Well, that got my heart rate up
This is more of an anecdote than a scenario, but this seems to be the best place to put it.
On the way home from a movie tonight, I realized I hadn't eaten dinner, so I stopped at a gas station to pick up anything with food in it. In retrospect, I probably should've chosen somewhere else, but I was hungry and didn't feel like driving around.
The place was fairly busy with people coming and going, and not very many of them looked like people I would have house-sit for me. Nothing against them, but it had me a hair on edge all the same. I payed for my giant muffin, walked out the door, and headed to my truck.
As I unlocked the door, and started to open it, I saw a guy who had been standing near one of the pumps about 25ft away abruptly start walking straight towards me, with his hands in his pockets. He wasn't running, but was "moving with purpose" and was aimed right at me.
I turned and looked straight at him, and in the process lost my grip on the door handle, which swung shut on its own. I fumbled for an instant and grabbed at the handle again with my weak hand, deciding between standing there and trying to jump into the truck. I chose staying put, moved my attention back to the guy, and said "howdy" as he changed direction about 5ft from me and walked past into the store. He glanced at me, said nothing, and kept moving.
I hopped in the truck, looked for anyone around me, and left. In the process, I noticed that at the time this happened, there was nobody else in the parking lot or at the pumps, and everyone inside was in their own little bubble.
Looking back on it, I'm sure the guy was just walking inside to pay for his gas, and was moving quickly because it was cold outside, but it still gave me a start, and brought my full attention to bear on him.
Lesson number 1 - It only takes a fraction of a second for you to lose all fine motor skills under the slightest of stress. I could not perform the simple action necessary to open my car door when I wanted to.
Lesson number 2 - Having your motor skills fail unexpectedly is distracting. It was surprising enough to pull my attention away from the guy I was concerned about and onto the door handle for a half second or so, which could have been enough time to get me dead if that was his intent.
I've been in only a couple of stressful situations in my life where I thought (or "felt") someone was going to hurt me. This was the first time I actually realised what had happened, and how it affected me. Next time (hopefully never), I will not be as surprised when my hands fail me, and hopefully I will keep my attention where it should stay.
Thoughts or any other lessons I overlooked?
Muscle Memory Is The Key...
...and practice builds muscle memory!
I hope that I will never have to face the 'real' scenario, but I constantly think about potential situations wherever I go...
I always make sure that I'm wearing brown pants, too...just in case something does scare the crap out of me (...an adrenaline rush can do strange things!)
Importance of eye contact
Thank goodness I have never been in a fight or the victim of a violent crime, notwithstanding riding NYC subways well into the AM hours before the city was sort of cleaned up.
Originally Posted by Bob The Great
You avoided a problem because of the eye contact. Crooks depend on surprise. Once the turkey realized you were eyeballing him and alert to him, he wasn't about to do anything further.
I once had a similar situation on an Atlanta street. They guy came right at me, the whole time I looked right at him. He backed down about 12 feet from me.
These are dangerous situations, but there is nothing much to be done except to rely on instinct and either run at the last moment or fight.