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I was really pissed off earlier this morning. After work, Yannie and I went to SM Southmall to look for a birthday gift for my college bff’s niece’s 7th birthday. After I paid off my purchase, we went to the gift wrapping section.

When we arrived, it was a bit disorderly and there was no clear indication where to fall in line. The mall’s employee then directed to have two lanes: one lane for Prestige card holders and one lane for regular customers.

Now there was one person, a not-so-elderly woman, who decided to take the Prestige card holders’ lane. I went straight for the regular customers’ lane. When she found out that the person in front of her has five items to be gift wrapped, she switched into the regular lane, cutting straight in front of me, without even an excuse. Instead, she justified herself by telling me she arrived first and was originally right next to the person in front of me. I just shrugged. She was an elderly, so I gave way. However, the staff person in our lane was wrapping a huge box and it was taking a long while. So, once again, she decided to switch lanes.

Now, a few more minutes passed, the staff person finally finished wrapping the huge item and started with the person in front of me. On the Prestige lane, the staffer was just getting started with the 5 gifts. The woman decided to switch lanes again and cut me off AGAIN. She did it not once, but twice, without remorse! As if she was entitled to it.

The people behind me complained and I decided to call her attention. I told her, she already switched lanes, and it was really rude to cut me off my turn. She argued that she arrived first – on both lanes! I was like, ‘are you kidding me!?’ inside my head. Did she split into two people and fell in line on both lanes?

I countered her saying that the reason why there was a line was so that it will be orderly and that when she decided to switch lanes, she automatically gave up her spot. She would not budge and pretended not to hear my argument. I would have given way if she at least asked if she could go first if she was really in a hurry. If she just asked nicely, I wouldn’t really mind. But no, she acted as if she owned the place. Really, if she wasn’t an elderly person, I was itching to push her away or at least pull her hair off her head. I was feeling violent. She should thank the gods that I managed to stop my violent thoughts and considered that she was old. Old and rude, for that matter.

The staff person secretly signaled an apology to me and I could only sigh my frustration.

I respect elders and I am willing to give way if say, she is in a precarious situation. Like in a train station, I would be willing to give my seat without being asked if I feel that it is difficult for them to stand. My parents and my teachers instilled in me at a very young age to be respectful of the elderly, to assist them if necessary. But being an elderly should not mean that they can be rude to other people and insist to get their way. I am quite sure she is not uneducated to extend a common courtesy as to ask permission if they wanted to go first. It’s a simple phrase, “Would you mind if I go first?” I doubt that anyone, in her age and in my position, would say no to a simple request. But unfortunately, it seems that these elderly people forget that they were young once and that the sun does not revolve around them. Is it also possible that her parents neglected to teach her good manners and right conduct?

If that is the way she brought up her children as well, I pity the future generation.

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