It’s something that the authorities are trying hard to remove, but it’s something that seems to be ingrained in our culture instead of a mere societal problem that can be removed, like a cancer that’s genetically embedded in our DNA.
Unless you belong to the upper class, chances are, you’ve faced criticisms, despite how subtle, from elites (or elite-wannabes).
And this girl’s account of her experience is one example that represents the situation.
Redditor’s Account of Her Working Experience
On Thursday (29 November 2018), a user by the handle of u/kloimo posted a thread in Reddit that garnered well over 8.2K upvotes.
Lest you’re unaware, “upvotes” in Reddit are like “Likes” in Facebook or Instagram, and when a post is upvoted more, it’ll move up to the top, therefore having the potential to be seen by more people.
The title is a simple line: “A message to parents with schoolchildren, from a student.”
If you’ve the time, you can read the entire 809-word post, but I’m going to put it down to list form so it can be digested easier.
- Girl is from an elite school, and is working as a salesgirl before going to JC
- Her job is to sell items to parents from different schools
- She noticed that the difficult customers are usually parents whose kids are from elite schools
- These parents seemed to look down at her
- One parent even said this to her son: “You have to wait, she’s (the salesgirl) not smart you know.”
- When she asked to clarify about something from these parents, some of them would go, “Don’t you know <insert name of elite school>?”
- She overheard these parents talking in different tone to parents whose kids are from neighbourhood school
- Some of these parents’ tone changed “180” the moment they heard that the salesgirl is from an elite school
She ended with a powerful line: “Please teach your children to be nice to people, and do it by setting a healthy example.”
People Started to Relate Their Experience As Well
After the post got viral, people began to relate their experiences with elitism too.
A user, who worked in Borders back then, told a customer that a book can’t be returned, but was insulted with this: “Stupid girl! Think about why you are working here instead of having a real job!”
Another user referred a customer to another counter in a toy store, and the guy, seemingly angry, said this: “Well, it’s no wonder you are working here then.”
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Truth to be told, I myself have lots of these experiences as well, having work in various retail positions. And these people are usually “high-SES”, and in some cases, “fake high-SES” (you can hear from their fake accent).
Lesson to be Learned
If there’s one change that needs to be made right now, it’s this: do you also look down at others as well?
Say, someone who’s earning lesser than you?
Because you don’t need to be from an elite school to be an elitist. The reason for this statement is simple: I’ve seen people belittling cleaners, and these people don’t seem to be high-SES.
While the upper class looks down at the middle class, the middle class looks down at the lower class.
If you’ve the ability to read this, you most likely are in the middle class.
So spend some time alone to reflect on whether you’re “playing class” instead of wondering whether anyone from the elite class is going to look down on you.
‘Coz those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.
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