The Inconvenience of Saying 'No'
It's good to be full of love. Yes. But sometimes, I wished I was thought early also of how it is to hurt others. To say 'NO' when somebody means to do you wrong; 'NO' to even something that will seemingly benefit you but in the end will just corrupt your spirituality.
Also, like, SAYING 'NO' TO AN EXTORTIONIST?
Yesterday, I went to NBI provincial branch to renew/apply again for my clearance.
( I was happy to see that an ID was asked from the applicants before issuing an application form. Just an ID though, not two, in contrast to what's on the internet if you search it. But THAT WAS OK. At least, they seem to follow now the protocol. NOT LIKE THE LAST TIME I WAS WITH A FRIEND who just paid without even being asked for an ID where my friend in his dirty mind started toying with the idea of faking an identity. Just to trip.)
The procedure went smooth until I was given the receipt with the accompanying words of the window man: 'ONE MONTH'.
I was quick to pick that up. That one month means I will be able to get it in one month's time!!! Not a week, not two, but one freaking whole month of waiting.
And so, I wasn't able to help myself but almost scream "ONE MONTH???!"
Even I was surprised at the loudness of the voice that came out from my mouth. So much so that I swear all the staff inside that little cubicle turned their heads on me as the man who handed me the receipt just a split second ago said again, this time in an assuring way, with determination to slap on my face what he said: 'OO, ONE MONTH'. ('Yes, one month.')
I was like in a state of shock as I walk to the exit/entrance door (as there was just one for the public). As I stare at the my receipt murmuring to myself in utter disgust, walking, a man standing by in front outside that door tried to talk to me. He was actually with another guy whose face didnt register on my head just because the one talking to me was all smile and was quite 'catchy'.
"Anong problema, miss?" (What's the problem, miss?)
"I need this for my work so badly. I thought it would just be two weeks at most. I have to leave already by the second week. How can this be?" I replied like I am still talking to myself but looking at him.
Then the guy replied "Kaya kong gawing two weeks lang yan..."
"Kaya lang may kapalit...."
I didn't know how to approach the conversation upon hearing what he just said. I knew it was gonna be an extortion. The thought of me having the possibility of getting the clearance earlier did not enter my mind at that very moment. It was just the fear of being tempted to bribe that was rushing all over me!
Maybe I'm naive. Just because I never experienced bribing somebody. But what can I do? I don't want to bribe. Its never in my system and I don't wish to do that even just once in my life.
Yes, in a split-second, a gazillion thoughts came rushing my head. I thought of the good Filipinos. I thought of the heartfelt writings I read each now and then from country-loving authors who would never tire writing about doing good things for our fellowmen, about suffering with them instead of letting them suffer because of your own doing. I thought of the guilt I will carry being one of those people who can't help but give in to bribes and extortion just because they so badly need a favor in return.
And yes, I thought of God. I thought of the rosary I have just prayed minutes ago before my name was called in by the window man for a picture taking.
But then, I was feeling at that time I might hurt him by being rude of just leaving him after hearing those words. I wanted to leave at that second but this childhood 'niceness' in me just pinned me there.
And the next thing I knew, I was saying 'Monetary?'
To which he clearly said 'NO', with sticky eyes on me with a big grin.
I didn't want to think what that 'no' means at that time. From where I was, I just felt its really time to go. Whatever it means, I know its from the 'bad side'. So, awkwardly, I even said goodbye to him as I run my way to the public rides. I glanced at him as I hopped on the tricycle, he was looking at me and gesturing me to come back, still with the big grin!
As I reached home, I was pondering on what just happened. And realized that that 'no' could only mean 'No, not here' OR 'No, I want you.' Either way, its definitely unacceptable.
Funny, I thought. My shock about the 1 month waiting was replaced by the thoughts about that 'interesting event' created by that guy.
I told a friend and my dad about the waiting period.
My friend's advice? A resounding: 'JUST GIVE MONEY! YOU'LL GET IT SAME DAY! APPLY ON A DIFFERENT BRANCH, GIVE MONEY!'
My dad's? 'I'll use my being a senior citizen and get it for you.'
Both didn't made me feel any better.
I just kept thinking, 'If this is God's will, and am sure Mama Mary is always helping me, I won't need to bribe nor do anything out of legal procedure.'
So I just whispered a prayer asking for guaidance and head on to my computer.
I don't know what came to me but as I got to the internet, I felt emailing NBI what happened because I felt that was the right thing for me to do.
Today, I opened my email and got this:
Good Day!We verified status of your clearance application and learned that you applied yesterday, 25 September, 2013.It is true that clearance certificates in the provinces are being released one (1) month from date of applicationfor those with namesakes, however by October of this year, releasing of same will be reduced to two (2) weeks or ten(10) working days, since volume of applicants had decreased and hopefully, will last up to the end of the year.We advised you to return to Cabanatuan District Office in October 2 to claim your clearance certificate. Please lookfor the Agent-in-charge of the Office when you come back and tell him your observation. I am sure he will not tolerateextortionist in his office. You can show him your letter and mine for his information. We need people like you to keep us aware of the misdeeds of the people around us. We owe it to the public to give them the best service.NBI-ICTCPD
THAT MADE MY DAY! The inconvenience of doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong paid off! Yes, it was an awful stressful inconvenience to think that I will have to wait for a month because I didn't grab the opportunity when that help came my way but doing so would be a long-time even more stressful for my soul. And yes, it was not easy turning my back from a seemingly friendly person offering help but its even more difficult to talk to my Creator knowing that I have just chosen the easy way even if its wrong.
JUST SAY NO. EVEN IF IT IS INCONVENIENT.