Monday, July 16, 2007

Say Thanks, Will Ya!!

Every now and then, I would travel on the LRT during rush hours. At times like that, I consider it a miracle if I were to get a seat. Even if I do actually find one, I would inevitably have to give it up because somehow or rather, old people and pregnant ladies always find themselves drawn to me like magnets and therefore within barely half a minute of enjoying that hard seat, I would find myself staring into these old people’s swollen knuckles and pregnant women’s bellies. Always, as all the seated men are either busy reading or pretending to be fast asleep, I had no choice but to give up my seat for all these people who needed it more.

I won’t lie and say I’ll gladly give up my seat for every old people and pregnant women out there. I’m not that holy or noble. I do it only because I have to (Hey, I'm just being honest, ok!).

When I’m in a crowded train, normally I’m dead tired and would be ready to collapse at any minute. So, I’d want to get a seat so that I can relax a bit. But there would always be that thing at the back of my mind saying, “That uncle needs the seat more than you do”, or “That makcik is about to faint soon”, or “That kakak might just go into labour now if she has to stand for another minute!”.

In any event, I would always remember that as hard as it is for me to stand, it’s even harder for them to do the same. So, I stood up, and act all noble and holy, and gave my seat to those who needed it more.

It would ease my pain a bit if they say thank you. That tiny bit of gratitude for the much coveted seat would give me a good night sleep that night. I’d feel good about myself and feel much more willing to help others the next time for the sheer pleasure of lending a helping hand.

Sadly though, more often than not, when I give up my seat, the recipient would quietly just sat down and acted as if the seat was theirs to begin with, and I get nothing, NOTHING!!! Not a thank you, not a smile, not a simple nod of acknowledgement. Heck, they don’t even want to look at me in the eye. It’s as if I’m the scum of the earth or something.

Yeah, I know, some holier-than-thou creatures out there will be telling me not to expect credit or acknowledgement when I help people. Sure, keep telling yourself that. I’m sure if you do lend a helping hand, you would publicize it like there’s no tomorrow and dramatize the goodness of your heart till people think you are the reincarnation of Mother Theresa. Go ahead and say whatever you want. Just please don’t preach to me about not expecting anything in return.

I gave my seat up, and my feet were swollen from standing too long. Don’t tell me not to expect a thank you for that!

One of the first things our mothers taught us when we were little was to say thank you. It’s an expression of gratitude, to be said when something is given or done to us, for which we are thankful. In fact, whether we are indeed thankful for it or not, good manners dictate that you say thank you every single time someone does something nice to us.

Orang berbudi kita berbahasa, isn’t that how the old saying goes?


Manal said...

Akak preggers and pakcik makcik senior citizen (silently praying) semua mendoakan agar Sue selamat sejahtera dunia akhirat and semoga sampai ke rumah dgn selamat.

Maybe next time u have to look straight in their eyes when offering ur seat and keep watching them till they manage to sit properly. Normally whenever i do that, i'm sending the signal that i am waiting for a thank you, and usually i got it or at least they muttered something like that with a smile.

In some cases in the UK esp, some elderly people macam reluctant plak nak accept the offer claiming that they still have the strength to stand. Ade lagi mcm celaka yang marah2 orang as if we are implying how feeble they are. Tebiat btul!

J.T. said...


I gave up my seat before for someone really in need of it (because some buggers, clearly more fit than most around them, pretend to read or sleep). Out of the many times I did that, I think only two persons have thanked me.

Too many times I have held doors opened for men (in Malaysia)! Did they say thank you? No. A nod of acknowledgement would have suffice. Not that either. They walked right through as though I was hired to be their doorperson. *sigh*

You've said it..."Yeah, I know, some holier-than-thou creatures out there will be telling me not to expect credit or acknowledgement when I help people. I’m sure if you do lend a helping hand, you would publicize it like there’s no tomorrow ...."
So true. The holier-than-thou people will say that because they are getting enough thanks and praises from the public.

Is a simple 'thank you' so hard to say? All comes down to manners and what they were taught.

Shopper Mom said...

how about saying 'you're welcome/sama sama' when they already sat down and the word of thanks is way past due?

