This is one of those strange coincidence times.  A few weeks ago, I wrote about an experience my friend had when she gave a service provider a bad rating- how the provider began texting her, etc.  On Sunday I was visiting my parents at their over 55 complex.  One of the residents was recently on the ABC show “What Would You Do”, which is a realty type show wherein actors stage an incident (like appearing to be drunk and about to drive) and they basically see how bystanders react- ie- would you step into a situation and say something.

Ok- so that’s the worlds colliding part.

When I wrote my blog, one person commented “You have to write the bad review.  you have to call out the guy who reacted angrily to a bad review.  We can’t let the bullies win.” Which I agree with- we can’t let the bullies win.  But at what cost can we not let the bullies win?  At what point do we risk our safety in order to prove a point?

Now, I’d like to say that I would be the person to stand up to bullies, to always do the honorable thing no matter what the cost…but in reality- I don’t know what I would do in a situation like that. If speaking up meant putting my daughter in danger, I am pretty confident I would not speak up.  I’m not that strong.  I will protect my daughter at all cost, and while I would gladly give up my freedom, safety and life for her, but I don’t know if I would give it up for someone else.  I just don’t know. After I read Kristen Hannah “The Nightingale” I really confronted myself with personal what if’s.

Now- let’s bring in the TV show.  I once watched part of this show (for the record- I hate this show because I think it promotes vigilantism, and makes people enter situations where they are only seeing part of a story.  Unless I see someone in physical danger I am not confronting anyone based on words alone- I do not know the backstory).  The particular scene I watched took place at a water bar I guess you’d call it.  To visit this bar you had to drive your boat up to it.  The actor appeared very drunk and looked as if he was about to get into his boat and drive.  I agree that this was a life threatening dangerous situation.  I agree that this man needed to be stopped.  But I would contact the police, 911, coast guard, navy- literally any outlet I could think of- but I would not go up and try to take this guys keys away.  Call me a coward, but if this guy was drunk and belligerent, what was I going to be able to do about it?  He was probably twice my size. Now, the way the show is set up, anyone who stands to the side is a wimp, called out for not taking a stand.  Is this fair?

Now here’s my audience interaction part: How far would you go to help someone?  What are you willing to risk?  Do you confront a bully?  What would make you risk your life? When do you put yourself on the line?

OK- I’m adding this incident to the post, so this section did not appear to anyone who read this early- but I realize it probably belongs.

A few weeks ago I was at the supermarket- long line, and I had finally reached the front.  I saw a man enter the store and immediately go to the cashier.  I said calmly that there was a line and I pointed behind me.  The man got belligerent, told me to mind my own business and started yelling at me.  if someone could get so angry over me pointing out a line, what else is someone capable of?

36 thoughts on “What Do you Do?

  1. It depends on the situation…. I have a rule that if my kids are with me- I walk away and get them away from things. When it is just me? I can be extremely confrontational. I remember one instance when a man was becoming increasingly rude with a cashier at a grocery store- started yelling down the store and the floor manager became involved- all over them not carrying the exact product he wanted! The man wouldn’t listen to them. I walked up and told him basically to stuff his nasty attitude and get over it because never mind the staff… ‘I’ was about to call the police on him if he didn’t stop verbally abusing them. He huffed and puffed and left. I honestly think he was out to make a scene because he could.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I won’t confront irrational tellers anymore, because too many incidents with them becoming violent. I have gotten management involved in situations that I thought were escalating. I don’t have one of those calming, rational voices that instantly cools down a situation. And just an anecdote….I was recently on line at the grocery. A guy came in and went up to the cashier. I told him there was a line and I pointed. He got belligerent…started screaming to me to mind my own business and to shut up. This was just me calmly telling someone there was a protocol. I don’t trust how people react in any situation

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I often wonder this myself, but I will tell you this- there have been certain situations where I simply spoke up without even needing to consider it. Looking back, it was probably more foolish than brave, but when you see something really awful going down, I think it is our instinct to intervene. I once saw a man LITERALLY beating a woman, with his fists- he had pulled over across the street from my house in Sparks, Nevada, and pulled the woman out of the car and started waling on her. I witnessed all of this. I grabbed my phone, dialed 911, and started running for the car, screaming at him to stop. I don’t know what I would have done if he’d come after me. I didn’t think that far. I just had to help. Unfortunately, he shoved her back in the car and peeled off- I never found out what happened, but I hope she was okay. There have been several other times when I instinctively put myself in harms way to defend someone else, so I guess I just know subconsciously when I need to help…and when I need to just mind my business. I’ve also called 911 when I’ve seen people obviously driving drunk on the freeway, too. Scary stuff. But I think we know when we have to say something.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If I saw someone being physically abused I would do what you did, because the instinct is to help someone in danger….but I just don’t know. Everyone acts irrationally now. Not sure

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I had an incident last Friday and with an eye doctor. I was there an hour and 20 minutes – most of that just waiting around – before the doctor came wandering in and said “are you waiting on me?” I said “well, I’m waiting on somebody, it’s been over an hour since my appointment time.” He replied in a snide voice “if you don’t like our wait times, you can just go someplace else!”

