“Sorry Sir, but you can’t go inside without a mask,” said Prateek Singh, a guard posted at a bank branch, Gurgaon. Singh had been given specific instructions and a procedure to follow whenever any person came which included checking him for temperature, ensuring he/she is wearing a mask, and sanitizing the hands of the visitors.
“Who do you think you are to stop me from going inside. I have urgent work with the bank. I am a very senior client here and give your bank business worth crores of rupees. Ab side hato, and let me do my work.”
“Side hato (move aside) or I will call your bank manager here at the door to escort me in and then you will understand,” roared the visitor.
What ensued was lots of abuses for Singh, threats, and glares and finally, the bank manager asked Singh to let the visitor in. Once inside, the visitor was given a disposable mask, which he reluctantly wore.
While no long term damage happened to the bank’s relationship with the visitor, it left Singh feeling angry, insulted, and totally helpless.
“Why should I have to listen to abuses if people are not bothered about their health. If I allow someone inside, without a mask, I get scolded. If I don’t allow, the customer misbehaves with me. What am I to do or not do, I am totally confused. Why are people venting out on me. I didn’t bring on the pandemic,” he said.
For Singh, the day was ruined.
He went back home in an angry mood and took it out on his wife and children.
The next morning, he was back on his post, bracing himself for another onslaught of abuses and anger.
MANY PEOPLE FROM OUR ROUTINE LIFES HAVE UNWITTINGLY BECOME A PART OF THE COVID FRONTLINERS TEAM and UNLIKE THE DOCTORS OR NURSES, THERE IS NO APPRECIATORY APPLAUSE FOR THEM.
They are still doing their jobs, which have become tougher, and yet no recognition comes their way. This leaves them angry, cheated, feeling forsaken, and they wish to leave the job and move away.
As conscientious citizens, we can take the mental stress off their shoulders by
- Following government laid down norms of wearing masks, sanitizing hands etc.
- If an institution/organization has made an additional set of rules, unless and until there is some harm in it, we should comply with those.
- If we feel for whatever reason we can’t comply with those rules, there is no point in arguing with the staff. It is best to talk to a senior management who made the rules.
- Be compassionate and understanding towards the staff; they are just doing their duty.
- Be kind.
Though the pandemic has been quite demanding of us, it does not mean that we let go off our patience and humanity at every occasion that irritates us.
The times are trying and they are testing us.