Friday, April 23, 2010

Rudeness in Seattle (Do you take lessons in being rude?)

Rudeness in Seattle (Do you take lessons in being rude?)
On one occasion friends of ours arrived at the Minneapolis airport from the Philippines and even though they had their visas, papers and everything in order, they were treated very rudely by immigration.

Government officials can still do their job without being rude, especially with a sign hanging on the wall (for the immigration and custom officers) stating, “You are the face of the USA”, and then the statement “We pledge to treat you with courtesy, dignity and respect.”

When some of our missionaries from India arrived in Seattle, rudeness in immigration was also the order of the day! So much so, that our team member (a very gracious and dignified Indian Doctor) asked the immigration officer very politely as she was leaving, “May I ask you a question? Do you and the other government workers here take lessons in being rude?”

Why is it that so many government officials are so rude and why doesn’t government leadership deal with this?

Is it because an immigration and custom officer has absolute power? People are afraid to complain, because if they do, their name may be flagged in the computer and the next time they travel into the USA, they will have difficulty.

When I go through immigration and customs, I try to be polite, kind, and gracious, but continue to face and witness rudeness, especially among immigration officers in Canada, the USA, and the UK (but surprisingly not in other countries).

What is sad about this is that Canada, the USA, and the UK all have a Christian heritage.

So, yes, I am wondering; do immigration and custom officers take lessons in rudeness?

This is especially a good question for Christians. As God’s people, do we act like Christians? Are we kind, gracious, humble, and considerate of others (Colossians 3:12-14), or just as rude as the world, especially like the immigration and custom officials in Minneapolis and Seattle.

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