Jan 24, 2008

Herein Lies Stupidity

I was having a great day hanging out with Soon Khen, Jiong Kit and Sheng Yu. That evening I was browsing the net through Streamyx, which capsizes every 2 minutes with the DSL indicator on the modem flicking on and off like traffic lights. Out of the packets and bytes my modem receives I managed to sign in briefly on MSN, and I find several anxious offline messages asking me to take a look at our bulletin board system (BBS). I was in good humor to think what had happened to cause such a stir-up - a plane crash on the school? Or the recent construction site had collapsed?
On asking a friend of mine to copy-paste the bulletin for me (I was in no mood to install a separate program in order to view the DOS-based system), I was shocked from head to toe. (In order to protect the image of the accused the bulletin will not be published).
As a result of a ticket regulation I can only get back to Taiwan on 19th of February, one day short of attending my classes. I bought the tickets during Malaysia Airlines' Merdeka Sales as it was significantly cheaper, but I have to obey the rules stating no traveling between 1 and 18 of February. At the time of purchase I had no information yet on when the school reopens.
Before going home I met She Who Must Not Be Named, and I informed her of my delay. She wasn't happy, but she tolerated it, as I get to go home only once every semester, and what's done is done. The conversation ended in a light tone and I was off preparing for my exams.
A few days later, You Know Who held a meeting with the entire class announcing they would be testing the names of the skeleton upon beginning of semester. Once again I went to see her and expressed my difficult situation, which she again tolerated by saying I can take a re-test on Wednesday (I'll be back on Tuesday evening). We all agreed and the meeting ended in a positive manner. My friend had, in conversation, revealed that air tickets bought earlier and later, could vary in prices up to NT$10,000 (approx. RM1000). This is sometimes true, but on this occasion it wasn't entirely.On that fateful night, You Know Who suddenly decided it would be fun to check on air ticket prices. A random search ran out prices as low as NT$9000, by Malaysia Airlines. Naturally You Know Who was both surprised and anguished to find out that her students lied to her. You Know Who composed the bulletin, fuming with blame, and posted it on the class board. The bulletin was a total self-embarrassment - exposing herself as such an emotional and illogical person unfit to be a university professor. She threatened us to submit our evidences or we will not be given the re-test upon return. She made the assumption that we were in Taiwan for a holiday instead of being there studying, and repeatedly accused us of lying.
Out of my most patient manner I composed a reply, attaching 3 pieces of evidences (I present one below). The prices of airline tickets are like stock markets - it fluctuates everyday. I presented to her the fact that airlines sell their tickets by the 'bucket' system, whereby they fill up the lowest and hence cheapest buckets first, and move further upwards. Therefore, it's vital and only safe to purchase tickets earlier. However, in some events when the airline found the flight is already profitable and that the remaining seats can be sold for reasons more than profits, they will quickly hold a last-minute sale. They may not make money from the remaining super-cheap tickets, but at least they gain popularity and attention from would-be travelers. This situation is what happening now. And hence the $9000 tickets is not a solid evidence that we were lying (and thinking back, why in the world is You Know Who having a hand in the money I pay for MY ticket at the first place?). I repeated my apologies should our previous conversation sparked misunderstanding and wished her happy holidays (which had turned sour now since her kaypoh-ness). I also included real-life examples - one of our English First Years (please do leave a comment to testify if you're reading this Wyatt) bought his ticket for $30,000+ due to a 'bucket' error. Of course, he subsequently returned the ticket and got a full refund (it was a full-fare economy ticket).
She Who Must Not Be Named did not apologize, as I predicted, her ego and stubbornness preventing her from typing the word 'sorry' into the computer. There goes an emotional tug-of-war for the next 2 days.
Yesterday, after a pleasant evening out eating steamboat, I return home again to find a new bulletin. On this occasion she appeared more composed and having a fragment more of self-consciousness than her previous post. She apologized for the word 'lie' which she deliberately used in accusing us not more than 48 hours ago. She substituted the conviction with 'we are pulling her leg'. (And it was here again when I asked myself 'why is she in this in the first place?') You Know Who emotionally said that she trusted her students and we should not, out of our clear conscience, 'pull her leg'. (And hello? How should I know my favorite airline is holding a grand ticket-giving bonanza 2 weeks before I fly? Are we so advanced we have WiFi implanted in the brain now?) She then stated that she had no further opinion on our tickets (sounds like somebody trashing in and shouting 'YOU LIAR!' and then, on the brink of shoving her into the asylum, she said 'I was just kidding!'). Right, if you have no further opinion, go mind yourself rather than us. We can be happy without trashing someone and ruining his holiday!
As a teacher, more when You Who Must Not Be Named is in a university, You Who Must Not Be Named is the role model of your students. You have the right to question your students, but you certainly have no right to second-guess and not accepting what's presented before your very eyes. These are facts, and I read more about airline business than you had about English. And not trusting what I said is like asking your boyfriend what's his favorite color and then add 'that's not true! YOUR favorite color is green!' (capitalized to emphasis YOUR being mistake-free. It's not 'my'). She Who Must Not Be Named further proved that she deserves no respect by not apologizing and act Samy Veloo in denying her charges. I'm sorry, I have no teacher like that. I will fulfill my duties as a student but expect no more than our regular student-teacher relationship.

The above post was composed by jysim. The article does not represent any stance or point of view of Sim Jun Yi and hence have no relation to him in person.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful...wonderful...wonderful. You speak out my heart! This is the best blog that I ever read.

Colddrinks said...

She should have trusted you.

Ignore it and enjoy the residual days at home.

Wyatt [Y.C. Tan] said...

I'm Wyatt.

And i did bought an air ticket what cost me NT35000, which, i still trying to figure out why.

But luckily i manage to get an almost full refund (NT500 for the service charge or whatever)
But still, the ticket that i bought later still cost me NT17180.

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