One situation where I saw someone treated unfairly was in a bank. I had gone to deposit money in my parent’s account, and in the bank was a queue. I joined the line and in front of me was an older man probably in his 70s. When it was his turn at the counter, the man had not filled a particular document correctly. The teller was angry with him, stating that he was wasting other people’s time. The man tried to talk to the teller discreetly, requesting her to help him fill the form. She was having none of it; she raised her voice, telling him to go back home and have a relative fill the document for him. The teller rudely dismissed the man as she ushered me to proceed to the counter.
What did you do at the time, and why?
I wanted to proceed and conduct my business, but I could not. I had to do something. I told the man not to leave as I moved to the counter, informing the teller to assist the man first. She told me to step aside if I did not want service. I did not comply; I just turned around and requested everyone to wait until the teller assisted the man. The people in the queue supported me. The teller went on a rant, but we did not compromise. Several minutes later, she went into the back room and came back with another lady. They asked the man to move to the counter, and the three of them filled the form together. I decided to step in because my conscience told me it was the right thing.
Would you do anything differently if that same situation occurred today?
I would not do anything differently because I believe I did the right thing. Filling the document took 2-3 minutes, and there was no need to send the man back home to complete such a simple task.
Has this event impacted or changed who you are now and if so, how?
The event changed me significantly. I was very nervous, and even when I was requesting people in the queue not to proceed, I was shaking, and my voice was cracking. It was a huge responsibility. However, the event made me confident, and I no longer feel nervous speaking up in public and addressing leaders or those in power.
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