Yesterday evening, I made my way to MITEC for the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and although the place looked more congested with traffic than the first time I was there 3 weeks ago, the process this time was surprisingly faster. I was out of there in about 40 minutes from the time I stepped into the hall.
As usual, the first stage is registration or re-registration. I handed my vaccination card to the guy at the registration desk, he was very young, probably no more than 25. Just like the first time I was there, the guy addressed me as “aunty” as soon as I sat down to which I told him very nicely to not call me aunty, can he address me as “kak” or “Miss”. He asked to see my IC which I thought was unnecessary since all the details are on the vaccination card. Again it was “aunty”, I repeated my request to not have him call me aunty.
I was rummaging through my purse for my IC when he said something and again it ended with “aunty”. I wonder if he was hard of hearing? I had already spoken to him in his own language so there could be no misunderstanding. This went on a few more times, I think he said “aunty” at least 6 times. Finally he said he didn’t need the IC and referred to the vaccination card. Exactly, that’s what it’s for, isn’t it?
In the end, he apologised for calling me aunty but by then I was too angry to accept. It took him that many times of (my) repeated requests to stop calling me aunty. He called me aunty more times in one minute than I have been subjected to the whole of last year. So glad I never have to go back to MITEC again, the young people nowadays just think everyone over the age of 40 should be addressed as “aunty.” I don’t want to be called that and it’s my right not to be called that so I wish people would respect my request NOT to be labelled as such.
This is one Eastern value which I dislike intensely. If I don’t want to be labelled that in my face, I have the right to protest instead of feeling the discomfort simmering within me. I can’t pretend that I accept it when I dislike it intensely. As I don’t have a whole head of white hair yet, I don’t feel my age and I am nobody’s aunty.