On a Sunday afternoon, I was at the Food Republic foodcourt at Parkway Parade. After feeding Buddy, he didn’t want to settle down to people-watch, nor did he want the entertainment from the iPad. My husband had finished his lunch, and took to pushing Buddy around in the stroller so that I could have mine.
Now that I was alone, I wouldn’t be focusing on lunch only. There were candies to be crushed! Yes, I finally got hooked onto Candy Crush after wondering what the big deal was about.
As I was working on a difficult level (which I was stuck for a few weeks), the corner of my eyes noticed someone standing in front of me. I looked up and there was an elderly-looking woman in front of my table, preparing to sit down on a chair diagonally to me. I stared hard at her, and when she noticed, she asked, “is this taken?” I replied, “no”, and as she sat down, I continued, “before you take over the chair, you should ask if it’s occupied.” She defended herself, “I did ask you.” I told her sternly, “yes, only after I looked at you. It’s proper etiquette you should asked before you sit down at an occupied table.” She looked defiant, but I turned my attention back to the game and ignored her. After a couple of minutes, she stood up and left.
Another Sunday afternoon, my husband and I were again at the same Food Republic foodcourt. Even though it was already past 2pm, the place was still rather crowded. We had to go to the end of the foodcourt to look for seats at the long tables. One was empty except for a lady sitting across, and I asked if we could share the table with her. She agreed and I put my grocery shopping on my side of the table, so that my husband and I could take the bench.
An elderly man came along carrying a tray with two coffee cups. He promptly put down the tray on my side of the table next to the shopping. I stare at him in amazement, and he gestured at the next table where the diners had just left and a cleaner was clearing the dishes, and told me I could take that table. Hello!!! Why don’t you take that table instead? I refused to budge and he had no choice but to move over.
It was the evening peak hour on the subway, and as usual the freaking train was packed with people.
I was standing in the middle of the carriage and busy crushing candies, when I heard a commotion as the train stopped at one station. A man was trying to exit from the train door but inexplicably he couldn’t or didn’t, and he was scrambling to move to the other door of the carriage while seemingly telling someone this was the station to exit. I was wondering if the first door was stuck but it was wide open. Though there were people standing next to the door, but you can always ask them to give way, and if they don’t, just push past them.
Anyway while the guy managed to get to the other door, an elderly couple, with bags in their hands, scurried after him. But the door closed on them when they reached it. I thought to myself as I witnessed the scene, “tough luck. They have to alight at the next station.” But guess what? The old man then pressed on the emergency communication button next to the door, as if it was the bell on a public bus. The door slides open, and the couple scooted out while the rest of us inside the carriage stared at them flabbergasted. The door remained open. Just then the train driver came on the PA system, “the passenger who pressed the emergency bell, what is the problem?” Everybody looked at each other, wondering if someone would respond back using the microphone located above the button.
The PA system came on again; this time it was a recorded message that the train was delayed at the station because of an emergency. It was a ‘WTF’ moment. I was starting to curse at the couple. Just then a station staff came along with a stony look on her face; she took out a key which she promptly inserted into the button. I presumed she must have disabled the emergency status of the train, because the door closing signal sounded after she stepped out. The door closed a couple of seconds later and the train continued on its journey. If the train had been delayed for more than 15 minutes, I would kick that couple in the ass if they didn’t manage to get away. (Note. There is a S$5,000 fine for misusing the button.)
I don’t know what’s with some old foggies, but they act like the world should give in to them. No, the world DOESN’T have to give way to you! Just because you’re getting senior also doesn’t entitle you to getting respect automatically. It has to be earned! And good etiquette also applies to you.
Some might think I’m getting agitated over minor issues. My argument is if you can’t show any manners with small stuff, would you even care about major ones?