Sunday, August 23, 2015

For shame

I ate this whole burger. I am not ashamed.

I'm not a fan of bullying or mobbing in any form. I mean, who is? Well, maybe the bully, but I'm not so sure about that either. I am not a bully. I am, however, a fan of mild public shaming. Why? Because it works. I guess that would make me a shamer? The recipients, shamees?

I should maybe mention here that I use my public shaming power rarely, and I use my public shaming power exclusively for good. Your own good.

You'd probably like an example, right?

Don't do you homework because your child was ill? Pass. Because you were ill? Pass. Don't do you homework just because, for the third time this month? Stand up in front of the room and sing a English. Yes, it all could backfire, you say. Some kids or teens could bask in their class-clown/class-rebel glory. But I don't teach teens. I teach business people. They don't want to stand up in front of the class and sing at all, in English or otherwise. And if the conference room is near the boss's office, that's a good time to crack open the door, just a little bit. Yes, Mrs. Main Accountant, I am talking to you. 

Point of curiosity, the most often chosen song to sing is...Happy Birthday.

For hardcore procrastinators and general lazy buggers, a visit to their boss (the person bankrolling this show) for an explanation as to why said homework has not been completed. Use this one sparingly. News will spread throughout the company and all homework will be completed on time, I guarantee, but aforementioned lazy bugger will absolutely despise you. Never drink any coffee prepared for you by lazy bugger. Ever. And know if lazy bugger ever gets promoted, you are out of there.

Stand at the village shop with your pregnant belly and a ciggie in your hand? It happened. The telepathic scorn I was sending apparently was not enough because Fat Kasia just continued to puff away. I'd reached my public shaming limits. I was speechless. Luckily for me and Fat Kasia's baby, Misiu's ability to speak had been altered in no way. Misiu: Really Kasia? Smoking while pregnant? That's such a terrible thing to do. Fat Kasia: Leave me alone. At least I have stopped drinking. (A prize to the person who can correctly guess and formulate her response in Polish, well, because it was just better in Polish.)

Let me just set the record straight about the nickname Fat Kasia. I did not give her that nickname. The locals call her that, but for the life of me I do not know why. I mean she is fat, pregnant or not, but she's the only Kasia in our village so where's the need to modify? 

So if someone throws a bit of litter on the street or doesn't buckle up their kid in the car or doesn't give it their all in their English classes, they might hear from me. Or not. It depends on my mood. I'm a lazy bugger.

Public shaming extra bonus - Construction Worker Justice, Overheard

I am walking down the street as I do, looking out for anything interesting to see and any doggy bombs to avoid, when I overheard a snippet of conversation of some gentlemen builders who were putting a new facade on a local building. As they were working behind a mesh, I couldn't get a good look at them, but I could hear them just fine. Here goes the conversation, well, lecture really, as an older builder shames his younger workmate.

Co ty? Zawsze widze jak Agata zapierdala z wózkiem a ty co? Ty zawsze masz puste ręce a ona ma dziecko i jeszcze zakupy.

What d'ya think about that? 

Best be behaving. 


Stardust said...

What do I think?
I think that after over 30 years, I don't understand Polish mentality anymore.
I simply don't get it.

Chris said...

Star, I don't understand much of anybody these days, but I do understand this construction worker. In his own way, he let his workmate know that he should give his wife a helping hand.

Me said...

To ja mam podobnie, wstyd by mi było jechać autobusem czy pociągiem na gapę, ukraść coś, śmiecić, niszczyć, mówić i zachowywać się źle, nie pomóc komuś kto potrzebuje itd. Od dłuższego czasu zastanawiam się czy wstyd to już aby nie jedyna metoda na ludzi publicznych, polityków. I dochodzę do wniosku, że już za późno. Przyzwoitość marnieje w przydrożnych rowach.

Chris said...

One of our neighbors lived in the States for 40 years and came back to Poland to retire. I noticed him right away because he dressed like my father and because of his American car, Obama hat, and the fact that he cleaned up after his dog. He also let other dog owners know that they should clean up after their dogs too. Finally I asked him about it. He said he didn't used to clean up after his dog, but he started to do it in the U.S. First he noticed that it was against the law and that the law was enforced, but he said that wasn't enough. He said people on the street would remind you that you have to do it - some would just ask you if you needed a bag, some would be rude. He said he started doing it because he was ashamed not to and that later he realized that he should do it because he wants to live in a nice and clean place. So I guess what I'm saying is that his sense of shame over not cleaning up after his dog evolved into a sense of decency. There's hope for us yet 😀

Izabela said...

Nigdy nie lubiłam tego publicznego pouczania przez nieznajomych w Polsce. I nie rozumiem tej mentalności.
Ale jeżeli Agnieszka jest żoną młodszego pracownika, to usprawiedliwiam i pochwalam jego starszego kolegę.

Chris said...

I too don't like when older ladies constantly told me that my baby was cold or needed a hat, coat, blanket, etc. but I completely understand this guy. And I understood as you Izabela that the older guy was reprimanding the younger guy for not helping his wife out more.

Maybe I'm turning into a Polish Babcia?

AnetaCuse said...

Double-edged sword. Social mores partially depend on your community's disapproval, be it a dirty look or a more or less friendly reminder or comment... Sometimes I wonder if swinging the other way, i.e. minding your own business exclusively, isn't worse in the long run.

Chris said...

Aneta - That's a very important point. I try not to be a nosy parker, but I'd hate to think that minding my own business caused some harm. For example, this past Saturday night in our village. Well, it actually was Sunday morning. About 1:00 a.m. The sound of a child screaming bloody murder brought people to their windows and doors. And then sent them running to see what was happening. There was a terrible scene involving a couple, another woman, and her small child and whatnot. The largest of our neighbors took care of most of it with his fists.

That's also why we always stop when we see someone on the side of the road. Ok, not always. When we see a stranger. When I see my neighbor (one particular neighbor) on the side of our road, I don't do anything anymore. Our whole lives would be taking care of him. It's an everyday occurrence. We wouldn't do anything else. That's life here in our village.