A Babe Of Very Little Brain said...

once upon a time, when i was young and active and relied on the public transport, i happened to take a ride on a bus that was packed to the brim. i was lucky, i got a seat.

a few stops later, a very old man (grey hair, stooping, with tongkat) boarded the bus. as i was nearest to the door, i quickly got up and indicated to the old man to sit. befoer he could sit, another man took the seat.

i was flabbergasted and was totally shocked out of my wits, and i scolded the man for taking the seat because the old man was already standing near him and he ignored the old man.

the old man was trying to pacify me and said that he had to get off at the next stop but i insisted that the other man got out of my seat.

hoh, malu orang tu. he kept mumbling that he just had a bypass and was trying to show anyone who wanted to see his bypass scar.

Pi Bani said...

I have to admit, most of the time (this was during my younger days lah when I had to take the bus to work...) those of whom I gave my seat to would thank me or at least give me a smile. Good enough.

BUT there was once when I gave up my seat to an elderly Indian lady, she kept thanking me non-stop so loudly, "Terima kasih aaa... awak baaaaaanyak baik kasi saya duduk... bla bla bla..." We were at the front seat and the whole bus could hear her and see me standing there. I didn't know where to hide my face. I think that one time I actually regretted giving up my seat... aiyoohh... one simple terima kasih will do lah Achii...

Typhoon Sue said...

many a time, they don't even look at me in the eyes even if i'm staring into theirs. so how?

mmg ada jugak org tua yg perasan kuat. tak nak dibantu, kononnya kuat lagi. hapa-hapa ntah. sekali kalau bas brek terus tersungkur kat depan tu baru tau!

Those men, i know! It's bad enough we are holding the door open for them, at times, they had the gall to stop right smack in the middle of the doorway to light a ciggie or check their sms and and what nots, conveniently forgetting that we're holding the door open for them. Idiots! One time, I actually let go of the door (it was the type that closes hard), so imagine the look on his face when the door slammed into him and he staggered to hold his balance. :)

sarcasm don't really work with thess people. I've done that many times. they just made muka toye aje. tak faham konsep langsung.

Fuyooooo!!! U must be one garang chick lah! Mesti mamat tu tobat tak nak curi seat org lagi dah.

tu dah terlebih thankful le pulak. Over-dramatic betul.

J.T. said...

Oh Sue... sometimes those men need to learn. The gall of them to stop right at the door to see to something. It won't take them another two steps out the door to do what they have to do. I know it sounds mean but I am glad you did it. :D

Chubby said...

The same goes at the govt clinic (Klinik Ibu dan Anak). Once, when I was due to deliver in 2 weeks, I went for my last check up. The seats were limited, there's so many pregnant ladies and mums with babies but some of the seats were occupied by men... So I bluntly asked (quite loud) to one guy who was sitting beside his wife,'Excuse me, encik mengandung ke?' He immediately stand and I took the seat. Sometimes you just need to tell them right into their face...

namy said...

Hi Sue

My experience was the same when I gave my seat to a pregnant lady. no thank you or even a smile was said....

If I were to relate my bad experience to my hubby, he would say we must not ask for anything back after doing a good deed. Maksudnya apa yang kita dah buat tu tak IKHLAS.... which usually made me quiet..... Jadi semua perbuatan kita lakukan mesti ikhlas untuk berkat, TAPI masyarakat kita sekarang kurang BERBAHASA, itu yang buat kita kecil hati...

kimster said...

in this space and age. people are just not the same anymore *sigh*

kimster said...

in this space and age. people are just not the same anymore *sigh*

Ayah said...

What I always do when ppl ter'forget' to say thank you, I just go ahead and say ' you are welcome' atau 'sama-sama'. Then you will see their funny faces.

Typhoon Sue said...

…and I will keep on doing it so long as they are idiots like that out there.

Even if that guy needed to be prompted give you his seat, I do hope you said thanks….

Why keep quiet? Ask him,
Kalau tak ikhlas, tak dapat pahala ke?
Kalau tak ikhlas pemberian kita tu tak berguna ke?
Kalau tak ikhlas, si penerima tu tak dapat menikmati pemberian kita ke?

Ikhlas atau tidak bukan isunya. Orang zaman sekarang, selalu saja nak kata org kita tak berbudi bahasa. Tapi bila ada org berbudi, dia tidak pulak berbahasa.

in this space and age. people are just not the same anymore *sigh*

kimmy, u talking about them or me?

it doesn't work. trust me, I've done it countless times. diaorg buat muka toye je.