Friday, August 9, 2013

What Would You Have Done?

Two different "what would you have done" moments happened this week.  The first was while I was in the produce section of my favorite grocery store this past Tuesday.  I heard a man tell one of the clerks, "hey, I made a mess that needs to be cleaned up!"  Being the "Curious Georgette" that I am, I had to go investigate.  An older gentleman had spilled about 50 grape tomatoes all over the floor, covering about 6-8 feet in all directions.  The clerk looked over and said, "okay, I'll take care of it."  The man kept waiting for the clerk to come over and clean it up. When the clerk didn't immediately come over, he then squatted down and started picking up the tomatoes himself.  I think maybe he was afraid someone might step and/or slip on them.  I watched the man start picking them up and at first I wasn't going to do anything. I went over and said, "uh-oh" which I don't think he found very helpful. Then, I thought, if I spilled a bunch of tomatoes all over the floor, I would hope that someone would take a few moments to help me.  I went over and helped the guy (it took all of 20-30 seconds). Over the course of those 20-30 seconds, he probably thanked me about three times.  I wasn't doing it to be thanked, it just felt like it was the right thing to do.  The second thing happened while I was on the way home from running errands with Lauren on Thursday morning.  We were on a local road a little less than three miles from home.  There were two cars in front of me and I didn't take much notice, until the second of the two cars slammed into the back end of the car in front of it! I was keeping a safe distance from both vehicles, so there wasn't any chance at all that we were going to be involved in the accident.  Since it happened right in front of us, my first instinct was for me to stop, especially when I saw a little smoke coming from one of the cars.  I think at first the two drivers were startled and then within 10-15 seconds they both were out of their cars.  The driver of the second car opened his door and then lay down a few times on the road, then got up. I thought maybe he was hurt, but then figured out he was looking under the car to see how much damage there was.  The driver of the first car was standing by her car on her cell phone.  I kept thinking to myself, should I get out? should I call 911? should I keep going past the accident since I had to get Lauren home?  I asked Lauren about 3-4 times what to do and she said she wasn't sure what to do either.  I decided to hop out of my car.  I then asked the two people, "hey, are you both okay?"  The driver of the first car looked at me and said, "should I call 911?"  I told her yes.  They didn't appear to be injured at all, so I hopped back in my car and then wondered if I should stick around since I had just witnessed an accident. I made the decision since it wasn't a hit and run, no one was injured and they were calling for assistance, that I wasn't really needed.  I drove Lauren home and we decompressed a little.  Both of us were a little shook up.  Even though we weren't involved in the accident, it still was a bit disconcerting.  Lauren just got her driver's license about two weeks ago and she was getting ready to drive herself to a sports practice. Both the tomato incident and witnessing an accident right in front of me made me realize that I guess it's in my nature to want to help others.  That's what I hope I'm instilling in my children.  That we shouldn't be so focused on ourselves and to always be aware if someone needs our help. What would you have done in both circumstances? would you have helped? why or why not?


  1. Hi Cathy. In the car accident incident, I guess if I needed to leave the scene before law enforcement showed up, I would have left my name and phone number with the front driver. And I would have called the sheriff or police as soon as I got home and left my name and number with them regarding that particular incident. Possibly neither of the drivers (especially the rear driver!) contacted the law, and in some states you don't have to if there are no injuries or damage over a certain dollar amount. The problem there is who can determine the extent of damage with a glance? In Wisconsin if you witness an accident and you are among the first 3 vehicles on the scene you MUST offer to assist and/or call 9-1-1. Unfortunately, these days people don't because they don't want to get involved.

  2. After I got home that day, I second guessed myself the whole day as to whether I should have waited until the police came. If I ever witness another accident, I am definitely waiting until help gets there! Thanks so much for the comment and reading my blog :)


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