Being a Better Man

Sipping on ginseng coffee on an idyllic Sunday. Taking mother out for Cantonese food in the evening with the family. A little bit of prep-work for the coming WW20. Reading the Sunday papers. Writing a post or two online. Visiting a few blog friends (who have been oft-neglected due to work :P). It’s a good Sunday.

Photo Credit: The old man and the sea by Sense of Silence

On a Friday Night
“You F*cking idiot! You think that’s an excuse. IDDDDIIIOOOOTT! F*CKING MORON!”

These were the words that greeted my & my companion on stepping out of a sundry store where we stepped in for 5mins to buy a couple of beers & some chips. We recognized the wizened old man with the white beard & pale ‘ang moh’ skin from earlier walking out of the same store. Caught our attention as he was telling something of his wife being sick with something.

The Rant & the Reaction
I realized to my chagrin that I had actually parked my car in front of the entrance to a small car park at the Hillside in Penang. Smiling apologetically, I apologized & explained that it was my fault & that I truly did not know that I was blocking an entrance/exit point. Did not help that the area was poorly lit & that I wasn’t from the area.

Still the old man ranted on. I raised my hand in apologies to the Chinese chap with his family in the SUV behind me.

Casting a last glance at the old man, I decided to get into my car & drive off.

Why?
My colleague asked that she was curious why didn’t I respond. In fact she wanted to tell the old man that we had apologized & that it was an honest mistake – if only to avoid me from blowing up & giving the old man a piece of my mind.

I pondered on that for a moment.

I knew that I was in the wrong. Yet I knew that the old man was asking for trouble & being on the verge of public harassment. Still possible given the fact that he had significantly more white hair or lack of hair (Asian upbringing of respecting elders?) & the glimpse of conversation from earlier that his wife was sick – that probably held me back.

If the situation had occurred another day or time, I would have probably wanted to actually walk over to the Chinese chap in the SUV to apologize. And then tell the old man firmly but politely restating that I had apologized, it was an error & that if he continues – I will take action deemed appropriate to avoid this verbal harassment.

Maybe life, work & dealing with all sorts of people has helped me to grow up a little bit in a way.

Question
Have you been in a similar sort of situation before? How did you respond? Or what would you do if you were in my shoes?

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4 thoughts on “Being a Better Man

  1. I think you did right to drive off. When a person is as upset as that man, you can’t say anything that will make it right. He was a bit over the top in his response, so who knows of what else he was capable. You didn’t argue or disrespect him and you fixed the problem, so you did right.

    Happy BYB Sunday. Good to be here again.

  2. anger usually gets d best of me especially wen pushed 2 d edge…s u may hv already observed…i may have cursed him back 100xs better..n i have indeed done so! hehehe

    n’ways…u r u! n according 2 d ‘better man’ thesaurus, u’ve done just that πŸ™‚

    p/s: dunno wot m doing postin comments in ur blog wen ive got butterflies in me stomach waitin 4 d 2nd haf of the United match!! darn..my heart beat gonna stop soon!!

  3. So what exactly the situation is? BLUR… but then, is good to tolerate rather than inviting troubles and crowds.

    anyway, there is 7-11, Happy mart and a normal shop selling cheap bears at hillside.. hehe.. i know where you are… LOL

  4. @Sandy: like your non-confrontational approaches. something to learn from you πŸ™‚

    @mirror-me: united won, right?! πŸ˜€

    @imikel: haha. angry old man. nuff said πŸ™‚

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