Friday, August 20, 2010

A Limit for Nicety

How nice should I be in order to be a nice daughter, a nice friend, a nice lover or a nice colleague? Is there an official limit that people would expect? Or is it a limit that I should set for myself which I feel comfortable with?

Recently, there was something which made me reconsider how nice I should be to people who treat me under the reasonable nicety.

The story happened when I was trying to find another part-time job that can allow me to support myself during my university studying. I ended up in a new education center for little kids teaching English. I was paid around CAD $14 per hour, which is a bit less than what I normally receive, but since it's close by and the lady ensured me a pay rise as soon as the business is getting better, I accepted the offer and started teaching.

Throughout the employment, things seemed to go well. I enjoyed my time with the kids and started to build a nice relationship with them. At the same time, parents were giving compliments on my teaching and some even asked for me specifically to give their children daily tutoring classes. I obtained a sense of satisfaction from all these encouragement and I even introduced my mother to join the center as a part-time assistant, as I was positive that she will have a good time there.

However, after I left the center for my last summer holiday, my mother notified me that I was actually underpaid. The difference between me and another English tutor with the same experience is as much as CAD $10 per hour. I wonder what that means and I feel humilitated by the fact that I was being treated as a fool the whole time.

Due to the strong opposition by my mother, no hatred was expressed to the young lady who did this to me. Since then, I have been trying to maintain a distance from her, but she has been asking for little favors from time to time, and those are the only times that she tries to "stay in touch". After a couple times of doing these favors out of courtesy, I have decided that this has to be the end of it. Otherwise, I would be humiliating myself.

What is your limit for nicety?

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