Monday, November 07, 2005

you can’t eat here but you may litter

With my hotdog waffle and cup of iced tea, I sleepily trudged up the MRT Taft train station one beautiful Saturday morning. “What A Wonderful World” was on repeat mode in my head. Everything was abloom with early morning crispness. With a nice day like that and a nice badminton game ahead, nothing could probably ruin my mood. Or so I thought.

At the train station’s entrance, the guard barred me. The song in my head screeched to a halt like some bootleg CD. Louis Armstrong swallowed a gramophone and choked to death. The guard said food was not allowed inside. He instructed me to stand in a corner and finish my breakfast first. Like a domesticated iguana, I politely complied even though I was already running late for my badminton game. When I saw that the queue in front of the ticket booth was getting kilometric, I asked the guard if I could just finish my food while lining up for my ticket so as not to waste time. He emphatically said no with a thick northern accent. So I shut up even if I knew that the order was illogical. The queue was just four feet away from where I was eating my lousy breakfast, and technically, I was already within train station’s premises. It wouldn’t have made a difference if I finished my food in that corner or in line. Besides, I know how to take care of my trash after eating.

Then I noticed the booths selling food and beverages across the ticket booth. I asked him why they allow food stalls inside but prohibit people from eating there. He said those are take-out foods. You’re not supposed to eat them there. I can’t imagine hurrying passengers taking their sweet time to stop and buy take-out delicacies on their way out of or to the platform. Besides, if they buy food there, they won’t be allowed to enter the platform at all, unless they finish them in one corner, like what I was doing. Having food stalls inside the station encourages passengers to eat there especially during peak hours when lines run longer than an orangutan’s armpit hairs. Why not prohibit food stalls too if they’re really serious with their NO EATING regulation?

“I honestly think that your rule is senseless,” I told the guard. He just pretended he didn’t hear me. So I also pretended that I was enjoying my breakfast. After gobbling up my waffle, I lined up for my ticket. When I was about to go through the turnstiles, another guard, once again, stopped me.

“You can’t bring your trash inside,” he said, referring to my breakfast debris, which I was still holding because there was no trashcan in sight.

“I’m going to throw these into the trash bin inside the bathroom because there’s obviously none here,” I reasoned out, keeping my asshole-self in check.

“Yes there is,” and he motioned toward a corner near one of the food stalls. I knew there was no trashcan there but, to humor the idiot, I still went to check it out. A few seconds after, I returned to the idiot and told him there really was no trashcan there, not unless he meant the floor. To my great horror, he actually meant the freaking floor!

“Leave it there,” he instructed.


“There, on the floor.”

My jaw dropped half a mile down and my tongue rolled out like a red carpet. Did that creature just say what I thought he did? I don’t even throw candy wrappers on the street and then here’s this bozo telling me to leave my used cup, large plastic bag, and soiled paper napkin on the floor! I thought the whole point of forbidding me to eat within station premises was to prevent me from littering. I was visibly appalled but the moronic guard did not seem to notice. Since I didn’t have time to create a scene scandalous enough to attract the attention of train station managers who would ask me what was wrong and try to comfort me as I rant and lecture about pollution of the environment and disruption of train station ecosystem, I grudgingly complied and murmured ‘stupid’ while thinking about drafting a strongly worded letter to the management of the MRT.



At 3:27 PM, Blogger rmacapobre said...

he actually meant the freaking floor! (buy food but dont eat it there)

c'est assez stupide. bienvenu au tiers monde. the guard is likely just following orders though. if we were to be empowered (like consumers of the 1st world), they should also put in place complaint boxes.

At 4:23 PM, Blogger transience said...

that's just plain stupid. like the many things this skewed country seems to run on. go on and rattle the bars, dear. methinks your voice will be heard loud and clear.

At 4:40 PM, Blogger weng said...

nyaha! i never bothered to argue, i simply hide my stuff inside my bag. to hell with their stupid logic. =D

At 4:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

strongly-worded-letter-to-the-MRT-management,you must do. pronto.


At 9:33 PM, Blogger Sidney said...

I am quite sure a lot of those security guards are inventing their own rules. Even being a foreigner I have quite a lot of arguments with them on my rights to take pictures. For instance the whole area of Cubao seems to be "private property". I quite "enjoy" those discussions since there are no signs warning me that I am not allowed to take pictures and as a foreigner I am not supposed to know the whole neighbourhood is owned by the Araneta family. I am even not taking pictures of buildings!

On the other hand I understand those security guards. They have nothing to do the whole day. Must be boring. So showing off their power might be stress relieving for them.

