There’s this issue that i’ve always sort of struggled with – how assertive can a person be without being pushy?  Is it wrong to assert your rights if you’re a Christian?  How do you balance being generous and giving, with fair assertion of rights?

Went to the good ol’ clinic at Simei just now.  Once again, the “Registration Closed” sign was on the counter.  I looked at the time – 4:30pm.  Glanced at the clinic’s opening hours – closes at 5pm.  I felt incredulous.  I looked at the nurse and blurted out, “It’s only 4:30pm.  Don’t you close at 5pm?”.  My tone wasn’t very friendly.

Just at this point, the doctor happened to come out of his room to pass another nurse something.  The nurse at the registration counter glared and me and said, “Write your name on the piece of paper.” 

There was an Indian couple who came in right after me.  I could see that they were at a loss as to what to do.  As i was writing my name on the paper, this other Chinese chap came in, saw the doctor standing at the doorway of the consultation room and went, “Eh boss!  So early close uh?  Still can register?”.

The doctor replied, “For you, anytime also can”.  So the Chinese chap proceeded to write his name on a piece of paper after me.  I looked at the Indian couple… they were still standing at the counter waiting for the nurse to pay them some attention.  I was very tempted to cut in and say, “Hey, they were here first”.  I caught the eye of the Indian guy but he didn’t show any reaction so i thought, heck it.  I mean, i cannot fight everyone’s battles.  If you’re fine with being walked over, then go ahead.  On a day when i’m healthy and have surplus energy, maybe i might have said something.  But not today. 

Was dwelling over this incident while waiting to collect my medicine.  It’s very unfortunate that we live in a world that requires us to be assertive before we get fair treatment.  I’m not saying that it’s wrong to be giving… but where do you draw the line? 

Actually, the Indian couple were walking in front of me when i was on my way to the clinic.  But i walk fast… very fast… and so i overtook them and reached the clinic first.  (Which also means i was a little paiseh (embarassed) when they came into the clinic after me).  But that’s not a bad thing ‘cos once the nurse allowed me to see the doc, she had no reason to turn them away either.

Had things been reversed – i.e. they reached the clinic first, but were so soft-spoken and as a result, the nurse refused to let them see the doc, that would mean that i would have been refused as well right?  (Assuming the other Chinese chap didn’t turn up).

Maybe i’m thinking too much but… at least this time, everything worked out for the good of.. er.. those who wanted to see the doc.  Haha.

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February 2007