Rules vs. Empathy

What is it about having a little power at our disposal that makes people unwilling to remember to be kind.

This week I had to visit two different organisation. The first experience was actually an ‘arrest’ by LASTMA or VIO (to be honest, I just am not sure who is who anymore). You see I was led to pass one way, without knowing, following the guidance of Google Maps.

They saw that I was alone and was clearly being guided by the phone as I had set it up like an Uber driver. They quickly jumped in and led me to their office. Calling all sorts of amounts for me to pay in fines. I admit I was obviously wrong. But why ask all these questions like: Are you new in the area? Where do you stay? How long have you been driving here for, if they will not make a difference in your decision making? As I drove into their office, I started to think about how this was a lesson and even though it cost me, the cost was more emotional than financial.

Did I have a right at that time? What about be socially distanced from this stranger who I couldn’t help feeling betrayed by? And the others who knew nothing about personal space?

My second experience was visiting the Raya – Samsung Office. First, I understand that this is COVID period again and people would rather be home and safe than out at work. And the conventional hours have changed. So I arrive a few minutes after 3 (which happened to their closing time and pleaded with the security man to let me speak with someone because I was already getting frustrated with the fact that I had to:

  1. Be outside
  2. Be turned back on the second occasion of trying to visit them
  3. Return to fix my phone and experience all my phantom symptoms over again

I was literally begging this guy. ‘Madam, there is nothing I can do’

I had to put on my past employee hat for a second and remember the lengths I had gone to in other people’s businesses to ensure that this one customer in front of me was well attended to. Putting back my entrepreneurial hat, how can I exemplify this to our security personnel (when we get one) that every single customer’s experience matters.

Rules are made by humans for certain reasons, right? Am I expecting too much?

Where does empathy come in?

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