Am I being a diva? Or do you lack common sense?

By MALU FERNANDEZ – Many people often find my direct attitude to be rude or obnoxious. I really don’t mean to be anything but true to myself. Patience is a virtue I sorely lack and dealing with stupidity is something I cannot tolerate but something I have to deal with in this God-forsaken country of ours. How many times do you have to deal with day-to-day activities and find yourself exasperated because of simple-minded people who take two hours to do a 30-minute task? Just go to any government office from the post office to the Bureau of Internal Revenue and you’ll see that anything that can be done in a few minutes takes up more than half of your day.

What irks me the most is bad service when you are paying full price and expected to leave a generous tip. Hair salons are most often guilty of this. I have had the privilege to experience going to high end salons from Frederick Fekkai to Bench Fix when I am being spontaneous or have time to kill at the mall. In truth, all the operators or stylists are skilled but you get what you pay for. My bare minimum requirement is cleanliness and a good massage at the shampoo bowl. But I found out that in this country, it doesn’t pay to make an appointment because the receptionist will almost always make you wait. Although there are a few salons that are strict about it most are not. When one takes the time to schedule an appointment, it is common courtesy for the salon to honor the time allotted and when they don’t they shouldn’t expect anything less but an irate customer whose time has been wasted. These are just some of the stupid things I have to deal with everyday. Life is stressful enough so going to the hair salon should be relaxing and not a pain in the ass.

Big corporations should train their customer service personnel properly. For instance, I spent over 20 minutes on the phone with a customer service person and after answering certain “security” questions, I was politely told that they could not give out the information I needed. So naturally that is 20 minutes of my life that I will never get back again, prompting me to quickly bitch that a simple answer should have been: “Before I verify your identity we would like you to know that we are not allowed to give out information regarding…” Am I supposed to learn how to be patient with people who lack common sense?

I just don’t get it. The minimum requirement for people in this country to even work as a barista in Starbucks is to have a college degree. Do we blame the individual who has no common sense or the education system? A year ago I was asked to teach a fashion class at the University of the Philippines. I said yes to honor my late father who also taught medicine in UP. I also accepted the task as a form of giving back to society. In doing this job, I was paid a measly amount for one semester. The amount did not even cover my gasoline expenses. However, the money wasn’t really the issue, but I noticed the major difference in an American education vs. a Filipino education. Forget about the outdated facilities because these are not even the major problem but the small salaries the educators who are forced to sell things out of their office to supplement their income. So it’s a case of what comes first, the chicken or the egg. If your teachers don’t get paid properly, you end up with low quality educators and the whole cycle just continues even if the young students are eager to learn.

Why is it that you have to hire a college graduate to work as a sales girl? Doesn’t that tell you that the quality of education in this country sucks? It doesn’t require a college degree to do a sales job and yet I am forced to do so because high school graduates end up as maids or house help. Once in a while, I come across a brilliant employee who is at an entry-level job and yet has the brains to be elsewhere but doesn’t have the right connections. How fair is that?

As I type this, I’d like you to know that it’s not about whining, complaining and bitching but just stating the facts. Just recently, I wrote a funny article in my magazine column and my friends thought it was hilarious. It was humorous and quite tongue-in-cheek, or at least I thought so, until the magazine got a few e-mails from people who didn’t get the meaning of my acerbic wit. The bottom line was just that I had offended the reader’s socioeconomic background. If any of these people actually read anything thicker then a magazine they would find it very funny. Most people don’t get the fact that they need bitches like me to shake up their world, otherwise their lives would be boring and mediocre. I obviously write for the a certain target audience and if what I write offends you, just stop reading.

Although it may sound elitist to you the fact is this country is built on the foundation of haves, have-nots and wannabes. One group will never get the culture of the other. Although I could mention that it is easier to understand someone who has a lower socioeconomic background that would entail a whole other page and frankly I don’t want to be someone to bridge the gap between socioeconomic classes. I leave that to the politicians in my family who believe they can actually help. Now I seriously ask you, am I being a diva or are people around me just lacking in common sense? Perhaps it’s a little of both!

Find more like this: Opinion


  1. bubuli says:

    this is probably one of the most incoherent yapping i have ever read.

    it starts with how inefficient government employees are in the Philippines. Newsflash: it’s the same in every freaking country in this planet…YES, EVEN IN THE US. holy crap. i wonder what she’s been smoking?

    then it starts going off to a tangent about how mundane things like appointments are not kept in hair salons (oh, for the love of the children! how can we ever survive with salons missing appointments!!!). again, that happens everywhere else, darling. and how is this related to your first paragraph? compare government employees with hairstylists. wow. talk about comparing apples to oranges.

    third paragraph. yet another freaking tangent. you spent 20 minutes getting through security questions. boo-effin’-hoo. you know why this is? i’ll tell you why: SO THE CUSTOMER REP WILL KNOW YOU ARE WHO YOU CLAIM YOU ARE. Another newsflash: THAT’S STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE. No, really, they’re doing their jobs; they’r not doing it out of spite. So the rep wasn’t able to give out the information you needed. how is that considered lack of common sense?

    my most favorite part here is she somehow connected the quality of education with the way baristas and salespeople are required to be college graduates…she somehow mistook the lack of pride in their job as incompetence. listen, lady, did you ever think for a moment that these baristas and salespeople isn’t exactly working their dream jobs? hence, them being inefficient…which you somehow equate with incompetence? pure genius (sarcasm alert).

    and lastly, the relation of her last article (which forced her to resign) to all of this tirade of complaints. totally priceless (that wasn’t a compliment).

    in the end, i wonder where is the lack of common sense she’s talking about? perhaps she’s talking about hers? if that’s the case…it all makes “sense” (pardon the pun).

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