Earlier this morning, I was about to ride the elevator to reach the 4th floor of the building. I was on a hurry to conduct my classes so I have to do some brisk walking in order to beat the long queue in the elevator. Unfortunately, a group of noisy female high school students rushed towards the elevator (to which I was in), all giggly and hurrying to beat the elevator door so that their teacher will not see them.
I was annoyed by the antics of the students so I pressed the hold button and said “Could you please tone down your voice?” (Pwede bang wag kayong maingay?). I am about to continue my remark towards “Wag nga kayong maligalig” when suddenly their high school teacher swayed them from taking the elevator. The students came out and the teachers came in, together with a disabled student.
I know the teachers and said that “Ang kukulit ng mga bata nyo ma’am ah, hindi napansin na may teacher din sa elevator.”
Then her co-teacher made a remark that I honestly dont know if I will like or not: “Mukha ka kasing estudyante” (You look like a student)
Mukha kang estudyante.
I dont know if it was genes, my minion height or the young looks, but I always get that remark. Sometimes, I can brush it off with a laugh but there are times that people make the comment a little bit derogatory.
Kasalanan ko bang magmukha akong bata kaysa sa inyo? Well my looks can be deceiving but my age is already cruising towards the 30s. Heck, I am just a knock away to being ousted from the calendar.
In the movies, the protagonist and antagonist are always in the search for the fountain of youth or immortality in order to restore them in their prime age. But in real life, its not all rosy. Sometimes it can be a curse. I have been mistreated several times because of my youthful looks. Not until I wear my formal suit, then people will begin to realize who they are talking to.
Observing people who treat others based on their visual appearance, I can say that most of the time, people tend to treat people based on what their appearance says about their age, job and social status. There are times that treatments are unequal.
Por ehemplo, when I go to the bank wearing only a shirt and short plus flip flops, I get smirks and snobs from the bank teller. Until I wear my formal suit again that people will realize who they are dealing with. There is another incident that I went to a parlor wearing only simple clothes and only got a dismal service. Again, it is only when I came to the parlor wearing my usual attire at work, did I get the kind of service that I deserve.
Actually I wear simple clothes when I am outside the institution. First, for safety reasons and second, I am dont want to brag my work nor the nature of my status at work. I keep a low profile you see. Di ko naman kailangan ipagkalandakan kung sino at ano ako, right?
But the thing with the incident this morning: I am wearing my usual work attire, formal so to speak, but the students are still gregarious and the HS teacher still made that remark. People can be so freaking visceral, nearly to the point of being annoying.
So the lesson of the incident today is this: no matter what the appearance of the person is, he or she still deserve the kind of service / treatment / respect you are ought to give. This should be the lesson for service frontliners too. Di porket simple ang suot, basta basta na lang ang service. Baka magulat kayo na anak pala ni Ayala ang kaharap nyo.