Just Because You’re In Authority

I lost my cool today.

The university has many designated parking areas for the students and some of the areas are so bloody far from our classrooms that we have to walk like 15 minutes and by the time we reach, we are already sweating and heaving and are no longer in the mood to enjoy the lecture.(well, at least pretend to be a diligent student at the best of times)

In order to keep everything in check, the university has implemented a car sticker for all students and staff of the university. These stickers, I assume, will let the security guards who are doing their rounds know which cars are not allowed to park where and where.

Wishing to abide by the rules, a few of us went to the administration building(which will take you 20 minutes to walk to from our class, so we drove) to buy the sticker from the finance department. I parked my car at the side, alongside other cars, in front of the administration building. There were easily about 10 other cars doing the same thing as me. Perhaps not all of them belong to students but I swore I saw three boys walking into the car which was parked behind me.

Zhu Zen remained inside my car while Lie Yuen and I made our way into the administration building. The whole ordeal would probably only take slightly more than 15 minutes. I admit that I’m in the wrong if my car was blocking traffic. But the cars could still pass. Nevermind, about that.

What I’m most pissed off is when some chief guard came down from his jeep(they use jeeps to make their rounds around the university. For 10 students in my university, there is at least one security guard.) and shouted at us at the top of his voice from about 100 metres away, “STUDENTS CANNOT PARK HERE!!”

My immediate reaction? I was OFFENDED! Lie Yuen retaliated, “How can he raise his voice at us?! So rude!” hoping that he was within ear shot.

I obediently drove away while the anger in me seethed.

I wanted to follow his car and make him wind down the window so that I can tell him, “You are very rude for raising your voice at me. It is very unprofessional of you and we do not deserve to be shouted at. Please speak to us more politely in the future.”

However, what entailed was a cat and mouse chase. The both of us would be on opposite side of the roads(separated by a 5 metre wide divider) and I would stop my car when he stopped my car and I would wind down my window, hoping that he would get the message to wind down HIS window. But he didn’t and he stared at me, and I replied with a glare.

I really wanted to go down and give him a piece of my mind but there was no where for me to park.

I saw the Deputy Vice Chancellor talking to one of my old lecturers and I immediately parked at the staff area and stomped all the way to him, hoping to lodge a complain. Coincidentally, that rude security guard’s jeep was parked two spaces away from me but he was no where in sight.

The entrance to the administration building was manned by this innocent looking security guard from Nepal whose only command of the Malay language was “Tak boleh park di sini.”(their other default phrases are: “Mana ID?” and “Tak boleh bawa buku keluar.”) So I said to him, “Tadi guard yang marah saya? APA nama dia?” And he couldn’t give me an answer but could only continue with his “Tak boleh park di sini,”. I told him with a very crazy looking smile that it would be for awhile. JUST. While. And he said, “Okay, cepat!”. Wow, new word.

The Deputy VC was my old microbiology lecturer as well. He, unlike the security guard, is a very well educated man who is soft spoken. I went up to the two lecturers and asked them “Sir, can I say something?” and he was like, “Yes! Of course, please!”

Then I started rambling like an energizer bunny who was about to burst into tears about how I’m so rudely reprimanded just because I’m a student..bla bla..who is he to talk so rudely to me.. bla bla..can he learn not to raise his voice at me..bla bla..why are security guards so rude?..bla bla..

Then the Deputy VC calmed me down and said, “Okay okay, I will reprimand him okay? Even I don’t dare to raise my voice at the students…! I will reprimand him!” He then turned to my other lecturer and excused himself, “Let me appease her first! I’ll walk her to her car.”

I apologized to him for losing my cool but I needed to get it off my chest. For all the years that I’ve been in this university, yes lah, I may have parked my car at the wrong places(just 5 minutes?!) but not until damn melampau like in the middle of the road but the worst ones were when I was in year 1 and every other week I would be told off (very rudely) that my skirt is too short this that this that. You know how short were the things I wore to uni?!! They were only about an inch above my knees!!

It came to a point where I was so angry with the security guard at the old campus that I went to complain to the student affairs about him(who tried to calm me down, very professionally) and he came into the office to complain to them about me. I glared at him as he entered the office and slammed the door just behind him. I’m sorry to appear so in front of the nice people at the student affairs but my beef with that security guard was to the point of no return. But all this happened three years ago…. it’s all water under the bridge on my part. Can’t even remember his face now. He would see me and look at my skirt and go, “YOU again!!”

Funny how so many girls can get away with skirts that end a foot above their knees, now that we’ve moved into the new campus. Because of all the telling-offs that I’ve received(to the point where they wanted to file me as a student with discipline problems), my wardrobe here in Kedah is filled with grannie looking things. Oklah, if I can abide by the rules which want us to look professional, I don’t mind.

I’m not a very difficult person. If you can tell me off with a polite manner, a kind smile, of course I would listen to you.

But I will not tolerate it when people shout at me or raise their voices at me just because I’m a freaking student.

Being a student does not put me at the lowest of the low in the social heirarchy!

During hospital visits, we were shouted at by a nurse once just because we didn’t greet her.

I am a human being, just like you, worthy of respect.

I cannot stand people who are strangers to begin with, but who clearly have higher positions than you, launch into shouting mode when they think that you’re doing something against the rules.

Rudeness will only make people despise you, it will only stain the name of the institution that you belong to. Your reputation will be known far and wide and life will continue to be difficult for you if you remain the person that you are.

All the education in the world cannot rectify certain attitude problems.

When I become someone of power someday, I will not discriminate against people who are of lower status than me. I’ve never shouted at a person for NO reason at all. (even when I shout at my brother, it’s because he didn’t let me play his playstation/drive the car/use the computer(back in the 90s)). If my future maid pisses me off, I’ll just send them off. You won’t see my name in the newspapers with the word “Hot iron” in the same paragraph.