At 10:03 PM, Blogger bismuth said...

gasp! trash on the floor? stupid jerks! must really be the dehumanizing effect of work. they get bored poking sticks into people's purses and bags all day.

At 11:44 PM, Blogger ennui said...

that's right go file a formal complaint! eating inside the terminal premises should be allowed because it's a basic human need to be nourished and breakfast is the most important meal of the day! and while you're at it, go lobby for smoking to be permitted in the vicinity! hehehe

At 1:35 AM, Blogger post said...

stupidity amazes me.

and then it infuriates me.

At 6:54 PM, Blogger McVie said...

You MUST write a letter of complaint to MRT management. I just wished you took down the names of the guards, but at least you can specify the station, date and time. And cc the letter to newspapers!

At 10:53 PM, Blogger blue arden said...

man oh man, why did you followed the orders of that guard? I expected more from you... kiddin!

But seriously, you should have raised hell because you were clearly right and they were wrong.

At 10:54 PM, Blogger blue arden said...

I meant "why did you follow" gee...

At 8:00 AM, Blogger dionne said...

gash! you were so kind not to kick their nuts!

i had was reprimanded by a guard in the mrt before. he was after my putopao (i'm not even eating it! it was inside a plastic bag! sheesh!). i raised my eyebrows and gave him a piece of my mind, he didn't bother me again. =D

At 5:25 PM, Blogger Abaniko said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 5:27 PM, Blogger Abaniko said...

He'd rather you litter than bring your food inside which is not allowed by the administration. Sadly, guards just follow orders. They prefer to be criticized by other people than reprimanded by their bosses for "not following orders" and possibly lose their jobs. It's the fault of the administration.

At 10:24 PM, Blogger Free Vergara Paguia said...

guard #1, was just doing what was instructed of him... answering things to the best of his knowledge and doing his duty. for that, i salute him.

guard #2, was a totally jackass! hope when he's manning the platform instructing the peeps not to cross the yellow line, hopefully, he would lose his balance and fall on the tracks and get his sorry, idiotic, arrogant ass run down by the train! bwahahaha!

At 12:02 AM, Blogger snst_blvd said...

WTF??! stoopid!

At 10:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what's the use of complaining, you still followed the "stupid" guard.

At 12:11 AM, Blogger slim whale said...

RMACAPOBRE--exactement. they don't have complaint boxes there. they don't even advertise their email address for complaints.

TRANS--just hope they would listen to me. in this country, those who file formal complaints on such issues are usually met with indiffirence.

WENG--was afraid that it might soil my books inside my bag. usually, i put my trash in my bag, too.

LIWAY--write it, i will.

SIDNEY--that's also what i notice with security guards. they just love showing off. usually, it's their interpretation of the rules that's amiss. like congressmen, they love pinning you down because of mere technicalities.

BISMUTH--they might as well insert their stupid heads into people's bags. it's as useless as poking sticks.

ENNUI--i'll set up a group to lobby for that. you wait.

KAY--it just infuriates me. period.

MCVIE--good idea. i should send a letter to the editor. hmm.

BLUE ARDEN--if i had the time, I would've kicked his balls and plucked out his eyes.

DIONNE--way to go, bitch power! that's what these guards need. i had shouted at an MRT guard before because he claimed i was stepping on the yellow line when i was miles away from it.

btw, this happened on the morning we played badminton.

ABANIKO--stupid rules breed stupid guards. but yeah, you're right, it could've been solved by just putting a trash can beside the tursnstiles. management should've thought of that.

FREE VERGARA PAGUIA--if guard#2 doesn't fall off, i'm push him off myself. that jerk.

SUNSET--exactlyyyyyy! i can feel my blood rise again.

ANONYMOUS--like i said, i didn't have the time to argue with the guard. if i wasnt running late for a game, i wouldn't have followed him and perhaps even call their manager. lodging a formal complaint tells the the management their inefficiency. it's the only logical thing to do.

At 11:31 AM, Blogger Empress Tasha said...

do you know why i don't comment on your posts?

1. because i very, very rarely comment on people's posts talaga

2. because the previous comments entertain me so much i tend to forget i've my own piece of mind to share. :)

and there, i forgot na what i was going to tell you about the (put adjective here) guards.

pero you know what, i was thinking of telling you this talaga:

just because you (or we) are more educated (and often more financially-privileged) doesn't mean we're any better than them. so their interpretation of the rules is twisted, but did you even consider what it would be like being in their cheap, synthetic leather shoes?

psychoanalytic babble doesn't work for me talaga noh? i'm trying too hard. i should give this up.


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