Of Respect and Discipline

After a few weeks of travelling, I now have a one week window to rest. Part of the perks of my job is that I get to travel a lot, with almost all expenses paid (except my personal purchases, of course). I get to meet a lot of people and observe a lot of mini-cultures in turn. I hope I will be able to write it as I experience it, but I am limited to my free time to blog, which is rare.

I have observed some nice and not so nice mini-cultures in different places. All of my travels were in the Philippines, but you’d be surprised, as I was, that we Filipinos have different ways of doing things.

Case in point: obeying the law. In all honesty, I have never seen a place which imposes traffic rules and regulations more than Makati. I may be wrong, but in all the places I have been in (in the Philippines), I have never seen drivers load and unload passengers at designated areas, except Makati. Normally, even where I live, the streets are similar to Grand Theft Auto, except for flying pedestrians, since people don’t really fly when they get hit by a car. In Makati, bus drivers know where to have their passengers go on or off. Only problem is, they dawdle by the loading areas. They wait until the bus gets full, sometimes too full.

In case you’re wondering, the sign at the background roughly says: “You cross, you die”.

I remember one passenger who was not familiar with the Makati area, and wanted to go off at a loading station. Of course, she was not allowed to exit the vehicle, and that spurned her to start shouting at the conductors. Using excuses as “she’ll be late for an interview”, that “she was not aware of the rules”, and that the driver and the bus conductor wer just that, drivers and conductors. Apparently, in her world, drivers and bus conductors have no right whatsoever to advise passengers of the traffic rules and regulations. Only the po-po can do so.

Yes, she’s bellitling the driver and the conductor. I butted in and advised the lady of the difference of Makati and other places. She was still steamed, but at least I told her what to expect. I am hoping that she’ll remember it in case she got hired.

Another similar incident is an employee pulling rank. This time I was directly involved. The incident started with an employee (let’s call her B) who was requesting for a locker transfer. She was talking to our receptionist (let’s call her A), who clearly knows the procedure. A has been doing the same thing for over 2 years, so she should know. She gave B a form and directed her to her direct supervisor, to have the specific form signed. That was the correct procedure, but for the B’s deranged brain, it was not. So B started questioning A, asking A was familiar with the process. B said the magic word again, “you’re just a receptionist” after using the word “you are stupid”. I had to step in. No one in their right mind would let this event happen without interfering. I asked what was wrong, and I got berated.

It was the most wonderful feeling. I had a lady (B) telling me that I “should mind my own business” since I was also “just an employee” and that I should be “f-ing off”. Imagine how happy I became. I had the biggest, whitest smile I have ever had.
I did not have any other choice, I had to pull rank too, because she was clear that she was not going to listen to any “little person” anyway.  I advised her of my position, and that made her shut up. I reminded her that we were all equal and no one is “just” an “employee”, or whatever. I escorted her to HR and let HR handle the rest.

I know, Filipinos are big with heirarchy. If you are on the lower part of the food chain, then you apparently have no right whatsoever.

Sad place I’m living in.

Oh yeah, and there’s this person:


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