Saturday, December 27, 2008


Today I had a bit of a run-in with a man I presume was an officer in the main branch of the State Bank of India. I pride myself in being able to tolerate a lot of things, but rudeness is something that just galls me, especially when it’s unprovoked. Here is what happened.

Having gone to the bank to get my University Teachers’ Association passbook updated, I noticed that two ladies were engaged with the person sitting in the tellers’ cubicle. I patiently waited for them to finish their business, kept a respectful distance, and when they were done I approached our man.

Me: “May I have my passbook updated?”
Rude Bank guy: “What the..!! Haven’t I just said that the updating machine (or whatever it’s called) is broken? Do I have to repeat myself over and over again? @%*$#!!”
Me (having slowly but surely lost my cool during this colorful tirade): “Excuse me, but I just arrived, did not hear any part of your conversation with any other customers. You people are so impolite!”
Rude bank guy: “@*#$$&%)$)#%!!”

Out I went, seething. In I came again, realizing that I would never get a moment’s peace unless I vented out my frustration at someone. The unfortunate (but most appropriate) recipient was the Manager. Fortunately for me, he was not a Mizo, and I had the opportunity to use what turned out to be a surprisingly extensive vocabulary denouncing the unprofessional conduct of the bank’s employees, how this particular man had no right to shout at me, and how, we, the public, were generally fed up of them acting like they were doing us a big favor for every transaction when in actuality they were just doing their duty, how none of their customers – especially those from rural areas – had the courage to seek guidance or clarification from his rude staff, et cetera. I also added that since his blessed machine was broken, and since it was obvious that people would keep coming to him to update their passbooks, he could jolly well put up a sign saying that the machine was broken since repeating that fact seemed to make him explode every time he had to do it. Miming it wouldn’t have worked. Neither would shouting it out at the top of his voice (which he did) make his life any easier.

The manager was apologetic, and admitted that they had been having these problems, that they had even had a meeting regarding this recently but not to much avail, and so on. I think he was also a little scared that I’d throw a full-blown tantrum right there in his office… which I was rather tempted to do. The upshot was that he asked me to submit a written complaint against the man so that action could be taken, which I couldn’t quite bring myself to do. Sigh.

Well, maybe this guy had had a bad day, I reasoned. But that was pretty early in the day, and it still did not excuse his behavior. What was really quite surprising also was that usually it’s the women workers who get all the flak. This rude person was not just a man, but he was well into his late forties judging by his looks. I wondered what could have happened to make his fuse so short.

The Bible says “a gentle answer turns away wrath”. How true it is. And how far we so-called professionals in Mizoram are still away from practicing that truism! I think it’s high time government employees step down from their ‘secure’ jobs and realize that just because people need our services, it doesn’t give us the right to abuse them. It’s so much easier to be kind; and true kindness is not motivated by the fear that we’ll have a bad record or lose our jobs. It just stems from the desire to be nice to others. It even has a side-benefit: it gives us that warm glow inside which nothing else can beat.

As Jewel says, In the end, only kindness matters.


  1. Happy Holidays :D
    /That's life, you know! The works etc etc *grin*

  2. I thinrimna hi ka hriatthiam pui khawp mai che, Abik takin, SBI ah hian. Keipawh ka ATM card chungchangah ka buai hrep tawh bawk.

    Mi ram chu nise, darkar chanve vela fel thei mai kha ani a. I sawi ang hian, thawktute polite lo lutuk hi chu buaithlak ani. Customer care hi kan la tlachham tak zet zet a ni.

    Engpawhnise, Kumthar Hlimtakin hmang dawn nia !

  3. @BW: hey Stranger! Kumin chu "Krismas nang nen" tih lam a ni awm sia, nuam om bik :) Best wishes for the Season to both of you! And yeah, that's life :( I guess maturity is being able to take the good with the bad.

    @Seki: Nia mawle, kum tawp dawn a ruai ah hmelhriat ngai loh bulah kan an tak hrep kha, something that I rarely ever do. Mahse ka inchhir vak lo, in hriat thiam zel pawh hi a ni lo, sim nachang an hriat loh phah. A karah fel awm mahse, fello tlem te hian an office pum saw an ti hmingchhe tawh a nih ber saw.

    Nangpawh Kumthar lo awm turah hian in rawngbawlna leh mimal nunnah malsawmna tamtak i dawn ngei na turin duhsakna ka hlan a che.

  4. That was some comeback from the harrowing experience. May your tribe increase! Hey hope your new year is a meaningful one and thanks for stopping by.

