For some ridiculous reason, there’s a an unexplainable divide in our society – they are imaginary lines, that have no good reason to exist. A lot of us think that we’re better than the rest of the world. And so, for some people this amounts to a certain sense of superiority, which further comes out as bad behaviour. The mistreatment of the hospitality staff is a clear example, where people misbehave or just lose perspective on how to talk to other people. Of course, this weird sense of privilege has no grounds, and just proves how we lack humanity on a daily basis.
The thing with this behaviour, or well, lack of empathy doesn’t always come off as shouting, yelling or fighting. A whistle to get attention at a restaurant or taking them for granted, can very well mean disrespect. The worst part is, these small actions might go unnoticed by people who aren’t on the other side of them. We forget that it’s their workplace, where we treat them as ‘lesser’ than the rest of the world around them. Imagine working around people who show that they ‘own’ you in some way, when of course, they have no right to do that. It’d just make one not want to go back. So, in many ways we’re too depriving someone else of a healthy workplace – making their jobs less bearable. Or in other words, this makes us the reason behind someone losing hope on something they actually enjoy doing.
There’s no way that’s justified or even remotely ‘okay’.
On the other hand, no one, literally no one has the right to treat any other person as inferior. Certainly, a lot of this mistreatment stems from the harsh realities of caste. Other times, it’s just an excuse to boost our egos. We think that we’re better off because “we’re not them”, and well, that’s just diabolical. Whatever the reason might be, nothing makes it “less bad”. And for people who think that these actions make them look ‘cool’ or ‘superior’, they don’t. It just shows how terribly delusional they are. Or the fact that they lack empathy and basic sense of human behaviour.
What decides this weird sense of superiority, though? Is it about having more money — or just the mere fact that someone is providing a service to us? But then again, it hardly makes sense. Because how can material or where a person comes from or does, act as a free pass to act terribly? Also, we think that we can let this slide, but it’s a ripple effect, which has multitudes. Pushing this misbehavior under the carpet or not taking action just impacts the person dealing with it, for them it’s toxic. On the other hand, many might take leverage and continue to treat the hospitality staff miserably, because there is no consequence.
Recently, a certain man found it normal to shout at the crew members during a flight. And like that wasn’t enough, he asked an air hostess to “shut up”, telling her that she’s a “servant”. Sure, there was some support from people on the internet. Because there were a number of people questioning the air hostess calling out the man – justifying that crew members need to maintain their calm, no matter what. From what we saw, there was no support for the air hostess from any of the passengers. So, let’s just face it, this wasn’t enough empathy, specifically for a society that somehow manages to stoop lower with each passing day.
This idea that a person has to remain unaffected “no matter what”, just because they work in hospitality is just another stain on our vividly terrible mindset. We are being provided service, without which are travel, stay or just a leisure dinner would mean nothing. If anything, we rely on the hospitality staff and not the other way round. And again, there cannot be enough emphasis on the need to be decent human beings, without a transactional or material reason to do so.
We’ve also acquired this unreasonable habit of glorifying our behaviour if we treat others normally. The occasional “we EVEN treat servers well” is an example that comes off top of the mind. Just because we’re doing the bare minimum, doesn’t mean it requires constant recognition. And the fact that it comes to the mind at all, means that there’s a lot of work that we still need to do. So, not calling out bad behaviour, unnecessarily pointing out the bare-minimum-normal-behaviour, and doing it, all stem from a similar mentally. They might not be equally terrible at all times, but it’s worse if THAT is the bar we are aiming at.
In some way or the other, we’ve all either witnessed, been allies to, or done something which meant mistreatment towards the hospitality staff. And while there are layers to most things in the society that we live in, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to realize that it’s wrong. To be honest (and extremely practical), we’re looking at scary (scarier) times if we do not fix this attitude. We assume that it’s a duty of sorts, of the hospitality staff to be cordial at all times, but it’s not, certainly not if they’re being subjected to toxicity.
And well, we do not need reasons to be better people. If we’re looking to find any, there’s something seriously wrong.