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Saturday, November 24, 2012

In Daddy And Mommy's Name

I'll tell! Momeeeeee!
(Courtesy of

Passing by Landmark Department Store the other day on the way to work, I decided to buy some supplies from their grocery, and had a deja vu of an acquaintance who had a "scene" right where I was.

Apparently, his mom had been a loyal customer of Landmark, so much so that she had some kind of credit account with the grocery, that she would be able to purchase items, and not pay a single cent at the checkout counter because the bill would be sent to their house (just like a credit card statement).

My acquaintance, the son, found himself having to shop there one day (at almost 40, still living with his mom, which explains why he had to do her bidding and had no choice in the matter). He forgot his mom's grocery card, so when he went to the counter, he relayed to the counter girl that his mom had a standing account and that he didn't bring the card, expecting fully that he could leave the store without paying a cent.

The employee, thinking only of job security, did not accept that explanation and required that he show his identification as well as that of his mom, in order to corroborate his claim of being the son and so she could check the so-called arrangement his mom had with the store.

"Excuse me! Don't you know who my mom is?!? Na-bale wala lang ang years of loyalty namin dito! How dare you treat me this way! Nasaan ang manager?!? Tawagin mo! I've never been treated this disrespectfully, ever!!!"

I was stunned (to say the least) while this acquaintance was relaying his story, for the following reasons:

(1) The cashier didn't know him from Juan dela Cruz.
(2) The cashier probably didn't know his mother, by the same reasoning.
(3) He was just a "regular" customer, as far as she was concerned.
(4) She subjected him to the same protocol as she would any other customer.

And even if all these reasons were rendered null, the biggest reason in my mind was:

(5) You are not your mom. Why are you expecting to be treated as if you were her?

Of course, I never voiced this out - why should I, when I can transform it into another post?

It's the misplaced sense of entitlement, by some osmosis, or principle of transference, that grates on my nerves. So just because your mom was a "loyal shopper", it follows that you are? And you be accorded the same "treatment"? Whatever happened to being your own person? Have you no identity apart from your mother?

It then dawned on me that this is exactly how our political dynasties come to be: the same misplaced sense of entitlement. My dad was a congressman, therefore, I should be voted as one as well, after his term expires! How dare you question my qualifications?!?...(altogether now) Don't you know who my dad is?!?

I used to think that the supermarket incident was isolated. Not anymore. And like that acquaintance, it seems to be an affliction of those who belong to the upper economic class. Or those who wield political power.

Until today, I have yet to hear anyone outside those "classes" bellowing "Don't you know who my father is?!?"

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