On the whole, I can say that I’m congenial, but not overly friendly. I don’t fake congeniality either because I don’t believe in putting on a mask only to take it off once the person goes away. But I can be standoffish, too. Sometimes it has to do with my mood and, at other times, the aura of the person. If I don’t like the vibe I’m unforthcoming. As I see it, it’s best to stay clear of provocation unless something nasty comes out of my mouth. However, I put aside my idiosyncrasies and act as professional as I can especially in the workplace. I learnt that it takes a lot of emotional maturity and patience – thank God for yoga – because most people I deal with have the maturity of a box of rocks. Take this young colleague of mine, M, that is slowly reworking my notion of the graciousness of Indonesians. Call it naivety on my part, but I’ve always held Indonesians to be courteous up until this woman who’s downright boorish.
A friend tried to mollify my growing infuriation with her by explaining that she belongs to an ethnic group of Indonesia that generally lacks the cordiality of the Balinese and is particularly known to be brusque in their dealings with people. I couldn’t accept my friend’s explanation because rudeness is rudeness whatever race or ethnic group one belongs too. It reflects on one’s upbringing, which, in M’s case is completely lamentable. It’s a cycle of rudeness that will be perpetuated because it has become a regular occurrence that’s considered normal and “acceptable”. Carried over from the private sphere into the workplace, problems will brew more than ever when Ms. Rude (M) crosses the path of Ms. Polite (me). I’ve seen her students mirroring her conduct, which is not surprising because the “role model” of goodness is the quintessential example of boorishness. There is no excuse in being ill-mannered. Moreover, hiding rudeness behind the curtain of culture or the veil of youthfulness is an act of condoning this appalling behavior.
Is it too much to ask to
*Knock – She is oblivious of the concept; she simply barges into the room.
* Say thank you – She has a problem with expressing gratitude even though I and my other friends have helped her with work activities.
* Consideration – She thinks that the world revolves around her schedule and that she’s the only one working so everyone has to drop what they’re doing to accommodate her “requests”.
* Acknowledgement – Most of my colleagues nod and smile whenever we see each other at the corridor or anywhere within the workplace. I’m not asking her for a bear hug or a beso-beso (air kisses) but when I smiled and greeted her she just walked on by.
Seriously, is it too much to ask for people to comport themselves with manners?