Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Warning! Negative sharing ahead. Please do not proceed further if you do not have optimism and an open mind!

I'm sure if you are familiar with the local universities, you would be familiar with UPM, University Putra Malaysia. Putra sounds like 'putera' or prince. Well at least, that's what I think it is. Correct me if I am wrong. It certainly sounds more glamorous than it's former name, Universiti Pertanian Malaysia or 'Agricultural University of Malaysia'.

I studied computer science there many years ago. One year I won a prize in some silly writing competition. The prize giving ceremony was held in a ballroom of a hotel in KL. Frankly, I don't like prize giving ceremonies. They take too much precious time. I would rather they just send me the prize by post.

Anyway, there we were, all seated in this grand little room having high tea. Seated next to me was this lady all glossed up and dressed in her power suit. She was apparently bored to tears since after 10 minutes of silence, she attempted to make small talk with this boring disinterested young man:

Power suit: Hi, where are you from?

Me: I'm studying at UPM.

Power suit: *showing interest* Oh, what university is that?

Me: *raise one eyebrow* It's Universiti Pertanian Malaysia or the Agricultural University of Malaysia.

Power suit: *showing surprise* Wow, agricultural university, what do you study there?

Me: *raise other eyebrow* I study computer science

Power suit: *shocked expression* Really! what does computer science have to do with agriculture?

Me: *thinking aloud* Oh my gosh!!! Is she for real?
*Sarcasm mechanism automatically kicking in*

Me: *with a straight face and flat tone* Well, miss, we are learning how to program the plants to grow...

Power suit: *very understanding expression* Wow, that's very fascinating.

Me: *thinking aloud* Oh my gosh, please tell me she's joking

At this point, we were interrupted for the prize giving ceremony had started, and I never had a chance to correct her. The plus side was I was spared the barrage of any further 'intellectual' questions.

Reflecting on this, it seems inevitable that the older I get, the more harder and cynical I have become. Sigh. There are so many personality types that irk me these days:
  • People who feign interest in you but listening to what you say is the last thing on their mind. This can be easily seen by the way they interrupt and change your subject when you share. When you try to express a general idea, they dissect every sentence and take it personally even though you are not talking about them.
  • People who claim they want openness and honesty, but when you try to be serious with them, they either draw back, make it into some kind of joke or quickly try to change the subject. You end up having to tone down your expressions and mince your words around them.
  • People who constantly try to maintain a facade of superiority, but in the end, they are the real losers because they do not have the humility to ask questions for the fear of losing face, and therefore forever remain ignorant.
  • People who pretend to be your friends but have a hidden agenda. They will betray your trust at the worst possible moment and expect you to forgive them because you have to, as their friend.
One word sums it up: Hypocrisy.

Sometimes, people tell me that I shouldn't be so blunt and direct. So much for honesty being the best policy. Isn't it kind of tiring to having to keep up appearances all the time? The very minute you let your guard down, your reputation and facade will be compromised.

Sigh. It appears that openness and honesty are being pushed to extinction nowadays. Our modern world seems to be a more fertile ground for deceit and pretences.


me said...

honesty and openness is not for everybody in this cold harsh realistic world. if you misdirect it, you will be trampled on, abused, misjudged and betrayed. you have to first determine the correct target, one that is worthy (ahem!) for you to show your true beauty. a little like a peacock fanning his ....er...what's that? backside? no, feathers? well, you get what i mean. you don't want to open yourself to potential stalkers, terrorist and all sorts of perverts, do you? it's just a self-protection mechanism. everybody's got a beautiful side, they just may not be showing it to you. just my 2 sens. (aiyoh, so cheap. 2 pence can ah?)

Las montañas said...

whats wrong with 2 sen? its still money.

*quickly go put on another mask*

Joycelyn said...

although not everyone can be real friend,but there is real friendship exists too.dont give up

Jonzz said...

ME: sigh, not much patience to wait for the 'beautiful side' to show. Some people just like to show their ugly side only. Grrr.

LM: ROFL... here, have an Ultraman mask.

joycelyn: I'm not giving up. I'm just ranting about the state of things.

serendipity said...

wellllll.....if i were the one who heard that you were from Agricultural University of Malaysia, i would naturally assume that, hmm, it somehow is related to agriculture. i'm sure she didn't intend to be a hypocrite. =P

and if she initiated the conversation, i would say she is a very friendly person!

Jonzz said...

serene: LOL, just because I criticize other people doesn't make me right.

I agree with your points. It's just that I have very little patience when dealing with people asking such 'dumb' questions, lol.

Bernard said...

Talking is easy... it takes genuine interest in people to be a listener.