Sunday, April 28, 2013

Civilization isn't nigh


The water fountains in our office dispense at a stingy trickle and in the time needed to fill an entire bottle you usually find another person waiting to get a drink; some wait to fill a cup, others to top their bottle up. In my mind the social contract dictates that cups trump bottles so I usually yield access to the tap even if I’m in the middle of filling my bottle. Most often people nod, smile, say thanks, or on the rare occasion insist on waiting. However, many others, in numbers larger than I would have guessed, don’t even acknowledge the gesture and reach for the tap with a sense of entitlement. I had promised myself to wait till I encounter at least 5 people who lack the courtesy to thank before I made this post. I hit my target in the first week.

Denizens of a crowded country are probably habituated to seizing an opportunity and moving on. You see disregard for fellow humans in traffic or at any ticket counter. Maybe I am unfairly wearing the firang goggles that people of my generation pick up on their travels abroad, but I feel disheartened. If you don’t mind being a jerk at office where you’ll meet your colleagues repeatedly, why would you be civil to strangers?

3 comments:

Shekhar said...

Well, lets not get all righteous about it :P
In foreign land, where buses are hard to come by, people notice that there are folks waiting to get in but just refuse to cram in so that a couple of more poor souls dont have to take a long walk. And I am not talking over crowded buses, it is very easy to see that there is room for everyone. Sometimes, I miss those private bus conductors....

Deepak Rajanna said...

I see that you are doing the "How to give advice and not follow it yourself in the next few seconds: 101".

I must say private bus conductors are awesome. I distinctly remember wanting to be one, especially after watching a series on Kannada TV called "Conductor Kariappa".

Sats said...

Am not sure if these people even realize they are being jerks. That's how you and I would like to tag them.