November is supposed to be Kindness Month but why has the following happened — to me?
Yesterday, I was at Cold Storage Great World City and was squating down to reach the lowest shelf where the spring onion was. Now when a few strands of the garnishing now cost all of $1.75, I could be excused if I did turn over a few packs to try and get something that wasn’t all limp, yellow and disintegrated.
While thus absorbed, i heard an impatient voice which said:”Excuse me, i want to check the vegetables!”
I almost jumped up to give way when without thinking I shot off my mouth: “Hey, I’m checking the veggies too, so do you mind waiting till I’m done?”
I thought she was going to nudge me with her trolley but she didn’t. Just a stare but I quickly turned my face away and equally quickly made my selection and moved off.
I thought: what a rude woman. She probably thought the same too — of me, that is.
Then later at the check out, I again encountered the cashier who has trouble with my Passion Card. It’s always at her termi that my efforts to “tap for more” encounter “card error”. It was no different yesterday and tried as she might the card didn’t work and she had to call for assistance.
While this was going on, a white couple came to join my queue of one. As each of them was carrying a ladened basket and as my trolley was equally full and as the cashier was still doing finger gymnastics with my Passion Card, I, out of the goodness of my heart turned and said to the couple:
“My card is having problems. Think you’d better go to another cashier?”
They just stared at me. I repeated what i said.
More stares; they consulted each other (so they understood English perfectly!); then stared again and went off, without a smile of acknowledgement, let alone “thank you”.
I felt like kicking myself. I should have left them to queue till the cows come home while my Passion Card was being revived.
After that experience, you’d think I would refrain from any gratuitous “do gooding” for a while! But no, kaypoh moi was at it again today and again got snubbed.
I had parked my car at the Forum Galleria carpark to go for a lunch appointment with an acquaintance at the Orchard Parade Hotel.
As I was fortunate enough to get an excellent parking spot, I felt happy enough to pass that spot to the next person. And there was one such person when i was about to go to my car to leave. A lady driver in a swank car had come into the carpark and, seeing me head for my car, slowed down.
So I nodded pleasantly at her and quickly clicked on the door auto-unlock button with the corresponding flash of lights to signal that I was leaving and she could take my lot.
You could blow me down with a feather when the lady driver looked poker faced; no returning smile or nod. I felt tempted to retrace my steps into the shopping centre to leave her high and dry — but resisted. That would have been childish and served no better purpose than to make me late for my next appointment!
Still, this being Kindness Month makes me wonder whether what we really need is a Kindness Year to instill some appreciation in those at the receiving end of a stranger’s kindness.
Or am I just an idiotic needy masochist when I look for a “thank you” from the self-confident who not only believe that the world is their oyster but it also owes them plenty of favours