    I said “That sounds like a GREAT idea!” and I walked out. The nurse followed me to the front waiting room and started yelling at me and repeating what the doctor said. Instead of letting her badmouth me I stuck up for myself. The full waiting room and all the staff got a show but I refused to be abused. I’d also like to point out that my eyes were dilated during this and I looked insane.

    To answer the real question: yes, I would stick up for someone. Whether the kids were with me would determine the level of help.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I left a dentists office (daughters) because I didn’t like the way we were being treated. But I think that’s different because I was totally involved in the situation on all fronts. And no matter how irate the nurse/doctor was, my logical sense would be that they would tirade and that would be the end of it. I think too many people get a form of road rage and I don’t think anything will stop them. I just replied to someone that a guy got nuts on me because I told him there was a line at the market….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was already leaving of my own free will and not causing a scene. I just wonder why that particular, unenvolved person decided that today was the day she was going to make literally no sense and scream at a patient. Oh well.

        On the other side of things, my husband is a retired police officer and there was once where he was on the side of the road with someone who was actively fighting him. A car stopped, the lady jumped out, and instead of helping the police officer she started screaming at him to let the criminal go. No knowledge of what the incident entailed up until that point, she needed to free this dangerous person from the law. Other officers showed directly after that and she was not successful.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s the problem….people get nuts now about everything! But, I admit I don’t always want to get involved because I don’t know what the whole story is….things aren’t always as they appear…how do you actually know the situation?

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  4. I get what your saying. But when confronted with a bully situation I remember being the bullied kid. Seeing previously friendly faces jeering for me to get my ass beat for breathing,for being quiet. I’ve taught my son a bystander who does nothing(yes,call the cops) is lower scum than the bully.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with you…the world today has become scary…random acts of violence even to children and the elderly…people getting into a rage over the simplest of things…if it comes to protecting my kids then I would definitely walk away and use it as a learning experience for them…show them that there is strength in walking away….If I were on my own I would just let it pass because its just not worth it (the supermarket incident) … if it had to do with someone’s safety I would make a similar choice to yours and find help and not necessarily confront the person myself as that could put me in physical danger….for the record I don’t like that program either…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I do not like that show. I usually just give someone The Look. Although here in Oklahoma you’re shopping with people who carry guns on their waist, so things could escalate fast. I am quick to pull out my phone and take a picture of someone or their car if I think something fishy is going on. Tommy is always pulling me back saying I’m going to get him killed one day. lol

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m with you on every point here. I have stood up to a person who was bullying another when I was by myself. I would never put my kids or grandkids in harm’s way. And in the televised incident, alerting the proper authorities rather than confronting the potential offender would by far be the smarter decision.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree. And with kids….my friend was in the market with her kid who got crazed cause the mom wouldn’t buy her something and the kid started screaming you’re not my mother, which alerted people, police, the whole thing. Now, I know I’d call the police if a kid was screaming your not my mother , but yeah….

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Well put it this way if my brain could process what an earth was going on at the time I’d like to THINK I would stand up to a bully……………. but I have a feeling you only ever know if you’re unfortunate to witness a situation. I’d like to think so but who knows?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m just shit-crazy enough that the old man in the grocery would be answering to the cops about why he verbally assaulted me in public. Or, since this is Texas and Texas is a “stand your ground” state, he might have been trying to figure out how to remove my boot from his colon.
    I hate conflict, and I don’t generally instigate it; however, I am not going to run from it (which is part of my mental & spiritual sickness that wound me up in 12-steps fellowships)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The ‘What Would You Do?’ Genre of shows are banned in the UK after a Nurse committed suicide. Our Queen was in Hospital, two Australian radio DJ’s phoned, got through and spun a story of lies to the Night Nurse (a mother), she was beside herself upset she’d embarrassed the Queen and the next day took her own life, consequently any programs involving hoodwinking/testing/pranking innocent member’s of public are deemed high risk. Whatever their best intentions ultimately the TV Company makes unwitting stars of someone when perhaps they’re not mentally up to coping or being embarrassed. I to dislike those shows.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m outspoken, so I generally speak up if I see something I don’t like. That being said, I’ve noticed an increasing number of people complaining about long waits at doctor’s offices lately and wonder why they bother. It’s not going to change anything, and everyone else is in the same boat. I am not faulting the woman at the eye doctor’s office for speaking up – that is a different situation and totally outrageous. But in general, people have lost the ability to wait patiently for anything, including their deli order.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you. There are certain places where complaining will get you no where. I don’t like to be treated poorly, but sometimes waiting is inevitable. And sometimes it’s just the shit happens…

      Liked by 1 person

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