Modern life is stressful. We face everyday situations that test our limits on the streets, at work, dealing with bureaucracy and even at home.
It takes a lot to stay calm.
A really bad day (like I had today) takes a toll on the spirit.
Now, if a mental health professional such as this writer has this much trouble staying sane, how about others who have had no training to handle immense stress?
I’ve always been proud to be Malaysian and try my best to stay neutral when things aren’t right.
I keep convincing myself that Malaysia a developing nation, that there are bound to be hitches.
We will learn from our mistakes and make the necessary changes.
Unfortunately, as much as I hope things will get better, this story I’ve been telling myself has failed me again and again.
Let me share here that my day started badly.
First, my cable TV was wrongly disconnected, the third time it happened in the last couple of months.
My credit card had been duly debited but due to the incompetence of the cable TV staff, my payment went to a non-existent account.
The said sum is now ‘floating’. I’ve been told by the cable TV company to correct the situation with my credit card company, who in turn, tells me to fill out a ‘payment refute’ form.
They are yet to fax me a copy of the form.
So I tried calling the cable network numerous times, keyed in extension different numbers and heard muzak for a long time as I waited for a customer service officer.
After many minutes, I find myself explaining everything yet again since he/she does not have the faintest idea what I am saying.
Amidst all this, what about my time and my phone bill? Who is responsible for this?
This went on for about three times with three separate calls and three separate officers, until I finally lost my cool.
I requested to speak to the manager and told them that if I didn’t get some kind of an answer soon I would write to the press.
This threat seemed to trigger a positive response.
Why do we need to resort to threats and aggression just so that we can be heard?
I am a consumer who pays my bills on time, and yet this was the treatment meted out to me until I had to resort to aggression.
Loss of faith in the whole system can cause one to maybe commit acts of aggression such as road rage, or to become verbally and physically abusive, among other things.
Thankfully I still have the ability to use coping mechanisms to calm down and stay sane.
That’s me, the health professional. But what about the hundreds or maybe thousands who just don’t have these coping skills? I dread to think.