Sunday, May 3, 2009

Two's A Crowd

It was a most unpleasant encounter and I make no apology for what I did. You be the judge, whether or not what I did was right.

Be that as it may, I would not have done any differently, trust me. As always, I am not averse to speaking my mind and making my feelings known.

There I was at 11.35 this morning, in a miniscule ATM cubicle (located beside a bank in Taman Tun Dr Ismail) in the midst of tapping in my pin number, when an Indian youth in his 20s stepped in.

At first I thought he was dropping a cheque into the cheque deposit machine, so I continued with my transaction.

Instead, he rested his back against the shelf where the bank slips and pens were, and waited and watched.

Now, there is an established etiquette in using an ATM cubicle. If it has both the ATM machine and the cheque deposit machine, more than one person may be inside at the same time, each utilising a machine.

But if there is only the ATM machine, the norm is that only one person should be in the cubicle at any given time.

Only when the person steps out, another enters. It is the conventional, and I must add, safer, way.

Him standing barely five feet away from me, waiting for me to take my cash, was completely unnerving.

There have been so many stories and reports of the boldness of snatch thieves that I was compelled to do something.

[It was only a month ago when a middle-aged Chinese woman was mercilessly dragged from a shop pavement to the roadside by a snatch thief in a bold snatch attempt in front of the ever-busy Pasaraya Taman Tun.

The poor woman was all scratched and bloodied. Supermarket customers, however, gave chase, caught the Malay/Indon guy and whacked him senseless before tying him up and calling the cops.

My sister Idah, who was at the supermarket when it happened, said the fellow was already half-dead by the time the cops arrived]

So I looked at him and said: "Could you please wait outside? Only one person should be in at any one time."

Guess what? The ill-mannered lout flew off the handle and raged at me, shouting: "Where got sign saying only one person? It's hot outside!"

Frankly, I was completely taken aback at this sudden explosion of anger. It was instantaneous! it was as though he had not an iota of patience to speak of.

I glanced outside and saw a beat-up white Proton with its engine running, and a young guy sitting inside, presumably waiting for him.

So I looked at him again and said: "It has nothing to do with being hot. It's about my safety."

That really got to him. The bozo looked at me threateningly, shouting "Who's disturbing you?"

By this time, two people appeared outside the door. I quickly took my cash, walked out, and told the duo outside what had transpired.

By then he was standing in front of the ATM machine but I didn't see him doing any transaction. I fully believed my hunch was right, that he was up to no good.

Suddenly he turned towards the door and shouted at me again: "Get out! Get out!", presumably telling me to get off his case.

By now terrified, I quickly got into my car and drove off. In my haste, I forgot to take note of the car registration number.

My question is: Was I wrong in asking him to wait outside? True, there was no sign or notice saying only one person should be in at any one time.

But I was worried about my own safety. What if the jerk really was a criminal preying on the unsuspecting? I wasn't about to take chances on my life.

Whatever the case, even if he didn't have any criminal intent, he was one very badly brought up scrap of humanity.

A true-blue kurang ajar scumbag if ever there was one, and I stand by every harsh word I said.


Adam said...

Forget about it Kak Hajar,jes another tip of an iceberg where manner was not taught at home.

Pak Tuo

Anonymous said...

Ini lah yang dikatakan - Give them an inch and they want one kilometer. It is a new pride - from Ipoh to Klang. Avoid that particular ATM outlet. There are plenty in TTDI which are more open (and safer). Why take the risk on that particular one you mentioned. Anything could have happened.

FYI there is one particular defensive arm wrestling exercise that is being taught in Tai Chi classes. It could do you with a lot of good. It did me. Si polan tu kena lepuk - fast and easy. Sedap nya.


tireless mom said...

Dear Kak Puteri

We have to be extra cautious these days, no harm done to them. I think you did the right thing. Safety first. Kalau boleh nak kunci pintu ATM tu sekejap whilst we do our transaction.

pak said...

Komen Pak Malim, kucing ray yg alim.

Dalam semua keadaan, Kama dan semua orang, memang perlu sentiasa berhati-hati. Kucing pun, perlu berhati-hati. Ada baca tak, paper, pasal ada break ini, lupa dah kat mana, penceroboh itu, selain ambil wang dan barang kemas mangsa, turut mencuri TIGA kucing parsi, bersama ibu kucingnya sekali. Ini cerita betul, tau, I not making it up. So, kucing pun, belum tentu, selamat, kata Pak Malim sambil duduk atas keramat.

Kama said...

Pak Tuo, satu2nya yang saya langsung cannot accept ialah rudeness dengan orang yg lebih tua. rasa macam nak tampar mukanya.

Derebar - that ATM outlet tu bukan hidden pun, cuma pagi Ahad sunyi sikit. Anyway, Pak Abu dah tak bagi I pi ATM sorang2.

TM - it's true, if only boleh kunci dari dalam kan?

Ray - I read about the curi kucing story. Really, these days crime menjadi2!

Naz said...

What an unnerving situation to be in. Discretion is not something that all people have. I have experienced somebody actually standing next to me and wanting to follow my key-ing in my pincode and stuff. When i told him to back off, then only it occured to him that he was too close for comfort...can you imagine that?!
About bad mannered youth, tak payah cakap la. They believe they are forever victimized by the system, by the society etc that it doesn't take much for them to explode out of proportion. I would stay away from such ATMs/places. Take care OK.

Kak Teh said...

Puteri, This happened to me as well when I was at one ITM in Alamanda. I found it quite unnerving although there were lots of people around me...we have such a thing as personal space. This guy just stood behind me while I was trying to get some money.

The same with using internet at an internet cafe - they hover around you.

