While I was on my way home, riding a bus, I overheard a passenger complain about how he felt disrespected by how the conductor dealt with him.
Well, here’s a back story.
When the conductor asked this passenger where he was heading to give him a ticket, he responded and added that a discount should also be credited. Then, the conductor verified whether the discount is grounded on the following: a student, a disabled, or a senior. From my perspective, the conductor just went through the protocol of verification. But then, the passenger, not looking into the conductor’s eyes (which also implies that he is none of the mentioned categories), imposed that he should be given a discount regardless. In response, the conductor made it clear that he cannot simply credit discounts because a passenger said so, especially when they are not a student, disabled, or senior.
You can feel that the passenger never intended to back away, like a kid in a tantrum who doesn’t want to admit he’s in the wrong. Instead, he used a stance to exert power and authority as if his words ought to bear significance. He grunted under his breath, not making eye contact until a woman intervened, and the conductor resigned with a sigh.
Perhaps, the conductor understood that there’s no getting around to dealing with people who don’t play by the rules.
From the incident, here’s what I learned:
- People there only for the taking don’t know how to explain why action must be done in their favor. Because if you are in the right, a little explanation won’t hurt, will it?
- If you know you are doing something not right, it’s challenging to establish eye contact. Perhaps you can’t look right at them because you are afraid of being found out. You don’t want the other person to see right through your motives.
- Anger is often a power-card powerless people use. They leverage their anger because, in reality, they are weak and don’t have the authority to make things happen. They think that their anger makes people bow to them, but those who are wise enough to see through these people know what types of battles they don’t have to fight.