Is Shoe-Polishing an Evolutionary Skill?

There is bound to be one everywhere you go--the ubiquitous pengilap kasut (shoe-polisher) or a**-kisser as my new close friend in Vancouver calls them. Even after meeting many and having to work with them at some point or another, I still have not completely gotten used to them.

They make my skin crawl. 

I don't know how they do it. I am very patient, but pretend to like you and polish you up is something I just can't make myself do. If I don't like you, it's pretty obvious (thankfully, I don't dislike many people), although I've gotten better at being civil and not just avoiding you. 

I have to kind of work with one currently. The first time I met her, my skin crawled horribly. She started by telling me she needed to "teach you how to handle people." Now it's not arrogance that's making me not like her--I'm the same girl who let a fresh first-year undergraduate "teach" me how to read a journal article while everyone looked at me incredulously for a whole half hour. 

When the girl (nice thing!) was done and had left, people wanted to know why I hadn't just told her I know how to read journals. Well, she was beaming when she sat to teach me, and if it makes her day, why not? And it did make her day, although she was rather sheepish a while later when she found out I had graduated, but she thanked me profusely for not telling her off. I told her I was fine with it if she ever wanted to practice "teaching" anything, and she was even happier with that!

So what's with shoe-polishers? Is this an evolutionary skill of some sort? It can't be just culture, because they can be found across the world! 

Ergh, geram only. Guess that's the working world. 


Anonymous said…
There is one EVERY WHERE! I have 5 people like that in my department and we only have 9 people.
Mina Jade said…
Another kind of a**-kissing is call a tripod stand :)

But I guess some people use apple-polishing as a mechanism to boast their self-esteem.