Who Are You When No One Is Watching?
*This is a Flashback Friday piece written a while ago, about some questionable behavior on my part.
I watched several people walk right by it. I did too. Twice.
Obviously some trash had found its way onto the path and into the planters in front of the door to the Y.
It looked like as if it had made a break for it on the way to the dumpster that lived around the side of the building. It consisted of a few pieces of shredded paper, a power bar wrapper and parts of a banana peel. As I walked around it on my way in, I thought: Gee, someone needs to pick that up.
I’m sure the guy in the way too tight and shiny bike shorts, holding the door for me, thought the same thing.
After my 45 mins of extremely rigorous and effective circuit training (15 mins on the elliptical, 15 mins on the arm machines and 15 mins gossiping with Tina at the front desk)
I sprinted (walked slowly), with Bruno Mars still blaring in my ears, to my car.
When I saw that the trash was still by the doorway, I was annoyed, Jeez, that’s still there? I’d better go tell Tina to send someone to pick it up. And I walked right by.
What. an. assbite.
The sheer audacity of my own entitled ass-bite-ish-ness stopped me in my tracks.I looked around. Someone WAS sent to pick up the trash. Me.
I bent down, made sure I got all the pieces, walked back inside and threw it in the can that was next to the door. With my own, two, manicured hands. It took me less than a minute. Probably less than 30 seconds.
Sometimes I just shake my head in amazement…at my own behavior.
Who are we, when no one is watching? Are we assbites that walk by trash, or people in need? Do we turn our heads or pretend we’re on the phone?
Or are we people with some character? I think we can be both.
Back in the day, right after I bought my house, I LIVED at the 24 hour Hollywood Home Depot. I would walk down EVERY aisle like it was a gourmet market. Even the lumber department.
It was dependable, free entertainment, by the fact that it was consistently crowded with a cross-section of the most unique examples of humanity on the planet. It was the bar scene from Star Wars. AND, they played KROQ, an alternative rock radio station on the store PA after 6pm.
One night (It seemed I always needed a plunger or a dimmer switch at 11pm) in the aisle between electrical supplies and sprockets, was a sharp something or other that hadn’t been put back properly. As I absent mindedly strolled by, rocking out to The Clash, it jumped out and sliced my leg. Bad. Blood was suddenly EVERWHERE. It started to resemble a crime scene and as I looked around for help…crickets. There had easily been ten people on that aisle seconds before, and now it was deserted. Not a single soul.
People freak when they see blood. And a girl in denim overall shorts and Doc Martins hopping on one leg, howling OWWWWWWEEEEE loudly is certainly terrifying, I get it.
They don’t want to get involved.
I’ll never understand that. When you see someone fall, find a crying, lost child, or stumble upon a bleeding new homeowner –– see if you can help.
Be a person of some character. Even if no one else is watching.
Someone must have hunted down an employee, because a guy that looked like my brother, if my brother was COVERED in tattoos and wearing a Home Depot shirt, came to my rescue.
He quickly wrangled the guilty object that cut me back into its cubby, tied a tattered bandana around my ankle and told me to go get stitches and a tetanus shot.
In that order.
He also alerted me to the fact that I roamed those aisles “at my own risk.” Regardless, he was kind as he smiled and helped me back up on my feet.
It was then that my hero appeared. I heard angels singing.
He showed up with one of those flatbed wheelie things, and asked if I needed transport to my car. How chivalrous.
See…now this guy has some character.
Problem was, he resembled a biker/vampire, and I was sure the smell of my blood had beckoned him to my side. I declined his kind offer, and hobbled alone in the dark to my car, looking over my shoulder for a bat, or my scary pale, blood thirsty, knight in shining armor.
With all the cameras everywhere and YouTube video postings, we will all eventually get caught in the act. But we have a choice. Will it capture us in a random act of helping or hiding?
Tell me, are you the person that springs to action when someone falls or drops trash? Or have you caught yourself not wanting to get involved? Also, has something happened to you, and no one helped out? I’d love to hear your escapades?