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Saturday, November 5, 2016

JEEPNEY STORY: not-so-friendly Manong Driver

It has been a productive week after completing a 'brain-cell stirring' five-day training on a promising new product/field to support. It is already 9:00am and I am done with last minute sweep on my To-do list so I grabbed my jacket and fixed my things. I was smiling while I leave the training room - At last, it's weekend!

Same routine - I hopped in a jeepney and this time there was no queue of passengers waiting since it's Saturday. I have a blissful feeling and though quite exhausted, I know my eyes are sparkling for I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend. Gradually, passengers filled in the vehicle and we are up to leave.

I was intently observing the people around me - there were lovers giggling in the other side, the elderly beside me is quite shaking when he raised his hands to hold onto the horizontal bars and the lady on my right side was dozing off. I draw a half-smile thinking that I have been dwelling in a place which is far away from home and all of these people are strangers to me.



It has been my habit to buy buko juice so I need to drop by near 7-eleven. 'Para po!', I said in loud voice. The jeepney did not stop so I exclaimed louder but still cheerful, 'Sa tabi lang po!'. The driver did not mind me. Some of the passengers are also telling the driver to stop. The guy beside the driver poked him in the shoulders so the jeepney slowed down. The guy pointed a blue-colored headset attached to the driver's ears. I realized he was listening to something so he did not notice. I was still smiling that time - I was just so happy and I was not irritated easily.
BUT then after a moment, I can feel my face's expression turned to something 'sour' when the driver exclaimed, 'Alam mo namang intersection to, sana bumaba ka na kanina nung may mga bumaba.' In my mind, I can see myself turning red with gush of steam going out from both ears and executing karate moves!!
I kept calm and subconsciously said 'Okay'. I think that changed my cheerful facial expression to a sad, disappointed one. When I finally got out of the vehicle, I was still bothered by how the driver treated me. I have the following unspoken: 
  • Why would I join those three passengers in getting out? That was 2 blocks away! We were in the middle of traffic and there were cars following the jeepney (bumper to bumper). I find that dangerous!
  • Though I really don't mind if I have to walk, I am just comfortable to land right after the pedestrian lane (few meters away) where I feel safe. Coincidentally, it is in front of 7-eleven.
  • I really want manong drivers to be cheerful while they are driving but I don't think it is advisable to wear headsets and listen to music or whatever that would somehow impair their senses to the requests of the passengers or other external forces along the way.
For many, the scene may be normal. I actually think right now that I am just Over-Reacting. What do you think? I just wish all of us can say our thoughts in a nice way possible. If I were him, I can say: 'Pacensya po, intersection kasi yun. Saglit lang po, dun nalang sa tabi.' Is this impossible for our manong drivers to say? I don't think so. I still believe there are several drivers who are courteous and kind.
Well, I may be judging him right now for treating one of his customers badly. I then realized that it is true - words are so powerful - these can affect someone's mood or alter a state of mind. In my case, the effects were somehow temporary (30 minutes). Hahaha! when I got out of the jeepney, I still managed to say 'Hi' to the buko vendor and cheefully greeted Nanay Linda when I dropped by my suking tindahan to buy lunch.
I have been working in a field where I uphold quality customer service on top of my priorities. I put passion and dedication in everything that I do especially when dealing with people. Before joining the company, I was not so sensitive in situation when unsatisfactory service is observed. Day after day, I realize the value of saying the right words and how to put stress and emotions on them. Your words can make someone's burden lighter, temporarily ease their worries and can somehow brigten up a gloomy day.
We just have to choose the right words and say them right. I am positive that when that happen, there would be one less unhappy person in the world.
Keep Smiling!
Antonia

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