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Chivalry (and basic decency) is SO dead!

July 13th, 2006, 11:25 PM
Rant time-tonight I had one of those really dumb things happen. I stopped at a store on the way home from dropping my husband off at work, and when I came out, the car wouldn't start. And, of course, since it's summer, i did the dumb thing and left the house with only my keys, my liscence and insurance, and a 5$ bill. I have roadside assistance through my cell phone-which was sitting at home because I forgot it, too. Arggh! That is not what made me so mad though.

I went back into the store to ask about a boost, and the cashier said she had cables, but her own car has issues, so if I could find someone to boost my car, I could use her cables. 10 people in the store, not one offer of help. Not one person would even meet my eyes. So, it's 9:45pm in a busy mall area, with fast food joints around and the convenience store, a Tim's...I'm a lone female, all of 5'3'', non-threatening in any way-of the hundred or so people around, only the cashier offered me any help at all.

Belatedly, I remembered that I have one of those booster pack thingies, so I tried that (didn't work-the battery is fine). So, I've got the hood up and people are streaming past and not a single person so much as asked me if I needed help. The cashier asked a customer she knew to have a look for me, and he did but couldn't fix it. So, in over an hour only 2 people were willing to offer aid.

The real kicker-this area is where all the local car freaks hang out. All the tuners and tweakers are standing around with their cars 10 feet behind me. Guess all their car knowledge begins and ends with cosmetics. :mad: People suck!

Tomorrow morning, I'll go back to the car with cellphone in hand and get it towed to a mechanic, but nothing is going to erase the bitter taste in my mouth for a long time. It stinks that I have no family here, and just about everyone we know was at work with my husband at the time.

I can't even begin to count the number of boosts and such I have given over the years. What happened to basic decency?

July 14th, 2006, 12:26 AM
That sucks! I have to say, I have VERY little faith in people, but sometimes, it really is a fluke- you just end up with all the wrong people at the wrong time.

But then other times everything works out.:)

Last week here, a woman's car stalled in a bad place and three pedestrian men (I mean walking men, not "primitive" or something ;)) ran to help her get out of the way. I thought that was amazing. She had barely realized she was stalled and they were already there.

A few years ago when we went to PEI, we stopped at a vet to drug Boo up for the ride home and while we were in there, my man checked the oil and things before getting on the road. The minute his hood was up, somebody pulled off the highway to ask if we needed help. :eek: :)

July 14th, 2006, 01:18 AM
Sorry you had such a bad experience.. that does suck. No good samaritians to be found.:mad: The car people just hanging around
was reallly the icing on the cake, I'm sure. Pretty upsetting all in all..

It's these kinds of things that make people cynical.. help others in need..but when the shoe is on the other foot... where's "your" assistance?
But, sometimes it's just the way it unfolds. Bad luck.. followed by more bad luck.:rolleyes:

July 14th, 2006, 01:32 AM
Thanks for the sympathy guys. I'm mostly over my fit of pique by now. Still annoyed, but, hey, it happens. It won't stop me from lending a hand whenever I can to someone else. I would feel awful if I didn't. :)

I just remembered another breakdown years ago, one where lots of people stopped to offer help. I had gone and phoned CAA and was back waiting at the car-I think it was about 7 people or so that stopped to ask if I needed anything. I remember thinking, at the time, "You know you're having a bad day when a clown stops to ask you if you need help!" because, sure enough, Checkers the Clown (a local entertainer) in his black and white checkered car was the last one before the tow-truck to stop and offer me a lift to a phone. I have a wicked clown phobia and it was so hard to politely refuse a ride when I wanted to run away screaming....

July 14th, 2006, 01:36 AM
lol I'm sorry you're afraid of clowns but that's a funny story.

July 14th, 2006, 01:37 AM
At least your car problem occured where you could at least fend for yourself, I recall anumber of years back a woman whose car quit on her on HWY 401, it was in the middle of winter and evening hours when this occured , she spent 12 hours sitting in a car freezing with no heat, no offers of help, before the police finally showed up the next morning.

