Toll Booth Worker Resorts To Calling Customer 'Pariah' After A Dispute Over 80 Cents
"How can you say 'pariah' (outcast)?" those were the words of an upset taxi driver as he rebuked a toll booth attendant yesterday, 29 November.
It is believed that the incident happened at about 9.15am yesterday at the Sungai Nyior Toll Plaza in Butterworth, Penang where a staff believed whose name is believed to be Zatul, had called a customer a 'pariah'. The customer is a taxi driver.
'Pariah' originally refers to a lower caste group in India and the word is often used as a derogatory term.
It is understood that the incident transpired when the taxi driver reprimanded Zatul after she charged him for the Class 1 price, for private cars, instead of the Class 4 price, for taxis.
Instead of refunding the taxi driver, Zatul allegedly uttered the word "pariah" to the customer.
A user named Ravi Chandran took to Facebook to share about this ordeal. He posted a video to show what transpired at the scene.
At the beginning of the video, Zatul appears to be explaining to a security guard about what happened.
It was then, the taxi driver was heard asking the security guard if the supervisor was going to see him. The security guard, however, said that he does not know.
The taxi driver immediately lost his patience after listening to the security guard's response.
"You are a security guard but you say such things like "don't know"," he said.
It was at this point that the security guard displayed thuggish behaviour which was captured on camera
He shouted at the taxi driver, challenging the customer to lodge a report against him.
The security guard also confidently said that he was "Usop from Shelter Security" when the taxi driver asked for his name.
He also did not back down and badgered the taxi driver for his address, saying that he will come looking for the taxi driver if he loses his job.
At this point, the taxi driver and the security guard kept quarreling until the supervisor came to the scene
"She hit the wrong button. I did not get angry, you know? She said that she did not see me and I said that she should have seen me first before pressing anything. Now this is not my fault and you should have reimbursed me, am I right?," the taxi driver was heard saying.
"She went on to say, 'If we pressed already, you should just carry on'. I said, 'How can this happen? 80 cents is difficult to find'," the taxi driver explained to the supervisor, adding that the attendant uttered the word 'pariah' to him after that.
"We should be courteous and have good manners. Don't simply call others 'pariah'. We don't eat shit," the taxi driver said, who went on to say that the security guard involved was also being rude and acted like a gangster.
The supervisor agreed that it was unreasonable for Zatul to have uttered such an offensive word to a customer
She acknowledged that Zatul made a mistake and offered an apology to the taxi driver on behalf of her.
Meanwhile, Ravi said on his Facebook that this was not the first time the toll staff had charged customers wrongly.
"I advise the toll staffs not to play with your handphone while working and to respect customers of different races because their money is used to pay your salary," he added.
It was reported that Penang toll operator Lingkaran Luar Butterworth (LLB) Sdn Bhd has initiated a domestic inquiry into the incident
According to LLB Human Resource officer Norlina Mohd Saiadin, her team had spoken to the taxi driver yesterday after he filed a report about the incident at their office in Bagan Ajam.
"The customer told us he will not lodge a police report or make the issue viral. However, late last night I saw that the issue became viral," she was quoted as saying by NST.
Norlina said that LLB had apologised to the taxi driver yesterday over the incident and had given him the assurance that the company will take measures against the staff.
She added that she will be holding a meeting with the management to discuss the issue. It is very likely that they will be arranging a meeting with the taxi driver in question in order to resolve the issue, NST reported.