Money Doesn’t Buy Manners
The title may be somewhat harsh, but I’ll explain myself.
As a private tutor, I visit many students’ homes. I’m not always very welcome, but children must be educated.
Very often, in the less fortunate families, you’re treated well. You’re seen to the door, and they’ll chat you up while you put on your shoes – this is Asia after all, and shoes must be taken off before entering the house; a good habit if you ask me -.
And then there’s the “Rich Man’s Attitude”. The idea that you work for them, hence you are beneath them. That, in effect, usually means you’re not treated so well, or even scoffed at, and you must see yourself out while everyone’s turned their backs, to find your shoes outside. I’m glared at a very regular interval in private residencies, because I’m a visitor, and therefore a “worker”. It’s kind of humiliating, especially being European. It’s not how most of us were raised. Culture differences aside, it’s just bad manners.
Of course, it’s not always meant to be down-putting, and I’ve learned to live with it. However, these bad mannerisms are certainly on the rise, and have not much to do with class anymore. The hardworking, thankful student, who’s stayed with you for a long time is so much more fun to teach than the snub-nosed rich kid who will only stay for as long as their present course lasts.
And now there’s this new thing. Some parents invite several tutors from different agencies to teach a lesson. Afterwards, they’ll decide whom their short-term tutor will be.
The screening process is already quite harsh, and you get to deal with them telling you in the face you’re no good. Speaking of humiliating, there’s a nice one.
I’ve learned to take the insults – although my temper does flare up at times, it hardly ever reaches the student or parent unless they’ve cost me money -, and let Karma do the rest. However, I suppose as a new, not-so-secure tutor this can peg you down quite a bit.
There’s two sides to every story, and I’m sure the locals have had their share of colonial abuse.
That was a long time ago, and these are certainly new times. Discrimination should have been an item of the past.
However, it seems money didn’t make matters any better.