Life in the Pit
This week I had another opportunity to put my word for 2014 into action . . . and of course I failed. =P
It happened on the metro. I was filing into the car reserved for women, children, senior citizens, and the disabled, when two people hurriedly squeezed in at my elbow. One of them was a youngish man, and the other was his woman companion, who was squealing, "Hurry before the security guard sees us!" The guard had already spotted them, though, and was blowing his whistle . . . and I was doing my part by saying, "Excuse me! Excuse me! I think the guard has something to say." (Sigh.) Unfortunately, the doors closed before the guard could tell them they were breaking the rules . . . and I spent the rest of the ride stewing at both their bad manners and my own reluctance to confront them.
"What would you have done?" I asked the older woman from work who occasionally advises me. You remember: she of the supplicating "I beg your patience" strategy.
She replied, "I would have said"--and here she raised her voice to an obnoxious volume--"'There are really some people who DON'T understand simple instructions! I HATE it when people who know better pretend they don't and then try to get away with it! Some people have no CLASS, and they're also the ones with no SHAME!'" She lowered her voice again. "And I know the rest of the people in the car would be on my side, even if they never speak up."
Ah, shame: nothing is more effective at getting your average Filipino to toe the line than the possibility that someone will comment loudly on his bad behaviour in public. (This is a sad LOL.)
But "getting people to overhear" (my translation of an actual Filipino word!) just isn't my style--which is fortunate or unfortunate, depending on how you look at it.
To all the non-Filipinos reading this: how would you have handled that situation?