When I slid off the highway in the middle of a snowstorm in Ohio during a dog GUR , I had help with in seconds they phoned a tow truck to winch me out of the ditch and within 1/2 hour I was back on the road, in my own home town I waited 3 hours for CAA to arrive in the middle of summer they took the car to their service center saying it might be the alternator, they would fix it the next day, it was 3 day days later before the car was fixed and all it need was a battery, those 3 days without a car costed me more for a taxi to get back and forth to work than it did for the battery, I would have hated to see what the wait would have been here if there been a stormstorm.

July 14th, 2006, 01:42 AM
That sucks! :( I'm sorry you had to go through that.

Also, clowns are scary. I completely understand why they made Batman's arch-nemesis a clown.

July 14th, 2006, 01:49 AM
lol I'm sorry you're afraid of clowns but that's a funny story.

That's why I shared :D -to prove I still have a sense of humour. It could have been worse tonight, right? Maybe the only offer of help I might have gotten was another clown, while I was alone in the dark!!!:eek: I would have had nightmares for months!

OntarioGreys, I know what you mean. The horror stories about breakdowns can go on and on. I broke down in winter on the QEW once. I chose to walk up the closest ramp and go for help, rather than wait it out. In retrospect, I might have been safer with the car than walking up an on-ramp in poor weather. This time, I was at least in a well-lit and populated area, with payphones close by (not to mention my :angel: , the friendly store clerk.)

Rick C
July 14th, 2006, 08:30 AM
This thread sounds like a downer . . . .

Just sticking up for myself . . . . . I stopped on my way home from work in the middle of no where on the bald butt prairie on a windy, cold winter day last year to assist a woman busted down on the highway . . . . I gave her a ride back to her farm about five miles back on the road.

I also found a pregnant woman spun out into the ditch on an snowy, early winter morning last year . . . . I offered assistance but she had already phoned her hubby and declined a ride.

And yesterday, I held the door open for a lady at a bank.

Surprisingly, its not uncommon for people, particularly rather sleazy looking people, to hold the door open for suit-clad myself at the local 7-11 when I go over for my morning Diet Coke!!! Small town Alberta though.

Thought I would add some good news to the thread.

Rick C

July 14th, 2006, 12:32 PM
And yesterday, I held the door open for a lady at a bank.
lol Maybe it's Montreal, but I'm so used to having the door opened for me and me opening the door for others. It's pretty rare to have one slammed in your face by a non-courteous, self-absorbed person.:D

July 14th, 2006, 04:31 PM
I am not crazy about clowns either. I am no great story - just was scared by some as a child or something, lol (I don't fear them exactly but I do not care for them at all.)

Here in the Maritimes, I have never known an accident or incident where there has been failure to help but we are still a small region. Still, that happens even in our cities. I am sure there are exceptions of course - I just have never heard of any. I was shopping with my mom once at large grocery store located in a mall. We were talkiing and she realized only by the time we were at the next mall that she had left her purse in the grocery cart in the parking lot!! We drove back to the mall but by that time, my dad called to say a store cashier had noticed it, checked the purse and called their home. Recently, I was at a meeting at a municipal hall - I had too much on my mind I guess and left my purse (with my cell phone, credit cards, money, even a prescription pad!!!, hospital ID tag, etc,etc.) I did not know many these people (It was in a small community I rarely visit) and it was well attended meeting. Because I was so busy, I did not noticed the missing purse until later in the day - too much to do I guess. By then, anyone connected with the building where the meeting was held had gone home. I called first thing the next morning - a secretary had found my purse and kept it for me. She thought I'd be back the same day! Not a thing was missing - I note though that this is a community where rarely would one even consider locking their doors.

When I hit a moose a few years ago, just after I called 911, a motorist stopped to help.

I myself ALWAYS stop if I see an accident - and while I know some in my field worry about litigation in the event of a not good outcome - I am only following the tradition of my dad who in the days before 911 and 24 hour on call ambulances, often stopped and raced people to the hospital. I note that when I stop and offer help if it needed, other medical professionals also do so or have done so as well if it is in a busy location.

And I have to say I have experienced kindness not just in the Maritimes. Once, at Logan Airport, I left my briefcase with my laptop near an ATM. I was almost at my gate when i realized I did not have it. (Yes, I had way too much on my mind but I was rushing to make a connecting flight). I returned to the area in question - to discover the nearby Delta staff had my briefcase!! I was so relieved. You can bet I sent their supervisors a letter of thanks and them flowers!!

