More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Disgusted By Human Behaviour

Yesterday morning, I had written a glowing post about how human behaviour can sometimes surprise you in a good way. A day hadn’t even passed when I heard some other stories from friends that night about human behaviour which disgust me. All names have been changed in the following post.

My friend Anna, who had migrated overseas, had back to Melbourne for a holiday, so a group of us had gone out to dinner and drinks with her. During drinks, we had discussed about others who had also moved overseas and whereas Anna had seen them. The topic fell on Fiona and whether she was still with her boyfriend Nathan and if they were getting married soon. Anna said that she doesn’t see Fiona much anymore and as far as she knew, Fiona and Nathan were together but not together.

This got everyone interested and we all asked what this meant. According to Anna, Fiona and Nathan had broken up, but Fiona was still accepting gifts from Nathan even though she had no intention of getting back together with him. This prompted Anna to say how Fiona had changed so much since moving overseas and had become a very unattractive (personality wise) person. Anna said that Fiona loved to compare herself with others, and step on others if she thought she was better than them or whinge a lot if she thought others had it better than her. Anna had a few run-ins with Fiona. When Anna first got her job after searching for ages, Fiona didn’t congratulate her at all, but instead asked her how much her salary was. When Anna refused to answer, Fiona basically kept pushing until she got a response. When she found out it was less, she would brag about how much she herself was making. Another occasion when Anna gave birthday presents to Fiona and another friend Sarah, Fiona got all jealous and angry when Anna’s present to Sarah was better than hers.

There were many other stories related from others which showed what type of person Fiona was. I didn’t know Fiona too well but from the conversations that we had before she migrated, I always felt she was the money driven type. Every conversation we ever had revolved around money. She wanted to know what my salary was, which I was happy to tell. But from then it was constant moanings of how much I was making, whether I could help her get a higher paying job, that I should shout lunch because I was rich etc. Our second topic of conversations was playing mahjong. She always kept saying lets play. But I didn’t like playing with her because her “Pai Bun” (Gambling Style) was very bad. When she was losing money, there was constantly whingeing about how she was losing. Then if you wanted to stop, she would say that we should keep playing. If she was winning however, there was gloating. From all this, I felt that she was a very money centric person. Every action in her life was driven by money and what she could gain. Hence, I tried to stay away as much as possible. Even when she came back for a holiday, I wasn’t sure whether I should go out for the dinner. Eventually I decided that I probably should since I didn’t want to be rude.

While on the way home in the car, Ken and I were talking about how the love of money really is a bad trait in some people. They get overwhelmed by it and it controls their life. It was then that Ken told me about how you can’t trust people sometimes with money. He had been burned once when stock that he had delivered to a merchant was not paid for and that merchant ran away. But what was to be worse was when it happened a second time, but with his own friend and ex-business partner. Ken said that the incident means he doesn’t even know who he can trust anymore. He was getting very worked up telling the story, and for a mild mannered, usually calm Ken, this was a big thing.

So what had happened was that Ken and Daniel used to be in business together. When Daniel pulled out of the business, they split up the assets and Ken used his part of the money to start the business again. One day Daniel approaches Ken again and said he would like to get involved in the business again, but in a smaller way, he would sell the actual products. So when Daniel sold the products, what he did was keep all the money, including the initial costs to obtain the stock. So when Ken asked Daniel why he hadn’t given him back any money, Daniel said that he was short of cash and that Ken had loaned him money. A shocked Ken said when did he lend Daniel money, and so much as well. Ken himself wasn’t rolling in money and was on a tight budget too. Daniel kept insisting that Ken had loaned him money. When Ken said that if he did loan the money, he wanted the money back. Daniel got all upset and said that Ken had loaned other people money and never demanded it back immediately. This infuriated Ken and he said that he never even lent Daniel money to begin with so what’s wrong with getting it back. It was now that Daniel went on the attack and accused Ken of not being a good friend. All these years that they had known each other had meant nothing. This was basically emotional blackmail. So Ken said that Daniel can pay the money back in monthly installments. Well months have passed and no money has changed hands. Daniel initially had said that he had some emergencies so couldn’t pay back the first month. Then it was something else so Ken said he could pay less back but still nothing. Then Daniel blamed his internet banking system for not working and that’s why the money didn’t go through. I think you can start to see the pattern. Ken and I both think Daniel has no intentions of paying the money back. We know that he’s gone on holiday, got a new car and regularly goes out for dinners. This is not a man who is broke. This is not a new thing for Daniel. Even when Ken and Daniel were in business, Daniel was constantly borrowing money from the business and sometimes would not put the earnings into the bank.

