Courtesy Can Go a Long Way

231D01 IT Industry Exposure 1 6.00 1:00-5:00 MTWThF V-504


Above is one of the entries on my enrollment form, or white form in CdD-speak. Most would rather refer to it as “OJT” though, which is just about the same thing. This program helps prepare students like me for the real world. It would help us feel what it is like to be working already. Some students went to government offices. Some went to private companies. I stayed in school and applied for OJT in my department’s faculty room. Some don’t like the idea of it, but I’m not one of them.


One of the many things that I’ve been tasked to do is to photocopy some documents. I accomplished this by going to the people at the first floor of the S building (CdD Students would know about this), near the guidance office. There, two photocopy machines are manned by two people– a man and a woman, who I think are a couple, but I’m not so sure. Anyway, while the guy, whom we’ll be referring to as “Sir” from here on, did the job of photocopying the documents, we talked. I did my best to talk to him with much politeness and courtesy. After the job was done and was paid for, I left by saying something like, “Sige Sir, thank you.” When I got back to the office, I found out that they had more stuff to be photocopied. Thus, some return trips to the first floor and more conversations and thank you’s to Sir.


A week or two passed since that day before I and my friends had some stuff that needed to be photocopied. With the hands on my watch almost pointing at 3:00pm (that was the time for our class), we decided to have the documents copied inside the school. If you thought of first floor S building, then you guessed it right. We went there alright, but a group of students were also waiting for their turn. When we got close enough, I smiled when Sir and Mam looked at me. Seeing the papers in my hand, I was quite surprised when he asked for it and seemed to say, “Let’s have that photocopied.” I gladly obliged and handed him the printout of our report, all the while having in my mind the thought that others have been waiting for their turns even before I and my friends got there. As if the favor of entertaining us before the others who were there first wasn’t enough yet, he gave us a discount. The price per page was supposed to be P1.00 (a peso), but he told his partner, Mam, we’d be charged P0.75 (seventy-five cents). When they computed the total amount due, it was P22.50. Again, another discount for us, because he just asked for P20.00 (twenty pesos flat). There were 30 pages photocopied, which should have cost us P30.00 (thirty pesos), but somehow, we got P10.00 off.


I do not know their reasons, but courtesy on my part is what I can think of. These people don’t normally receive thank you’s. They aren’t usually called “Sir” or “Mam.” Think: When you ordered at the counter of your favorite fast food resto, did you call the cashier “Mam” or “Sir”? Maybe not. When you left that resto, and the guard opened the doors for you and said, “Thank you mam, sir, balik po sila(Come back again),” did you smile and thank him? Er, no. The point is, we have become so used to people whose work is, in one way or another, to serve us, like the janitors who clean up your mess, the guards who open the doors for you, the waiters who serve the food you ordered, the drivers of PUVs that you probably ride every day, that we seem to think of them as though they are not humans.


Imagine you were a janitor and you see someone who’s sitting near a trash can and yet leaves his mess on the table or floor. How’d you feel?

Imagine you were a guard in some resto, and you open the doors for the costumer; greet him with a smile and say, “Good morning sir. Welcome to ________” and all you get is an icy, mocking stare. Would you pull up your shotgun or pistol and point it at his face?

Imagine you were a waiter, and the costumer you’re attending to blurts so many nasty things to your ears just because the food isn’t what he expected. Would you grab the glass of drink you just served him and pour it on his head as though it were some kind of anointing oil?

Imagine you were a driver, and a passenger says, “Para!” in an area that’s called “NO UNLOADING ZONE.” Trying to follow the rules and avoid confiscation of your license, you drive on past it. The passenger now gets all wild and says stupid things. Would you let him off, just so you could run him over?


These may be funny, but their bound to hit us at the head in a way. Put yourself in their shoes, and treat them the way you want them to treat you, if you were in their position. Don’t forget the negative side, too. Do not treat them the way you don’t want them to treat you.


Smile at these people and thank them, but do this not with the motive of expecting something in return. Who knows, you might receive favors when you least expect them. That’d be nice, don’t you think? Remember, courtesy can go a long way. [ juRo™ ]


[ this is a repost from my old blog ]


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