As a kid, have you ever been told not to do something only to see the adults do exactly that what you were forbidden? I sure have. Whenever I would question it, I was told that some people can and some cannot. Simple as that. That made me think that there are different rules for the kids and different for adults, which is true, but it does not stop there. Once I entered adulthood, I discovered that some rules do not apply to all adults. Can that be any more confusing?
While I browsed through the headlines this past weekend, I saw one about an author potentially losing her book deal. An author in the news? Losing a book deal? Yup, I had to click on it. I have to admit that I was a little bit disappointed when I found out it was yet another case of life ruined because of a tweet.
A passenger took a photo of another passenger eating on a train, and posted it on Twitter. Why was it such a big deal? Turns out, the person in question was an employee of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (wmata), operating the said train. Are you still not clear on the transgression? How is eating bad, you ask?
“When you’re on your morning commute & see @wmata employee in UNIFORM eating on the train (…) I thought we were not allowed to eat on the train. This is unacceptable. Hope @wmata responds. When I asked the employee about this, her response was, ‘worry about yourself’.” – the author’s tweet, which has since been deleted (and the account deactivated).
So there you have it – an employee breaking their employer’s rules. WMATA replied to the tweet quite promptly, thanking the author for helping them hold everyone accountable. They also asked for some additional information, which the writer provided. Do you think the Metro’s employee should be worried about their job? Possibly.
However, the person who is at the forefront of all the negativity right now is the person who took the photo. Natasha Tynes, author of “They Called Me Wyatt”, is a Jordanian – American journalist, who found herself in the middle of a storm she herself started. Did you see that twist coming? Usually it is the person about whom the tweet was, not the author that gets their life turned upside down.
You are probably as surprised as I was, because it does not seem like the author of the tweet did anything wrong. In fact, I think she did good. Instead of going straight to social media, she confronted the person breaking the rules first. Instead of being humble and putting the food away, the employee told her to “worry about herself”. Total disregard for the company’s rules AND the person that pointed it out.
Have you had anyone ever point out your wrongdoing? I have, but instead of getting angry with that person, I learned to say: “You are right./ Thank you./ I am sorry.” A couple of months ago, I won a prize and had to pick it up at a radio station. Finding it was not easy. I parked wherever I could and rushed out, being on a tight schedule. Normally, I am very conscientious about parking, but this time I did not pay too much attention, since I knew I was going to be in and out and there was plenty of room everywhere. Coming back, I saw someone acting weird. Observing my car. Walking around it. I approached carefully. Turns out, I did not park straight. I parked at an angle and the truck next to me could not back out straight. I was stunned. There was plenty of space on the other side. He could have easily backed out. And I told him exactly that at first. But then, I realized that while he did not have to make a fuss, he had every right, since it was me who made his life more difficult. He should have been able to back out straight. So I apologized and we wished each other a good day in the end.
So why is the author getting so much heat? “Eating while Black.” That is the leading reason for the outrage. “Eating, drinking, smoking and littering is banned on Metro buses or trains and in stations”, so why is everyone defending the rule-breaker? #EatingWhileBlack – yes it is an actual thing. People think it was bad to call them out because they were not white. People think that they were called out because they are black. What kind of nonsense?
Rare Birds Books, a house that was going to publish Tynes’ upcoming book, has since decided to drop her. “Black women face a constant barrage of this kind of inappropriate behavior directed toward them and a constant policing of their bodies.”
California Coldblood, her publisher, said: “We do not condone her actions and hope Natasha learns from this experience that black women feel the effects of systemic racism the most and that we all have to be allies, not oppressors.”
I have not read Natasha’s debut novel, but the description sure sounds interesting to me.
“Siwar Salaiha is murdered (…), her consciousness survives, finding refuge in the body of a Seattle baby boy. Stuck in this speech delayed three-year old body, Siwar tries but fails to communicate with Wyatt’s parents, instead she focuses on solving the mystery behind her murder. Eventually, her consciousness goes into a dormant state after Wyatt undergoes a major medical procedure.
Fast-forward twenty-two years. Wyatt is a well-adjusted young man (…) learns about Siwar’s death… His investigation forces him to open a door he has kept shut all his life, a spiritual connection to an unknown entity that he frequently refused to acknowledge.”
It really saddened me when I checked the ratings on Goodreads and saw all the negative comments related to the above-mentioned incident. The rating is 1.4/5. The reviews are not really reviews of the book, but of the author’s perceived character. There was even a comment, which stated that the author removed all the stars (not sure how many she gave originally) due to recent events. This is absolutely disgusting, showing us that our work ultimately does not matter if you do something someone does not like and it goes viral.
Do you have experience with rules only being enforced on specific people? How do you feel about such selective application?
Have you ever imposed rules on some people and not others?
Do you think you should lead by example and follow your own rules?
What do you think of rules in general?
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