“Stop acting so small.
You are the universe in ecstatic motion.”
― Jalaluddin Rumi
Recently travelled to Dubai and I chose this airline, not sure why. Might be because they were sponsoring the football team I love or because heard loud screams of how they scored a hat trick for best in-flight entertainment!! I was flying business class, so was a little full of myself. Well, I have arrived in life, so let me be a bit condescending to all and sundry!
The good news first; the in-flight attendees took excellent care and I enjoyed a fantastic service, but!…….There has to be a ‘but’. The ground staff of the airline had this frozen expression whenever I approached them whether it was in India or Dubai; no smiles, no courtesy, to a large extent they were brazenly curt.
At Dubai on my return journey after loads of over squeezed meetings (the mind-set of trying to get maximum out of a trip), I was worn-out; looking like a rat that just survived a tumble in a washing machine with a dryer. At the airport, I trooped in and approached a counter of dazzling brilliance, specifically designated for business class travellers. The staff was smiling and nodding to this cologne spilt white male. As he moved on, I stepped near the counter; she froze seeing me and curtly told to check in at a different counter. She had some reason for how I got to a wrong counter, but the curtness made me blink my myopic eyes.
At the other counters, the staff were no different, staring and stiff. I fidgeted from deciding whom to approach as everyone was looking through me. Finally approached one counter to be brusquely told that trolley is not allowed inside; hesitated for a second, pondering whether I should tell her regarding my shoulder ache. It felt wasted with her already looking over me and inviting someone with more pleasantness; turned around and saw a white couple approaching the counter.
Stooped into the lounge tired, looking for a dark, quiet, unambiguous corner and slouched trying to melt into oblivion. As I slowly drifted, wondered what it was that made the staff treat me less pleasant and less favourable, why I was on their wrong side; or whether it was just my imagination.
One no-brainer conclusion I came up was, perhaps it was because I was an Asian or it could also be that I crossed forty some time back and I looked my age. It might be because I do not colour my mop of grey hair, or my unpainted lips, or conservative dress, or looking very much a working woman, or my tired looks; it might be any of them or all of them??!!
When you are on the wrong side of so many moulds, it is difficult to say which is the cause, or what the trigger is – discrimination, hierarchy perceived, transference, countertransference, projection from them or me?!
Or might be, it was just me being prickly, which is the right side when you are on the wrong side of 40!!!