What happened today when I nipped in for a quick grab of some supplementary groceries and meat was something quite extraordinary, given that Singaporeans are always made out by our media to be ungracious people.
Well, OK, the incident won’t have started if a Singaporean lady — she looks Chinese and speaks with a Singaporean accent, so I assumed she’s ka-kee-nang — hadn’t nipped in and dropped one item for the cashier to deal with.
Only trouble was there was a European lady with a pram in front of her and this customer was unloading her stuff for the cashier.
And the other trouble was that the cashier — the ever gracious Cindy — served the woman with the single item ahead of the woman with several items.
The European woman — with a thin small kana-like face and hair pulled back into a top knot — objected vehemently.
The Singaporean lady apologised saying “sorry, I’m really sorry etc”. But the European woman wasn’t mollified.
“U r not sori or else you would etc,” she retorted. She went on and on, glaring and glowering all the while, even as the cashier returned the change to the offending woman customer who I could see was turning puce, not sure from embarrassment or suppressed anger. And then, with her purchase and change, she made a double quit exit.
Kana face wasn’t done. Rolling her eyes and tossing her smallish head, she went on to berate the cashier who kept quiet, as she scanned, packed, charged and returned the change
I was in the next aisle, waiting for my turn to be served. I’d admit I was an unabashed voyeur and eavesdropper and yes, did try to put myself in the European lady’s shoes.
Sure, I don’t like queue jumpers no more than others and would have applauded angry protesting “kana face”, if the woman who came from behind had a trolley full of goods and tried to get served first!
But for heaven’s sake, the queue jumper had only one item. The affected customer had at least six or seven items and was still putting her things out for the cashier to scan when interrupted.
So why the short fuse? Just asserting her rights? O, come on. Over one item? Or did she show the sort of gracelessness which foreigners, especially ang mos, are always accusing Singaporeans of? Or did she imagine it continues to be Rule Britannica at Cold Storage?
If the last is the reason for her to get on her high horse, she should remember Singapore ceased to be a British colony 50 years ago!
Afterword: from my coz JC aka chilli padi when I asked her to give me her views on this encounter. Her uncensored eml is as follows:
“Hmmmmmmm…… actually , I can empathise with “kana-face” on the incident only. You see, the “jumper” not only “jumped” queue but did it without so much of a by-your -leave, and this I do not like at all. And yes- this has happened me too. Of course I did not make such a fuss
but quietly told the cashier ,when my turn came ,that I was on the queue first.
The cashier is equally to be blamed of course. She should have asked “kana-face” first. Welllllll…… of them has an IQ of a worm……..so there we are.
Whether it is one or 100 items, it is still queue jumping, in my books.
It will be different, however, if she had asked if she could be served first. This would be more gracious. If “kana-face” had said no- then she is no better and I would have gladly told her so to her face (if I were there of course)…. “
Yup, that’s the other perspective!