But what happened to you was scary. he had other ulterior motives.

Oldstock said...

Kak Aji Kama,

You did the right thing. Pity we have young men these days with no manners at all.

If you have to go the ATM next time without Pak Abu's company, have a look around first before you enter the cubicle.

Anonymous said...

Kak Aji Kama,

This is the trend now. They pretend to be rude, bila you marah dan leka sikit, they just got away with whatever to get from you. We have to be very careful, crime is getting worst in everywhere now. We have to be careful at anytime. Precaution is better than cure.

Aida said...

Kak Puteri,

I would have cancelled my transaction the moment the scumbag entered into the vestibule with u. If he wanted to try something "funny" at least he could not get away with my money.

But i know if they are desparate enough things can get really bad.

I never go to ATMs alone now. Safety in numbers.

Tommy Yew said...

Hi Puteri,

Hehehe…that lucky dumbass, lucky he didn’t try anything silly! Yeah don’t mess about with our Kama At-Tawaris. Do u feel lucky today? Yeah go ahead, make my day, punk! Betcha u must be thinking that. Boy, he must have wet his pants when u gave him the eye of the tiger ‘look’.

BTW, one must always be vigilant, in this day & age, especially during hard times like now.



Typhoon Sue said...

if someone suspicious comes near while I'm alone at an ATM, i usually just cancel my transaction and let him do his. dah byk kali dah i buat mcm ni, but usually the suspicious person(s) turn out to be just another bank customer like me. It's just my paranoia in overdrive again

the thing is, when we are alone, our mind tends to be suspicious of everything around us that sometimes we fail to see the whole picture. I'm not questioning what you did or anything, but perhaps, with all the stereotypes around us, this guy was truly offended when you asked him to wait outside thus insinuating that you were suspicious of him. Hence, the rudeness.

An indian male friend once told me about an incident at his apartment block one night. A young woman was waiting for the elevator when he came into the lift lobby. There were just the 2 of them. When the lift came, being gentlemanly, he practiced 'ladies first' and held the door for her, but she refused to go in, signaling go ahead with her hand while she moved aside to wait for the other lift. Now, this guy has had to deal with a lot of stereotypes in his life, so he was very offended at the thought that this woman was scared to be in the lift alone with him. So, he deliberately stepped back too and waited, not that he wanted to harm the woman or anything, but he was just geram at her behaviour. She left the lobby after fidgeting for a while. My friend didn't mean any harm so he just went home to his apt, fully satisfied that he had had his 'revenge'.

I scolded him for being nasty, and pitied that woman who must have walked away with her heart pounding out of her chest. He said, "if you are suspicious of me, just don't show it. I have feelings too".

I'm not saying what he did was right, but he is one of those people who are indeed very defensive about these things and may react childishly in a manner which may ultimately confirm your suspicions of him in the first place.

As for this guy u had to deal with, God knows, he might have been up to no good, but then again, can you be 100% sure that he was? He may just be some stupid guy who took offense at what u said and reacted stupidly so much so that he appeared very guilty to you and everyone else.

Whatever he was, we'll never know for sure now.

Sorry if i have offended you kak puteri. I'm not disagreeing with you, I'm just giving another perspective that's all

Kama said...

Sue - Don't worry, I am not offended. It's a worthy perspective...

AuntieYan @ Makcik Blogger said...

Salam Kak Puteri,

Sungguh menakutkan! I'm sure he was up to something....thanks God, nothing bad befall on you.

mamasita said...

Luckily you tak layan his crazy and rude behaviour..otherwise he would have assaulted you physically and make a run.

And luckily Pak Abu takade sama..sebab sure bertumbuknya takpasal2!

Just take this episode as a lesson..nampak weirdos exit cepat2!

de minimis said...

Kak Puteri

I salute you. What you did was perfectly proper. I think that guy was really up to no good at all. Thank goodness you were alert.

Anonymous said...

1.01 pm


Didn't you go thru a real life ordeal? Or was it a virtual experience on a Sunday morning?


Kama said...

Derebar - It was as real as it could be and it actually spoiled my weekend.

Kama said...

Actually, any stereotyping was unintentional. If it was a scruffy-looking Malay/Chinese youth, I would have done the exact same thing. It was more a question of personal space, the fear of being a crime victim (personal safety), and also the basic (but unwritten) principle of ATM cubicle usage.

I probably wouldn't be too alarmed if it was a tudung-clad young lady, makcik or an ahso, or a middle-age person like myself. But anyone barging in like he did, and leaning back watching me intently doing my transaction would surely arouse suspicion.

Capt's Longhouse said...

,,,Yes, what you did was right but in future back away from such encounters bcas it can turn nasty for no good reason.
,,,Staying alert and being firm might have save you from a potential thief !.
,,,Last week in K.L. my daughter's car was hit by a motorist on the driver's door side while the car was stationary and out of nowhere 2 more motorists plus a car turned up demanding money for damages !.
,,,but lucky girl, she stood her ground and reported the case immediately to the police, apparently its their modus operandi to extort money !. So be extra care nowadays,,,its just not safe anymore anywhere.
,,,,a few days ago i had to be physical to a guy that was disturbing my houseguests on the island. thank god this oldman is still fit hahaha.

Anonymous said...

Not at all! He should have left as soon as you asked him to leave. The fact that he was so defensive suggest that he was up to no good. I would have been scare too!

lintang said...

Nothing and no where are safe anymore. Are we really in a helpless situation? This was the question I posted on my blog-Bobzworld. Since my daughter lost a substantial money through fraud ATM withdrawal by unidentified person many years ago,I had refused to own an ATM card.
Kama, you were lucky this time.

Bob Yong