I spent over ten minutes asking this library attendant to get me a book behind him. Over ten minutes. I was patient. I was being a Christian. I asked politely, simply. He ignored me blatantly yet slyly. He collected money from people who came to renew their library cards and gave them change and checked the list to be sure they had paid, he answered them just as they came up after me.
I felt weird. I felt abused. I was very patient, my voice loud yet small as something inside of me felt more inadequate the longer I waited. There was a guy beside me, who came after me, he asked for a textbook. Library attendant whom I’ve always greeted politely, stood up from his chair, got the book for him, sat back. The same guy asked for another book, the man stood again, got it for him. Before he sat, I asked him to get mine. A girl can never fully know if it’s her gender thats causing the bias. He ignored me, looking at others who came for library card renewal. You get that kind of pretence stance.
Something in the back of my throat knotted. I walked inside the library without the book. Tears were close. For what reason? Thoughts came, because I didn’t use makeup? Because I was polite? What was my offence? Why wasn’t I firmer in demanding when he delayed? Why did I want to cry? Why did I want to cry? Should I have been rude? Why? Why?
I’ll go back. I’ll tell him I demand a textbook. Another of my choice now, I’ve had time to rethink what I want to read. I’ll embrace the knot that formed at the back of my throat. It will speak better things for me in the years to come. I’ve lost a coat. I’m going outside now to offer another.
It’s surprising to me too, but this happened to me.
So what’s your view people?
-on the religious aspect
-On the tears
-and other themes
Fight or flight for you?
Maybe you weren’t clear enough.
Sometimes as a lady especially in this part of the world you have to take extra measures, be firm and “loud” just to be heard /listened to.
Yes, I’ve read a number of articles and stories on how people(particularly females) stood their ground sometimes. It’s always inspiring. I love their reasoning. However somethings are just best appreciated on certain people. They may never apply to you. Somewhere along the line growing up, I just may have lost the ‘fight’ tendency.
I think even when females ‘fight’ sometimes, the driving force is still the tears looming somewhere beneath. It’s a strength.
Glad to have heard your opinion?.
Do have a great week!
Seeing you today, the first thing that came to my mind was “This girl looks quiet”
I’d cry probably cry if it were me too and I’m glad you didn’t shout. Shows your heart’s as beautiful as you are
Ohhh Precious! ?
Yes, I was so quiet because I never expected it to happen. Those rare unexpected events you’re never taught how to handle. It’s a book for crying out loud, I’m a student.
But it’s so beautiful how I wasn’t rude or angry.
Thank you sooo much.
N. B: I’m so delighted to find out other people are as disposed to crying as I am???
I’d fight if it was necessary. If I was to take flight, I’ll cry too. This thing called emotion is really volatile. Thank God for the Holy spirit though who can control our temperament.
Amazing thing is that when I went outside again, I was much more gentler. You’re right, the Holy spirit truly helps tame certain tendencies in us.
Thanks for reading?
I experience this particular situation all the time. Most times I walk away and tell myself
you are better than this. I rarely wear make up and have starter dreads on my head, so I will let you imagine the rest. I consider myself beautiful and quite comfortable in my own skin but in this part of the world, appearance do matter.
You had me cracking up. I can imagine the rest?.
Yes, even when I go to a restaurant or some place and the customer service is bad, I just know I’m better than the treatment I’m given. Mostly those sort of people are the most vulnerable.
I know what you mean about appearance. It truly matters. However, being comfortable with the way you appear trumps it always.
Thank you Stella. Do have a great week!
I think you could have insisted in a firm voice, explaining to the next person that came to be served that it was your turn. Perhaps soliciting their support to get the librarian to act.
I think this is really good advice. Sometimes it’s a minute oversight by the other person. If the two of us were however going to demand that I get answered, it’s probably going to be so.
Thank you so much. Do have a great week.