  5. A simple notification would have avoided such incident as you have rightly pointed out. Perhaps he had a bad day but I wish he'd learned some hard lesson from this. Customers are yet to be taken cared of their rightful position in this part of the world. In fact, you dealt the situation really well.... A poi thin hle mai.

    belated Merry Xmas and a happy new Year!

  6. Early morning ill-temper huh? He must be pentrawng from the previous night :) Glad to know you carried yourself off gracefully. Thats the spirit of Christmas. Belated wishes to you dear u Cher.

  7. @Philo: Thanks *grin* After I stopped shaking, it actually made my day, hehe, the fact that I went and blasted the Manager, instead of going home and sulking about it all day :)

    @Sam: Hey dude! You're like a comet, but your visits are always welcome. Nia, a poi thin, not that what happened to me was such a big tragedy or anything, mahse, people deserve to be respected regardless of their social stature, etc, tih lai tak hi kan la hmu theim noh. What is annoying is that had I been a friend or acquaintance, he would have been so different. Out here knowing somebody makes all the difference....arrrgh.

    Hope yours was happy. Best wishes for 2009 too :)

    @Illusionaire: Dear U kim, it never occurred to me that this guy could have been having a hangover! Lolzzz! Bless you for thinking of the obvious...but then I guess I shouldn't be surprised :P

    Again, best wishes for a blessed 2009. Looking forward to more of those fantabulous posts from you!

  8. Keipawh hman deuh khan tul miah lovah min vin hrep tawh. Tarmit bun, hang lam deuh, thau lutuk lo a lo ni ve mial em? :D Khami hnu kha chuan SBI Main branch a mi ho khi tumah ka dawr peih tawh lo. A tul anih pawhin ka thianpa inchung lama awm ka pun theks zel..A hming ka hrilh ve law law mai dawn che mawni aw? ;)

    Mak ve mai mai chu kan khuaah hian mizo bank officer chu an awm nual. Vai hovin fel an tih bakah a thente phei chu award dawng thei khawp a thawk tha te pawh an awm nawk mai..Mahse zoram lama an awm hian an heti hlauh zel...emaw ni chu aw?

    Anyways, happy new year!!

  9. @luliana: Happy New Year...I thianpa hming chu min lo hrilh ve keuh teh! A hrim2 in i ti dik chiah, hnamdang zingah te leh ram pawnah te hian fak hlawh khop hian kan awm thei tho sia, mahni mi te zngah hian kan han harsa em em a.... arrrgh!

  10. Have you met the SBI employees fron Bawngkawn Branch?...there were many times when I was tempted to publish it in the newspaper...though I personally do not experiened it cos i hardly go there...but my mother sure had a lot to say

  11. ,...and a round of applause to you for shouting this out...

  12. @Almost Unreal: No, I haven't been to the Bawngkawn Branch, but from what you say, I think I should thank my lucky stars that I don't have to go there for any transactions! Yeah, I did consider whether it was wisest to be so specific about the office, but I guess it's ok that I did, coz so many of you have had similar experiences with them, which means I'm not prejudiced or anything :)

  13. And I always see that these people who lose their temper like that lead sad lives since they always focus on the problem. Like you said, a sign saying that the machine is out of order would have actually made life easier for everyone...

  14. I agree completely! Hetiang lam deuh hi keipawh ka Mizoram atrang a haw chu ziah ka lo tum mek a, ka ngei bawn nghal tawp chupa chu, keichu ka tolerence te hi a hniam fal nge ka hre lo, mahse tiang sual deuh ho hi chu vin let ve hrep main zel hi ka duh thin.

  15. My cousin had a similar bad experience at the SBI Mission Veng branch yesterday. In her case, the woman at the cash counter roughly grabbed her hand as she reached for the pen on the table and rudely pushed her away. My cousin was so traumatised she just left without a word but her husband went back with her today to complain about the physical mauling.

    You did the right thing in speaking to the BM. Pity you couldn't bring yourself to file a complaint in writing. There are times when we educated folks need to make a stand against that kind of unacceptable behaviour from people in public service.

  16. Wow, earlier I didn't know this happened to anyone else. .... A similar thing happened to me a couple years ago. One lady shouted at me when I asked for few questions about banking..! She was so rude..i think, these people have no ethics at all. "Forgive them, for they know not what they do."

    Anyway "being rude is not an illegal". rite..?

    And one more thing..want to let u know that i've updated my blog... I also put a link to your blog on mine.