Earlier, I was interviewing an applicant who is rich in weight. Then, when he was about to stand up after the interview, the computer chair he was sitting on suddenly broke two supporting feet. This resulted to his sudden fall. I was so embarrassed for him and I really felt uneasy since I think I share my guilt for a moment there, being his purpose of occupying that seat. I asked him if he’s okay and if he wasn’t hurt. Good thing that the walls of the cubicle and some tables acted as barricades from the sights of the other applicants saving him from total humiliation. In these kind of cases, I can’t laugh. I can’t act like nothing happened.
In that instance, I thought of a classmate; a classmate who suffered the same experience. While we were having a morning class in Spanish when I was in college, a disturbing event happened. I was sitting on the left side of the classroom, occupying a seat in the fourth row, two seats before the aisle. This classmate of mine sat in the same row as I do, on the right side of the room, but in the aisle. Behind him is a row of my male classmates. On the counterpart of their row was the row behind me occupied by my female friends. As our professor was conducting a recitation in class, this protagonist of my story suddenly said that he thinks his chair will break soon while testing his chair if it would validate his prediction (parang masisira na ‘tong upuan ko – protagonist). After 10-15 seconds, his chair broke, causing him to fall on his buttocks.
Adrenaline rush went through my classmates, (who occupied the row behind the protagonist) one tapping his desk, the other clapping above his head, and another shouting insignificant things like Mangahas for three. My classmates behind me were also laughing due to seeing the act of a person falling from a chair. To sum it all up, everyone was laughing. This commotion caught the attention of our professor sitting in front while students in front were reciting. He just said, “silencio” (silence) like nothing is happening. He was also laughing but he tried not to. Anyway, the protagonist was sitting on the floor for already 30 seconds, until someone tried to help him. His polo uniform was caught between the broken chair’s foot and the surface providing the capacity to be sat on. He can’t get up easily because he was stuck. This other classmate of mine, whom I thought will be helping our protagonist, just touched the broken chair like pulling it a bit.
Another classmate, beside the fallen protagonist, just looked at him all throughout before he tried to help. He helped the chair, putting the broken thing out of sight in the area of the fallen one. I was the only one who had the guts to ask him if he’s okay and if he needs help as soon as the rising laughter of my classmates (which caught my attention to look in his area) took place. Of course, he said he’s okay. After that incident, whenever he has to be seated on a blue-gray chair made with plastic and steel, he preferred to just sit on the floor. I admire these people, despite being rich in weight, they also have strong emotional quotient, not depicting a single sign of pain, hatred, frustration, and/or any other negative emotions a favorable weighted person will seldom have in terms of cases like this.
Deja vu it is. A young adult, then a middle-aged man being seen to fall from a weak chair. A standard chair for standard people. Now, who’s weak?