Back in the day when I was fighting my way through the crazy corporate jungle which was full of bigger -than-their -BMW’s-business egos (compensating for their insecurities and other “shortcomings), I had many an idiot of a boss. One in particular.
But, ironically, this is the idiot that left one piece of advice that has always stayed with me:
This man doesn’t deserve any more of a mention but the other day those words struck a chord.
Waiting in line for my much-needed coffee, a lady tapped me on the shoulder and while pointing to the twinlets said, “Oh, please do tell me some of your nanny friends so I can refer either you or them to my daughter. She’s looking for someone at the moment…and you seem to be doing a fabulous job with those twins…”
“Haha, I should think so. After all, I am their mother…” I replied, trying to contain my urge to whack the tactless lady in the head.
Arriving at playgroup, I told the other mums about my run-in. One mum knew exactly where I was coming from. She is Hungarian; Her husband is of Filipino background; Their little boy is his dad’s mini-me.
Another mum made an interesting point.
“She just should’ve just asked straight up if they were yours. At least she could’ve saved herself the embarrassment.”
And although I almost despise being asked that question too (It’s up there with “Are they IVF ?”), I think my mum friend is right.
I started thinking about assumptions and tried to recall a time where they have every played a positive role.
Being an Indonesian born Australian, I’ve been dumped with a few in my life.
There was the time a QANTAS flight attendant was frustrated with all the Indonesian passengers who couldn’t speak (shock ! horror !) English on a flight from Jakarta to Sydney. Getting peeved at having to repeatedly explain that the dinner choices were either fish or chicken, by the time he came around to me, he spoke so slowly and yet in an impatient and rude manner.
I turned on my thickest of Aussie accents and twang: “Um, dunno. Maybe the chicken, but what’s in the fish ?”
I’ll never forget his look of shame and his lame attempt to explain his bad behaviour.
Then there was the awful time when my dad had a seizure in the middle of a road trip and we had to race him to the nearest hospital. While waiting for his CT scan results in the emergency room, a nurse started speaking candidly to his colleague about my dad’s condition, thinking he and his family who were in the room didn’t speak English.
There will always be morons in this world. There’s no denying that.
But I think assumptions can be prevented. (And likewise, I definitely need some hard-up lessons of my own).
Perhaps, we could argue that they aren’t as severe as unsolicited judgements or criticisms. One could even see them as harmless.
Yet, my life experiences tell me differently. I think assumptions can be the root and the stem of the yuckiness and negativity of close-mindedness and prejudice.
Feel free to correct me, if I’m wrong.
Anywhoooo…ending on a lighter note.
Here is the latest photo of me and the twinlets:
Please, please, pretty please tell me that you can see a teeny tiny resemblence of me in them.
The flat nose ? The squidgy lips ? Anything ?
Lies and far-stretched truths will be happily accepted 🙂