Yesterday, some of us from the Global Peace Team decided to have a good meal together. To Place S we went! When Paradigm Mall is just approximately 5 minutes drive-away from the office, you cannot possibly complain about not being able to get yourself what you want within the reach.
Nina (my super warm and friendly intern) has already made a good number of friends in the mall, including the restaurant we were heading to. So, walking with her in the mall can be a little funny journey to wherever in the mall you are heading. As Nina, Sufiyan and I reached, Pick Ching was already done with her main course! We did take a while to get there due to having to drop-by at the Western Union before heading to the restaurant. As soon as we were there, for some reason, we were accompanied by stories after stories, most of which revolved around Nina’s encounters or you may call them unusual experiences.
In the middle of the conversation, Nina kept mentioning about some animals and she was disturbed by the appearance of them. We hadn’t a clue of what she was talking about. Then I realised there were these little insect on the table. By the time, I noticed, she had already killed around three of it. Well, ants I assumed, we assumed.
As we were eating, Pick Ching expelled the next couple of words, “Archana, they are not ants! They are baby cockroaches!” I panicked, we panicked. The baby roaches were crawling out of my hot water pot which came with my Japanese coffee. To make it worse, being impatient and a habit of gulping down hot drinks while they are still steaming hot, I have already had my first couple of sips! Great.
We got a waiter to attend to us, and explained to him the scenario. Obviously, I was not going to drink the rest of the coffee, not half a sip more. Neither was I going to pay for that. I was pretty upset. After a troublesome tummy over the weekend and taking three days to heal just, knowing that the hot water I consumed had baby roaches just gave me cold sweats.
The waiter responded with a nod, and took the hot water pot along with him. By his non-verbal gestures and action of taking the pot away, our best assumption was that he was going to get me another hot water pot or something. To avoid this, we got the “supervisor” to attend to us. A physically tough-looking chap with a grey shirt and black work pants. Oh dear, this man would not even look at you and speak. Even if he did, his expression or more like expressionlessness when confuse for sure. Yes, a cold-hard blank face. We explained now to this man about the scenario, and now that the waiter had brought the pot away. We barely caught what he said, because as he verbally responded, he had already turned away and made his way to the back of the restaurant where the waiter disappeared to as well. We waited impatiently for his return. He not only not returned to our table, but avoided our table or ignored our gestures of calling him back. This was getting a little too far. We were getting more upset.
Then we got a lady in white shirt, whom we assumed to be the manager or something. She was not quite different from the guy in grey in terms of communicating. Very poor social skills we would call it. She almost walked away when we were still explaining to her about what happened.
“Wait please! We are not done talking! We are still talking!”
We had to be a little louder with more emphasis on the words we were putting to make it clearer for her to get the message.
walk away not finished. Then she left our table to check with her colleagues. Not too long later she came back to our table with repeated apologies, free green tea ice-cream and a glass of warm water. It was interesting to watch and experience her communicating to my colleagues Nina and Pick Ching though I was sort of the victim. I guess that was because they were both way more vocal. So that is another thing isn’t it. If you are more vocal, people would make the extra effort to make it up to you. If it’s otherwise, they would be less if not unapologetic to you probably because you might be perceived as harmless, hence you can be stepped on or something. This is so wrong.
You could read the unhappiness form the bitter expressions of the manager. She had to attend to us because of the position she was put in. I did not feel good at all about this.
My mama told me that we should be nice to people. My papa taught me that we should be always pleasant and warm towards others, family, friends and strangers.
The bottom line is, being courteous is not a choice. Courteousness is the essence of humanity of being able to treat one another with nothing but genuine kindness, care and respect. All-in-all, this is what we call the expression of authentic love. Love is not just a word. Love is a culmination of all the universal values that we are embedded in our very origin. In the reality of human relationship, being courteous helps to ignite human relations, in building trusting relationship transcending boundaries.
Do not at all give reason that hold you back from being the better you. You might think that you are shy, you are an introvert, you just do not like meeting people, whatever the reason is, it is not at all a reason to not be courteous. Much more if you are in a service-oriented job. Honestly, I am not basing this on an assumption that if an individual who is in a service-oriented job has to be courteous, but on the fact that it is the reality. It is not because it is a job but because of the nature of the job instead and how it is supposed to come from your heart. If you don’t like to attend to customers, attending to people, why are you in a service-oriented job. First of all, you need not be in a service-based job to be courteous. Completely unacceptable.
Then there was this waiter who was totally friendly with a big smile splattered across his face. We loved him and his energy. His job was to invite people to their seats and every single time he did this, he did it so happily! You could see it from his face. This restaurant could really use his positivity spreads.
On the left, myself and Sufiyan and on the right, Nina and Pick Ching
It was a great meal nevertheless! Despite all the weird, cold and rude experience, Sufiyan managed to finish more than 5 plates of sushi of his choice with an interesting way of enjoying his meal. It was an interestingly amusing to watch. We were happy Sufiyan was there as he most often rejected than accepted our meal invitations. We had amazing conversations. From cultures, to men, interactions, food and so many other things in-between. There were lots and lots of big laughters. We were all happy, which made that evening a memorable one.
People who eat together, stay together. And when we are all working on peace building efforts together, you can safely say that we can only see the tunnel shining a little more brighter everyday. What more when we meet more people who resonate with the ultimate force of truth and humanity, we build the road to a better and happier tomorrow!
Back to the moral of the story, it does not kill one to be courteous. It is only human to be courteous. Give and you shall receive. And that is how, the positivity goes around and around.
Picture credit: Nina Soultoul