We generally don’t realise how insensitive, and how un-understanding, we could be to others, unless we ourselves are at the other end. And, this insensitivity is more severe against such people, whom we can never be!
For instance, I could understand my previous boss’s predicaments, at least in retrospect, after I became a team lead myself. But, I don’t find it that easy all the time to understand what my wife (forget a woman) goes through, because I can never be a wife myself (at least in this life)!
Or all these societal contacts whom I can never be – as a waiter at a hotel – who can’t always be held responsible for a cold coffee, a water-tank lorry driver – who tries to but can’t apply brakes as much as we want him to, or a slit-window-officer – any officer who sits on the other side of a slit-window, at an office, who is bound to answer the silliest to the sincerest of our clarifications.
But then, we try our best to invoke a very useful feature God has endowed us with – ‘imagination’ – to help us become better. I try my best to imagine what my wife could go through.
I can still, however tell, there are umpteen cases which escape our vision, where we can’t set such imagination to – in situations where we take it for granted, get insensitive, and intolerant, unless we are at least closely cognizant.
One such case that I have fortunately seen, is my mother being a school teacher, more particularly, a teacher of a popular school.
Come December, and a couple of months further, I could see different visitors to my mom, over call or in person, rich or poor, related or unrelated, or related to related, or related to related to related (‘related’ here connotes to friendship, family-relation, colleague, and etc.,), coming for ‘just that one seat’ in our school.
Now, the satirically (funny) part is the strong, and granted assumption they have that my mom could get that one seat for their kids, and that it is so easy for her, just as if getting a milk packet from a booth! (and that, she had the eternal milk-card!)
A teacher’s job is so difficult, and service-oriented, that after my college, and into career, I would pick being a teacher as the last option (probably penultimate being a hospital nurse!). It is not very motivating, and at the same time so draining – You have to keep teaching the same lessons, with the same motivation, work beyond school hours correcting the most vague, irritating, and silliest answer sheets, preparing question banks (with so much variety), coordinating unruly students in school march pasts (with just one cup of tea, in just one tea-break!), or writing a drama script for annual days.
And, then you have these admission-seeking job. It isn’t first of all easy to include it in a tight day-day schedule, and secondly, it is not encouraged very much by a school administration, that too, when it comes from a teacher within. You have to go through it, to know it.
The saddest part for my mom in this whole thing, apart from all the tribulations is, the blame she has to take (no matter what), if a parent goes empty-handed!
Of course, parents are to be pitied because they are clueless. Now, I go through the same motions of being a parent, seeking admission. And, I also very recently got in touch with a teacher to inquire about a school she worked in. And, I belong to the ‘related to related’ category!! :)
As I was talking to her over the phone, I could sense her voice tremble with doubt about when I was going to get to the most challenging part of the discussion – “Can you recommend a seat?”.
However, thanks to having seen my mother, I just stopped with asking about the date for issuance of admission forms! In any case, that was what I had in mind.