Monday, February 22, 2016

Bullying Bullies Back

I was bullied a lot when I was in first grade. My skin was so white, my hair light brown and I was so tiny back then (fourth shortest kid in the whole grade level). My classmates always teased me that my father was this comedienne called Redford White. I always went home upset since I knew my Dad was a respected lawyer. Eventually they got tired of me and picked on other classmates. I never fought back and until high school there were just a lot of push overs in school.

Today I got picked on at the check-in counter at the airport. I decided not to purchase baggage since I was just doing a short trip to Manila. Also decided to take a budget flight since it’s just a short trip anyway and I like being frugal in trips. As usual I checked in online so I can breeze through getting in so I can do some more work while waiting for boarding. I purposely made my usual hand carry lighter and decided to just bring one Chromebook with me (I normally bring 2).

Strangely though the counter crew after weighing my small trolley bag asked to weigh my hand bag. The total was 13 kilograms which she said was over the limit of 10 if you have a laptop in your bag. So I asked her why is that since I’ve traveled a gazillion times with the same bag ensemble and this is the first time I heard of this rule. It was also the first time every that my hand bag was weighed. She arrogantly responded that I should check in one of my bags or just leave them and pointed out that I should have had my laptop in my hand bag.

So I just kept asking the same question, “What should I do?” That went on for awhile and luckily the Pinoy cashier stepped in since I was getting visibly upset. I told her that I’ve traveled a lot of times with the same stuff and that they could check my records. I held my ground since I knew there were other passengers who had bigger and heavier hand carry items. They let me go and just said to just come back if the immigration security didn’t let me in.

Of course the immigration security let me in.

Bullies can be so exasperating. They destroy one’s peaceful state. Maybe because I look like I can be pushed around I experience this every so often. Anywhere. I learned though that there are many ways to fight back without stooping down to their level. You can fight back by being the better person. The better person in the team (the one who delivers). You can be better by focusing on doing well in what you do rather than fighting fire with fire (fight back with water).

So for this person at the check-in counter earlier... I discovered that the Changi Airport feedback form really does work from a previous complaint I did a year ago. I didn’t want to jeopardize my flight because I have business meeting scheduled, so I’ll just let the airport authorities take care of it.

P.S. The pilot landed the plane perfectly tonight. Happy =)