I can think of many other instances. I see people giving and volunteering their time at the hospital day in and day out and during the Swiss Air Disaster near St. Margaret's Bay, many in our region provided places for people to stay when their planes were diverted here. I was one of those- had all those bedrooms. I made friends for life!

Often when i am leaving for a tour of duty with Doctors without Borders, local people will offer me items to bring especially to the children in whatever region or they will send me huge boxes of toys, clothing and other items after I am there. Mostly, relief groups need money but the toys are wonderful!!!

So all in all, my experience has been positive. I sometimes encounter a clerk in a bad mood but I think s/he may just have had a bad day or if it is routine, try to avoid her or him.

The only comment re cables is that sometimes people are afraid their own vehicle will not work after they have helped - but if these guys were car gurus, they should have had better knowledge I would think. Admittedly, I am not sure I would know how to boost a car (I have never done that or have needed it) but had I been there and no one came forward, I would have called someone who could help you.

I have a friend - who is in pastoral care - who once was walking down the street in the cold winter and met someone who lacked a proper coat. She gave hers to the woman and went to buy another for herself. I'd like to say I am that generous but one gets used to comfortable clothes so I am prob not up to her generous standards.

Twice, I have found money (both times in a washroom) - once at Disney World and once in a large store - and was able to return it the owners!!

Anyway - there are still good people in the world!

July 14th, 2006, 07:30 PM
Yep, still plenty of good people-just that last night, I only ran into 2 out of a hundred or so. I think it was just such a shock because other times I have broken down, there have been so many offers of help I had to refuse most of it.

That, and probably a blow to my ego that I am no longer young and cute enough to automatically be surrounded by would-be heros at the first sign of car trouble ;) !

Prin, I wish that the automatic hold the door thing held here! On a good week, it runs about 50-50 that the person in front of you will hold the door for you vs letting it close in your face. I always hold the door and you should see the look of shock on many faces when I do it. Sad.

Here's the rest of my car saga-went back this morning and called the auto club. 1.5 hours later, the truck finally showed up (after being told 25 minutes :rolleyes: ) but that's not really unusual first thing in the morning. The driver decided all I needed was a boost-and wasted another half hour determinedly attempting to boost it. Finally, he hooked it up to tow it. My husband and I had to get a cab to the mechanic's-no biggie. Except, the mechanic wasn't there. Didn't answer the door or the phone. So now we are in the industrial area (such as it is) with no car, no cab and no mechanic. 30 minutes later (for a 5 minute drive), the tow truck finally gets there. Still no mechanic in the shop. Sent the towtruck on ahead to a DIFFERENT garage and walked over. *SIGH*

Think that this is the end? Wrong! The starter motor needed to be replaced (which is pretty much what I expected by this point), which should have been simple. They had to order 3 different starter motors because my 1998 car doesn't have a 98 starter or a 98 sports starter, oh, no-it has a 1997 starter, which is totally different!:evil:

But the net result is, the car starts and I had it back around 4 this afternoon. So I am happy, after all the drama :p !

Now, I only hope nothing happens tomorrow during our 8 hour drive.

July 14th, 2006, 09:36 PM
Have a good trip - I hope it is remarkably calm and uneventful. :)

July 14th, 2006, 09:56 PM
My faith in honest people was restored about 3 weeks ago when I stupidly left my wallet sitting on top of our truck and we drove away. When we went back to look for it, it was gone and I was losing it! I had almost $200 in there, plus all my son's identification, my hubby's birth certificate and of course all my id.

I get home and my phone is ringing. The guy that picked up my wallet looked up my name in the phone book and called me! I was sooooo relieved! He told me he found my wallet at the intersection leaving the grocery store. So he took it into the store and I went and picked it up and EVERYTHING was in it. Not a cent missing.

I thought for sure that someone was going to take the money and just throw out the wallet and that I would never see it again.

