17 May 2013

All the Rage 憤怒鳥

I was standing in line at Citibank to deposit a check. It was lunch time in Central and the branch was bursting at the seams. The customer in front of me, a middle-aged gentleman in a tailored suit, asked to take out five thousand Euros in cash. Behind the counter was a teller who couldn’t have been more than six months out of university. Her name was proudly embossed on her lapel pin: Trainee.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Cheung,” said Trainee to the gentleman, before explaining that she didn’t have enough Euros and that a day’s notice was normally required for withdrawals over a certain amount. Bank policy. She asked him to either collect the cash the next day or try the main branch.


There is a bit of green monster in all of us


What followed, however, was an unstoppable tirade from the not-so-gentle-man over a situation he called an “outrage” and a “waste of everyone’s time,” all delivered with the usual hysterics: clenched jaw, flapping arms and a face as red as a ripe tomato. This Bruce Banner had..


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Read the rest of this article in No City for Slow Men, published by Blacksmith Books, available at major bookstores in in Hong Kong and at Blacksmith Books.


17 comments:

  1. Don;t forget our Shanghai Taxi Driver Episode, after that everyone actually felt pretty good as we 've taken it all out on the unreasonably rude driver. In a way, an "explosion" to a total stranger can be a pretty effective exhaust valve ofwithout any consequences, the best therapy of all kinds.

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  2. How interesting that I should read this on the same day that I watched the video "This is Water" based on a commencement speech by David Foster Wallace. It's a reminder that irritation doesn't have to be our default status. If you haven't seen the video, you might enjoy it. Here's the link: http://www.karmatube.org/videos.php?id=4032

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  3. Great analysis. plenty of angry birds in NYC across the board, sometimes it's pent up, sometimes it's the need to be right, get your way, and it's always about the big ego, our insecurities.

    Lily

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  4. Haha, you need not remind of the Shanghai taxi driver, Dan. It will go down as one of the most lopsided battles in the history of taxi fights!! :-)

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  5. Thanks for sharing, Paula. The video is absolutely brilliant and thought-provoking!! I might borrow some of the stuff when I talk to students in the future. I am now tempted to read some of David Foster Wallace's works (I've never heard of him before), even though he supported John McCain in the 2012 campaign... :-)

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  6. For Forest Gump, it's "run, Forest, run". For Jason, it's "breath, Jason, breath".

    Phil

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  7. Many things are out of control in HK, or get in confusion and arguing. I would not say we're angry, but I'm really worry about it.

    Michael

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  8. Dan, an "explosion" is not a therapy at all, quite the opposite, it can harm your health.
    Margaret

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  9. Your 'ugly expat' comment reminded me of an incident I witnessed at Citysuper in IFC last year. A middle-aged Western businessman completely lost his temper at the counter when the checkout girl told him to go to another counter because she was only in charge of scanning the prices, not whatever administrative problem he had. He started screaming and yelling obscenities at her, that he was sick of this "f*****-up system" that was wasting his time. The checkout girl must have only been around 20 and she looked like she was about to cry.

    It's sad to see expats bullying others to get what they want. But I feel like it's a problem that is also being reinforced by Hong Kong society's widespread mentality of "let's suck up to the expats".

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  10. Margaret, I think the Shanghai Incident was an exception, especially for Dan!! :-)

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  11. Thanks for sharing your "ugly expat" story, Rachel. Obviously not all expats are rude and demanding, but it looks like you and I have seen our fair share!

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  12. Great article. I also am a reformed "Rageaholic"

    KG

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  13. Very meaningful!

    Astrid

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  14. Coincidentally, the topic is covered in one of the latest sermons. Anger reveals hurt, and "hurt" people hurt people. And as a matter of fact, it hurts the "angry bird" most. Peace of mind & bitterness simply cannot co-exist. Here's the link :
    http://www.islandecc.hk/messages/wrath-to-understanding/

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  15. It's sad to see all these incidents and it's quite common now... people being selfish and careless.

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  16. It is never easy to control emotions. I just wondered what made you lock your green monster up till it is needed for protecting your loved ones. I wish more people would be able to do that and stop taking their temper out on families. Taking things for granted has a price to pay eventually.

    MM

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  17. I feel sorry for those gweilos who are zeros back home but think they're heroes in post-colonial Asia where they think they still own the place and every Asian woman wants to jump to bed with them. who do they think they are seriously. it's sad to see how people change for the worse in a toxic environment. in the mean time, men and women here got to stand up for themselves sometimes.
    K.

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