Les Petits Contes

About life's little observations, which matter. About hilarious situations, which illuminate. About stories which offer immense possibilities, open endings, different interpretations and perspectives.

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Location: Singapore

A nature lover; sun-worshipper, manic book-collector, dessert-devourer and a magnet for hazards

Friday, May 13, 2011

It’s not a privilege

I know I will probably get judged again for saying things that are ''un PC'', or for not being ''caring and compassionate'', or for not being a goody two shoes.

But being old and preggers does not entitle you to special treatment. Being well respected does.

An article in the Straits Times reported that a young man who was occupying a ''reserved'' seat for the elderly and needy was refused to give up his seat in an MRT train. The fat old man claimed that he needed a seat more than the young sleeping man and woke him up by poking the latter with an umbrella. When rebuffed, he was vicious enough to write to all and sundry - the media, the SMRT and most laughable of all - to the young man’s employer. The old man had been rude in their conversation and after the media ruckus, the young man had explained that he had been unwell and was sleepy due to his medication, and that he had also lost one of his contact lenses, hence, unable to see very well.

Please, old man, it's not your job to educate the young man. And neither is it to give ''performance feedback''. The incident happened in an MRT train, NOT in a work situation at HSBC, for crying out loud!

I am sick of reading about people not giving up seats to the ''needy''. Define needy. I am needy too, when I have heavy bags with me on the bus and my body is aching all over and am having a splitting headache and I can't afford a cab. And I may not be that young – at 45, I look 30. I have had a few kind souls offering me their seats - and they look either my age or even older, all because I looked like I need one, not because I look ‘’old’’.

And so if one gets offered a seat, does one thank the person who offered? Most times the preggers and the old folks I have encountered didn't so much as nod or acknowledge the person giving up the seats, let alone say thank you. It’s as if being heavy with a big tummy and having some years to your age comes with a license to demand things, ungraciously.

To these people I say - go to hell.

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