A Nevispages weekly feature by Curtis Morton Sr
The way I see it, we have to learn to understand people and appreciate their peculiar circumstances, which may well dictate their behavioural traits. If we try to put ourselves in their shoes, then we will become more tolerable and understanding, even when they are overly overbearing and offensive.
I had a very interesting week, not to mention the fact that Wednesday 23rd September, was an unofficial public holiday in the federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. Well, due to that significant date, I had some MUST DO transactions to complete, which took me to a particular government office in town. Well, having adhered to the required protocols, I waited my time in the not so long line.
Eventually, I got my stuff completed and was directed to the cashier. The first thing that struck me, was the general unpleasant attitude, even a non-response to my most pleasant ‘Good morning.’ Then she asked me a question. I responded. Then to my shock, she shouted at the top of her lungs: “I can’t hear you. Take off your mask and speak properly!’
Well I newa!
My eyes opened wide, as I looked at her in amazement. By now, the office was practically full and there were lots of persons to hear the outburst. Not wanting to continue to be the center of attention, I removed the mask and responded quite clearly; completed the payment and then hustled out of that office.
At first, I was a little hurt, but then I remembered that some time ago, I worked with an individual, who demonstrated two separate personality traits. One day, she would come into the office bubbling and greeting everyone and seemed all ready for work. Then another day, she would enter the office with a sour face, retire to her corner and virtually sulk all day and act in a most unpleasant manner.
I later learnt that her live-in boyfriend was accustomed to beating her and hence the changing mood swings. I then became more tolerable to her attitudes. So, maybe, the young lady’s boyfriend had beaten her the night before, maybe!
As I went to the Nevis Credit Union on Thursday, to conduct some business, I was even more intrigued by PEOPLE BEHAVIOUR.
They were not issuing numbers on that day and I watched as some persons came and tried to brazenly cheat the system. This particular lady came and met quite a number of us in line.
She did not go to the back but placed herself strategically about halfway up and just looked cool. As the line moved, so too she moved.
However, I warned the others behind me to watch the move and not to allow her to get ahead of them. They too moved quickly as the line was depleted.
Guess what? She had to find herself at the back of the line!
Another lady, in NASPA’s uniform, kept saying that she had to go to work. So, when we got on the inside, I heard her ask someone behind me if she could exchange with his space, as she has to go to work. The young man promptly responded: “I have to go to work too!”
I held my breath. I was hoping she would not ask me, because I had a stiff schedule ahead of me, including two interviews. She did not and I was relieved.
Now check the huge difference:
I received a call, indicating that I had to return to that first office that I mentioned, to correct something on the cheque I had written. To be honest, there was some trepidation. You mean I had to face off with that mean cashier again?
Not this time.
I was met at the door by a very pleasant lady, who took me to the back of the office and indicated the changes that were necessary on the cheque and even loaned me a pen, with a most pleasant smile. Now that certainly made my day.
I am now wondering if managers should not be more strategic in their positioning of their officers. Like, putting the most unpleasant ones at the back and the more pleasant ones at the front, to interact with the customers.
Just a thought….
Anyway, the bottom line is, God knows why people act the way they do and he loves all of us the same.
We, in turn, even if we do not understand why people behave the way they do, need to be more tolerable and understanding and we will learn to appreciate them better.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?