You and your guys made it home. Everything else is secondary.
Can't say if I'd have helped or not. Usually, yeah. But with the family and an odd feeling......probably not.
Far better that he finds a jump from somebody else than your town reads about you in the paper.
If you had been inclined to help, you might have led your family and the man and daughter back into the store and asked if they had a security guard to observe your jumping the guy's car. It's very difficult to connect jumpers without turning your back on the guy and bending over while under your hood. That's a very bad situation. Especially if his car wouldn't start, what do you do when he asks your to take he and his daughter home? It's hard to help someone a little bit then abandon them.
Likewise if I needed a jump in a supermarket parking lot with my child, I think I might have gone inside and asked someone to help in the lit building, maybe get a second person to make them more comfortable being vulnerable. This is the advice I would have given the guy as I declined his request.
I also trust my instincts. Trust them. If you got a bad vibe, don't doubt yourself ever!!
I have helped when it felt OK, and didn't when it didn't. So far, no regrets.
The only time I distinctly felt like I shouldn't do something, pushed those feelings down and did it anyway (because my ex wanted to) I regretted it. Now, it was a low-risk thing becoming friends with a coworker who I had previously kept my distance from, my "life" wasn't in danger but my job eventually was (my nose was clean enough and I made out ok in the end) and my truck window was busted over it (even though I couldn't prove who did it, I know). All I suffered was stress and headaches, $29 for a new window and 3 police reports. I made a conscious decision NEVER to purposefully ignore my gut again!!
And I have melted a pair of jumper cables lol my friend made the mistake of not hooking up his own battery in the dark, I noticed them start to smoke and screamed yank them off!! no damage occurred to either vehicle. It was a friend of mine who wound up just giving me a ride home and I dealt with the dead battery in the daylight the next day. I told him right then, always do your own battery since you should know it best - if you don't know your own car you're probably better off just NOT offering to jump. But hey, I did it, and it was my cables that died, so I couldn't be too upset at him. The problem is that there are few friends to choose from at almost 2am.....
Yes, listen to your gut, but also examine WHY your gut said "no".
Gut instincts don't come from nowhere, they come from little clues that were read by your subconscious but weren't obvious enough to enter your train of thought. It's helpful to examine those to improve your SA in the future (and to help you explain why you felt threatened, if necessary. "Gut instinct" isn't a sufficient answer).
jumper cables looked brand new, as if just purchased
weird body language from kid
adult seemed nervous
An excellent book that will walk you through this process is "The Gift of Fear", by Gavin DeBecker.
FWIW, I wouldn't have helped this fellow, but I'm nearly positive my husband would've. Of course, I'd be in a position to provide covering fire if necessary. :smile:
I certainly can't fault your decision. I have two kids under 5 and when they're with me my priorities change from good sameritan to protector, no apologies.
Follow your instincts. When working as an Armed Security Officer, you grew a "sixth sense" (as do the police.) Your instincts will cover your six... every time.
Don't ask, don't tell dude.
Originally Posted by Mike1956
Thanks for the discussion folks. The rest of the story is that immediately when I said I had to get home, he cussed me out like a sailor. Then he walked over to his car (which did have a girl inside, btw) banged on the car, walked back and started making all sorts of threats, cussing, etc. He swore at me until I was driving away, and the whole parking lot was watching. BAD TEMPER!
I highly doubt he had any bad intentions premeditated, but boy could you imagine helping a guy with severe anger issues and something going wrong? A fight involving jumper cables and car hoods wouldn't probably ever end well. :)
I have helped people before, at night, alone, in dark places. I gave a guy a ride up to the ski hill once (This is Colorado, lots of harmless stoned ski bums, and I had a friend with me in the car). Not very smart, I know. Anything could have happened. I don't think I'd take the same risks now, but I was pretty bulletproof when I was younger. My friends and I would invite people we had just met up to our camping spot to hang out and drink a few beers. It is partly a small-town mentality, I guess.
Each time I followed my gut and never got a weird vibe from the people I helped. Could be my sixth sense is challenged but nothing ever happened either.
The one thing that I do consider is meeting people to buy or sell used goods (I LOVE Craigslist, and have accumulated a ridiculous amount of used car parts from various projects). I always insist on a big lighted area like a shopping center parking lot or something, but I do find myself hyper aware.
I refuse to stay home and not do things if my hubby isn't around to go with me.
I too would trust someone who had kids. I helped a couple change a tire on their car who were stuck out in the middle of nowhere along side the highway. They had a toddler and a baby.
Originally Posted by d2jlking
Later, I read stories about people using children to lure victims in.
Originally Posted by KBSR
Ooooh I think it's a good thing you didn't. He may have just been frustrated with nobody helping but that's a bizarre overreaction.
Originally Posted by tet4
I think following your instincts is extremely important. There was something your instincts caught, whether it was something in his eyes or voice or mannerisms, that told you to not help, and you listened and obeyed.
Women are particularly bad at following our instincts because we've been pounded with "be nice." And so many of us fall victim because we ignore them to "be nice."
I've thought about this a fair amount since I posted (#32) and would now advise the guy looking for help to go inside and ask, that I cannot help him. This before the rest of the story.
When I was little, in the '50s, we lived in Del Rio, Texas but my parents families were in Virginia. Once a year Mom and Dad tried to make it back to Va for a visit. Couple years they missed. Dad was in USAF part of the time and later was building a business .... "Queen City Radio and TV". I can vaguely recall a couple instances and Mom says that if on the road in the station wagon and Dad saw a service man in uniform hitching a ride and it was just us 4 (Sis and I too) he'ld often pick the guy up and let him ride part way. Mom says that once she was in the back seat with my Sis and I (Sis was a baby, I was maybe 3 or 4 she says) and Dad had picked up an Airman in east Texas who was looking for a ride up into NC and she fell asleep only to wake up alater and was shocked to see Dad was sleeping and the strange Airman was DRIVING!
Dad sold the business and we moved to Va in 1959.
Even up into the 60s as long as his health held out, Dad would stop to help a stranger and I recall more than once he taking time to help slip new brushes into a generator of an old car or something. One cold night we were headed back home to Lynchburg from down in Franklin County and were in the station wagon and Dad picked up a young couple and their baby whose car was broke down and they rode with us into Altavista. It was a different world back then but there was still plenty meaness in it. You just didn't hear it all.
As a Trooper for over 30 years, I stopped to help a bunch but I was always armed and on guard ..... never had a bad experience but I have heard of a few. In my personal life, I don't stop generally, I just call state police dispatch and suggest an on duty Trooper check it out. I don't risk my wife's safety. When we travel, we have a set of rules that we go by and one is simply .... if either of us feels "hinky", we'll say "let's go" to the other and no questions asked, we finish up and go. We can talk about it later.
Using my dog as an example here. She is a really mellow heeler Aussie shepherd mix. Smart as a whip and she can think. She had not ever shown any aggression towards people so I was leery of leaving her to look after my truck. One day at the corner store she was waiting for me, watching thru the window. A guy walked between the vehicles from the gas pumps just as I was getting to the register. She went nuts barking, hit my window hard enough to rock my truck. The guy just about fell over and peed himself at the same time. There were remarks made about the guy and my dog among those in line.
Next morning I went in the store to get my daily soda for work and the same clerk was working told me the guy tried shoplifting some cigarettes off the display on the counter. I haven't seen that behavior from her again so it made me wonder.... Is she psychic ? As noted we have that ability innately built into our genes we just have to listen to them.
That was then and common to pick up a service man in uniform to share the driving. Today ludicrus to even consider.
You have to go with your instincts. Many people who didn't, are not with us today.