying locally.
One day the driver came with the report that the vehicle won't start.The mechanic was taken to the parking and after much ado ,it was found that the passage between the fuel tank and the engine had been blocked by inserting a piece of cloth.However, the 'gag' was removed and the vehicle was fine again. A clear mischief and a silent protest !
On another occasion right in the middle of a flash flood that rocked the district and threw everything out of gear and damaged the roads so badly that the necessary commodities had to be brought through helicopter sorties. the wind screen of the car developed cracks and it was not possible to look through and drive.A forced rest to the driver ? No. Within two days the new windscreen was transported by helicopter and got fixed.
In retrospect, I find the incidents quite amusing.