Conditional Respect – 2

Something that always upsets me is when I see people behaving badly with others who have no option but to keep quiet and bear it.

Sadly, I keep seeing instances of that. I had written about this a few years ago, but can’t help writing about this again.

Yesterday, we were at a supermarket, and as we were leaving, the security guy checked our bill and our purchases – standard procedure in most places these days. There was a family ahead of us who they found had one packet of something that was not reflected on the bill. Probably a billing mistake, I am sure they wouldn’t have been stealing it, but as soon as the security guy pointed it out, they blew up, shouted at him, and threw the packet, rather aggressively, into the shop and stormed off. Totally over-the-top reaction, in my opinion. I am sure there was a polite way of handling it, especially because the security guy was quite polite.

This morning, again, at another supermarket(which begs the question, how much do I shop?, but that’s a question for another day :)), I saw another lady being rather nasty to the cashier because she did not pack the bag properly. I don’t know, it feels so sad when I see stuff like that. I do understand that people do get frustrated, but why take out our frustration on somebody else? The saddest part is the people who have to deal with such rude and nasty customers several times a day. I wonder how they must feel? Once I told a security guard, a simple Thank You, and had him tell me how some people are so rude to him. I am sure that he certainly appreciates the few kind words that must come to him.

Every time, I see such behaviour, I can’t help wonder what joy, what pleasure people get from treating others who can’t answer back, or who can’t retaliate badly.

Just a power trip, I suppose. Just a way of passing on what they might have been receiving from somewhere else.. Why else would one treat another person in this way?

Conditional Respect?

Yesterday, we had been to a Thai takeaway where they were amazing sweet to us – we are frequent customers and threw in a free dish. We were quite taken aback, and pleasantly surprised, when she told me that it was specially for us, don’t worry about it.

And that got us talking about why we don’t get that same treatment in the Indian restaurant that we frequent too. .Not that we want free dishes, but it feels nice to know that they know their frequent customers and are ready to throw in a freebie for the business..

One of the possible reasons, I feel is that, a lot of us Indians, tend to treat the restaurant staff quite badly, so they might not feel like being nice to anybody. One time, we had been at an Indian place, in London, with another couple. Now, this had some really friendly staff. I remember, when Poohi was young, we used to go for a breakfast buffet on Saturdays and Sundays, to avoid the crowds.  The staff there was so sweet, they would entertain her while we hogged away. And I had made quite a few friends there – thanks to frequent visits – now you know, how little I cook at home 🙂 Anyways, I digress. As I said, the staff there was extremely friendly. That day, when we were with our friends, this waiter pronounced some dish differently- with an accent. And our friend, actually made fun of that waiter. I cringed in my seat, wishing I could say something, and I feel so ashamed that I did not. I just don’t understand why people do that. Would he have made fun his boss’s accent? Then why take the liberty of making fun of the waiter? Is it not bullying because we know that that poor waiter cannot really do much in response.

I have seen this happen so many times.. People picking on others who are less powerful, whenever they can get away with it. People misbehaving at restaurants, with their domestic help, with their team members because they know that they cannot retaliate back. Most of these people are super nice to their bosses and other more influential people. A lot of us tend to think that just because somebody is not doing a white collar job, he has no dignity. My dad had instilled in us at a very young age, about how every job is important. And what is most important is that we do our best, in whatever we do. Be it washing utensils or working in a swanky office.

Another friend of mine, used to be extremely popular at all the restaurants he went to, simply because he treated the staff so well! He used to talk to them, joke with them and every time we went out with him – it used to so much fun.

One of my bosses, had once told me that the best way to judge a person is by the way he behaves with his spouse. And I totally agree.. I would add, though, that the way a person behaves with people less privileged than themselves is also a strong indicator of their personality. And I have very little respect for people who do not treat those  less privileged than themselves with less respect.