Tuesday, April 29, 2008
It happened yesterday at work (for those who don't know, I'm a part-time online English teacher). I was trying to contact my student for our arranged class at 10:30pm (Philippine time) but we can't conduct the class the usual way--headset + the virtual classroom software--since her headset is broken. The only way to hold the class is to call her phone, which of course, is more expensive. I informed my supervisor about this and a minute later he's at my station. I handed over my headset so that he could talk with my student and perhaps inform her about the additional cost of conducting phone classes. Here's what struck me as totally uncivil: he tried to extend the cord of my USB headset, which, being too long I tamed with a cord binder, with a violent pull till my CPU got dragged and crashed onto my monitor and keyboard. It made quite a noise that the teacher next to me had to check out what was happening at my station. I was just sitting in front of my desk, and him standing beside me, when this amazing display of animal behavior happened. It was just shocking.
He ended the call and returned to me my headset with its cord messed up. Before he leaves I felt I have to ask him: "Should I inform you again tomorrow if she requested for a phone class again?" He fixed his tiny eyes on me for about 2 seconds and said with the most arrogant tone: "Just continue [teaching]."
It's a pity that he cannot construct a better English sentence than that.
During that brief encounter, I felt I was turned into a second-class citizen in my own country, and that I couldn't accept. I was so pissed off at him not because he has done wrong to me. It's more of like because of him, for a while I hopped into Korean haters' boat, for a while I despised listening to my favorite Korean songs in my iPod, for a while I felt not going back anymore to Korea to meet my friends again.
There are rotten potatoes all over the planet. Thinking everything will be all happy in Korea, and that all Koreans are mild-mannered, is like believing that there exists a community of heavenly creatures on Earth. Clearly, that is not the case. Reality, once again, struck me hard. I was just lucky that when I was in Korea, not even a single vile being apparated before me. Yes, I could say that my 10-month stay there was a piece of heaven on Earth. And yes, I could also say that the Philippines could be the place where fallen angels from Korea started flocking at. Now I understand more than ever why I can't blame some Filipinos for expressing negative bias toward Koreans. But then it hurts me still when I hear nasty generalizations about these people. Rotten potatoes abound in the Philippines too. We also don't have a glittering reputation in other countries...I was just deeply saddened by the fact that I, too, felt disdain towards Koreans in general--even if it was just for a while. I care for my friends back there and I guess they care for me as much. I respect my professors who have been really generous and kind-hearted to me, to describe the least. I could not just have imagined that my admiration for them could have been dispelled quite so easily with that single encounter. My supervisor almost ruined it for me, for all the good Koreans out there.
I think I will be working some place else after I graduate this summer.
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sEntry: The Clutter Junkster
1) Creature of Habit
2) Hope for Joy
3) Frozen in Time
4) Precious Wound
5) Ironed Fashion
6) My Name is Rain
7) Winning Moment
8) Life on Film
9) I Can't Touch the Things that are True
10) Kaleidoscopic Bibimbapish Post
Post-Korea Stress Syndrome
1) Time in a Bottle
2) For a While
3) Still Single
4) Thesis Acknowledgments
5) A Tribute to the Triad
6) Prince Caspian: A Must See
7) Halo-halo for the Rainy Days
8) Family Reunion
9) Lying is A By-product
10) Gladiators in My Dream
11) Turning a New Leaf
12) Is There a Bane to Being Brown?
13) Serve the People?
14) Lament of a Call Center Agent
15) A Mechalife