I asked Ken why he was even “friends” with Daniel in the first place. I always saw that they were so different. Ken said he wasn’t too sure either. I think sometimes it’s the environment and circumstances that mean people become “friends”. Ken and Daniel had gone to high school together and I guess sometimes due to the environment you just end up falling together. I think we have all been known to do that. Only as you get older do you make more conscious decisions about who you want to stay in touch with and who give no value to your life at all.

The overall messages from these stories is that humans can also exhibit behaviours that disgust you. Generally this happens more than the pleasant behaviroural surprises. A common theme that turns people against each other is money, especially among Asians. They tend to see money in a much stronger light and are driven by it. Many families even have had falling outs due to money issues.


Blogger danielsan said...

Oh yes! Money is evil. And I also agreed that the Asians are the worse than others. I ex boss is exactly like it. Everytimes he maks a deal with "X" amount of money, he will make sure the next deal will make him double from what he made from the first deal.

Most of my mates only ever fallen out with each others because of girls!! Ha only kidding guys!

I mean we all from time to time do fall out with mates, but at the end we always kiss and make up!

Im terrible with money, Im so generous that I sometimes dont even know how much money I have lend people. I always buy drinks or foods when Im out with friends, but I will never expect them to do it in return. But I do have friendswhere I would not even consider buying them drinks cos I know he/she will never do the same in return.

6/25/2006 12:37 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Money is an evil, but its people behaviour towards money that determines how evil it is. Asians are extremely bad when it comes to loving money and letting it drive everything they do.

I don't mind buying drinks and things for others too. But there are certain people you know would never return the courtesy and feel that since they didn't ask for it, it's your own choice to buy drinks for them.

6/25/2006 10:56 PM  
Blogger afrobev said...

It's funny isn't it how you have viewed human behaviour completely differently in the last few posts? I suppose that's part of the problem with 'friendship'. There are not many people who can dissapoint you more than friends. When they let you down it tends to hurt more.

There was a bloke who I considered to be one of my best mates (and everyone knows who I am talking about who knows me) for the best part of my life. I have known him since birth. Our parents were friends and we too were closer than brothers for the majority of our lives and I would have walked bare foot over jot coals to help the guy and I would like to think I was there for him during many difficult periods of his life (including illness).

However, when I became seriously ill his presence became all the more scarce despite only working literally two minutes around the corner from where I live he just was nowhere in sight. So we went from spending three nights a week (and sometimes more) in each others company to absolutely nothing and at a time when I needed him the most.

Best friends? Not anymore. Kicked in the teeth? Definetly. I don't know what I did wrong apart from being near death but he has let me down more than he can ever imagine. I think he's also let my girlfriend down aswell as my brother and all because he's too scared of his own shadow and is probably too one dimensional as a person to deal with my disease.

Luckily and happily I have had other best friends who are a billion times the person he is or will ever be and at least Ive found out who my true friends are eh?

6/26/2006 3:19 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

I guess it is the nature of humans that we can experience highs and lows due to the actions of others.

Its a shame that your best friend deserted you James. But I guess you now know who your real friends are and can trust those people in the future. People don't always get to find out who they can trust around them.

6/26/2006 6:38 PM  
Blogger The Oriental Express said...

This is why I never like gambling, especially with friends or relatives. I hate to win other people's $$$$$!

My first and last gambling experience 40 years ago.

I won and saw the sad look on my cousin's face. Returned all the $$ to him. Next day, I lost and nobody pitied me and returned me my $$$. I cried and vowed never to gamble again!!!

6/28/2006 9:15 AM  

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