I litterally thanked this guy so many times I imagine he thought I was a psycho crazy lady. LOL

July 14th, 2006, 10:14 PM
Wow, Rayne, that's crazy humanity! :highfive:

July 14th, 2006, 10:53 PM
Last winter, my BF dropped his new cellphone while walking the dogs, only noticed it when he got home. Forget about tracing steps in that weather... well my cellphone rang an hour later, a squeegie kid had found the phone and dialed the last # that showed up on his phone (thankfully it was mine!) to see if he could trace the owner - he was only 3 or 4 blocks away! BF was sooo grateful, they met at the corner gas station, and he gave the kid $20 for his trouble but he didn't want it, but finally agreed... it was a good day. so easy to find something like that and either toss it, or keep it for yourself! :o

July 14th, 2006, 11:11 PM
I've had people let the doors go many times but the worst is that as a caregiver (for 9 years) to a young disabled woman I've had people just walk through the door next to me while I'm trying to get through with my friend in her wheel chair. They just ignore us. But there are good people in the world too. We went to a Mikes restaurant and the waitress bent down to take my friends order ( usually they look at me ,because sadly, a lot of people think that physically disabled people are also mentally disabled). She was so happy to be acknowledged that we asked to see the manager to compliment her service. The girl was so happy she ran to the door to help us out when we were done and thanked us with a big smile ( they helped us in too). So we were all in a good mood after our nice lunch.

I hope you let them know that their offered help was appreciated.

July 15th, 2006, 07:01 AM
Oh, yeah! I thanked the clerk about 50 times and the man who took at look at the car to try and help, too! He offered me the use of his cellphone, even, and I think would have offered me a ride back home, but...woman alone at night, strange man-so I graciously thanked him for his assistance and let him off the hook that way.

I know that the clerk is back in on Monday night-I'm going to stop by with a thank-you card and some flowers (and call her boss on Monday morning, too!).:thumbs up

Rick C
July 15th, 2006, 02:00 PM
. . . . . and standing in line early this morning to get into the grounds of the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede (the Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth) a lady behind me taps me on the shoulder and gives me a free pass . . . .

"I won't be using it someone might as well get something from it," she says.

I said "thank you, 'preciate it" . . . . . and got in free.

Rick C

July 15th, 2006, 09:32 PM
:highfive: Woo hoo!!! Good to know that decency is not dead after all! :D

Had nothing but people holding the door open and saying thanks when I held the door all day! :angel: Hope it keeps up.

July 16th, 2006, 12:16 PM
I tend to hold the door open most times (unless I'm totally in my own little world and don't realise there's someone behind me) and its kinda funny the looks of shock and startled "thanks" I get. Apparently people aren't expecting young people/teenagers to do that sort of thing anymore (it happened especially when I was a teen).

Whenever someone holds the door for me I always say "thanks" and again I've had looks of shock at that too. I almost always say "thank you" to the bus drivers when getting off their busses, once again more looks of shock from both the drivers and the passengers. (I think the bus drivers appreciate it too)

I remember on the way to my boyfriend's house there was an accident on the on-ramp. It was an older guy and he flipped his van into the ditch (clear pavement and everything so I'm not sure why). I remember seeing the dust cloud but not the actual accident itself and my friends and I pulled over to see if he was ok. He was perfectly fine (though because of shock he kept trying to pick up his perscription pills he'd picked up earlier cuz they were all over the van) and we waited until the ambulance/police showed up just in case he took a turn for the worst. About three or four other people stopped and stayed as well and we ended up turning away a good 10 or so for help. We actually had people run across the median of the highway (403) to see if he needed help (which probably would have resulted in another accident had it been busy in that section).

So I say chivalry isn't dead, its just randomly taking a hiatus and we'd really really love it back!


July 16th, 2006, 12:59 PM
I was very moved about the story re the woman with a disability. I always try to directly look at people who utilize wheelchairs (I have had to learn to walk again myself so understand what a disabily is but no one can truly say they comprehend being in a wheelchair always unless they are there themselves) and I am short so it helps. :)

I get very annoyed at people who use spaces set aside for pp lwith disabilties who are quite capable of walking. My orthopedic suregon "made" me acquire one of those signs for my car but I never use it. (In my case it is chronic pain, etc, etc and walking too far can do me in) I always tell anyone I see doing that they are breaking the law!

I once found a wallet in a grocery store in my home town (in the produce section of all places). I read it and called the person - who I knew by reputation. I waited for him at the store and he came and picked it up. (The wallet story reminded me of that, lol)