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Old 12-12-2009, 04:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
Do you help others?

Just a discussion/self-reflective thing....
Ladies,when you see someone whose car is broken down beside the road,do you stop and offer to call for assistance?You could do this without riolling down the window very far.
Men,do you offer to check the vehicle for what the problem is?Offer to change a flat tire?
Or do you pass the person on by,rain or shine,hot or cold?
Remember,this COULD be YOU one day.
Do you see a young mother with a small baby in a grocery shopping store with a confused look and think "I bet she could use a bit of help with buying the baby some food or diapers".
So do you go,hand her some xx amount of money-whatever you can spare and say,here,take care of the baby and no offense meant?
Or do you ignore her,and concern yourself with your plastic spoons you forget to pick up?
Just something to think of folks...
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Ohio!
I generally call the Highway Patrol/County Sheriff and let them know there is a broken-down vehicle on X part of Y road. I have picked up a couple people with a broken down car before (it was January and they had a 5-year old with them in a car that wouldn't start) and took them home and took one of their mechanic neighbors back to the car, but I probably wouldn't do it again after hearing some of the mugging stories.

But yes, I have the Ohio Highway Patrol phone number stored in my phone, as well as the County Sheriff where I live. I have also called the state troopers for a few dogs on the interstate, drunk drivers, and a couple abandoned cars. Yes, I'm THAT person.

Also, you can cut the misogyny from your post with assuming that men can identify vehicle problems and women cannot. Only about 30% of my guy friends would be useful with a broken-down car, and about the same percentage of women would be able to identify the same problems as most of the guys (other than my mechanically-inclined friend).
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
Also, you can cut the misogyny from your post with assuming that men can identify vehicle problems and women cannot. Only about 30% of my guy friends would be useful with a broken-down car, and about the same percentage of women would be able to identify the same problems as most of the guys (other than my mechanically-inclined friend).[/QUOTE]

Sorry,I was not thinking too much on that.I apologize to the ladies.
Yes,some lades are very good mechanics.
I am not a mechanic,but I do offer to help.
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: DC/Coastal VA
Pony, I agree with you on principle. But when things like this happen, my wife volunteers me for duty. I guess now it occurs to me to tell her to twist the lug nuts while I get out the spare. Thank you.

She also volunteers me to help people with large packages at Ikea, so I applied for a job there. They said they wanted me really bad but never called back. Therefore, I will never help Ikea if they are in distress.

I'd be happy to help the young mother with loading her cart or whatever.
I think the Apocalypse is happening all around us. We go on eating desserts and watching TV. I know I do. I wish we were more capable of sustained passion and sustained resistance. We should be screaming and what we do is gossip. -Lydia Millet
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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i try..usually small things like this
An injustice anywhere, is an injustice everywhere

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Old 12-12-2009, 06:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
Eat your vegetables
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Location: Arabidopsis-ville
Not sure I'd help with the situations you describe because...

Scenario 1) I'm terrible with cars, and I've never encountered a car on the side of the road that didn't already have a car or two stopped to help them out.

Scenario 2) Living on razor-thin budget myself, so couldn't help financially.

I do help people, and they're not always people I know.
I helped a random grad student put up her poster at a conference when I noticed she was trying to do it alone. I help my labmates with random tasks. I spent most of this week helping the rest of the students in my SEM class figure out how to use certain settings on the microscopes, and troubleshooting minor technical problems ("I can't figure out how to get the XEDS to sync with the Zeiss!" "Oh. Have you opened the Remcon port?" "What's that?" "Here you go." "Wow, it works!" or "Backscatter won't work!" "Have you inserted the detector?" "There's a separate detector?"

Yes, I help people. I enjoy it.
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Old 12-12-2009, 09:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm that guy.

I stop for old people on the side of the road and help them with their flat tire, loose hose clamp, tow rope, etc. "I'm not a genius, but I'll give it a look."

I carry tools, extra fluids, first aid items, etc. in my car for my emergencies, but I get some altruistic satisfaction in helping others. I guess that's good given my career choice.

I've changed a few tires, helped a teenager figure out how to get his Subaru WRX STI out of the middle of an intersection, and witnessed a woman figure out the importance of the hood latch when driving at 55 MPH. Her windshield was totally smashed.

Having a basic knowledge of automotive repairs helps, but often common sense and physical ability to jack up a car and turn a lug wrench is all that is involved.

Most people today are kinda aloof at first... leery of Good Samaritans. Old people are really grateful, though. You'd swear that they'd given up on the younger generation by the kind of thanks that you get. They almost always try to give me money for it.
Whatever you can carry.

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Last edited by Plan9; 12-12-2009 at 09:46 AM..
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Old 12-12-2009, 10:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
Life's short, gotta hurry...
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Location: land of pit vipers
I'm always reaching out to help other people. Some people may be offended at the offer of assistance, but most people are very appreciative. So you can't stop to think about it, you just do it and then you go on. And the little things are just as important as the big ones. It makes me feel good for that brief moment to help someone else without expecting anything in return. And the smile and the thank you I receive linger for a long time.
Quiet, mild-mannered souls might just turn out to be roaring lions of two-fisted cool.
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Old 12-12-2009, 10:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
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A little while ago I was in town, minding my own business and walking down the street. A fella came out of a coffee shop and some guy bumped into him and just kept on walking. The first guy dropped his paper bag and packs of sandwiches and crisps fell out onto the pavement. He already had his arms full carrying two cups of coffee and a briefcase, so I hurried over and helped him pick them up. I didn't really get a response, never mind a thank you - the guy just looked embarassed that someone had drawn attention to the fact he'd dropped things. But then again, I am British. Apparently we're so stoic we can't even manage a 'thank you'!
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Old 12-12-2009, 10:30 AM   #10 (permalink)
Location: My head.
I've changed a tire once for a dude in a wheel chair but that was in the parking lot of a Lowe's here.

I don't give money.

When I drive I drive with a purpose and very fast hence half the roadkill in NC is my fault. Essentially I don't stop.

I've bought a McD's meal for a kid once awhile back for the parent to look at me shiftily expecting me to have poisoned the child's food before it had crossed the counter. Second time was at a gas a station I purchased petrol worth of $20 for this scraggly looking lady and her boyfriend and the thanks I got was incredible.

I swear never to do that again. On my way to Canada a couple of months back I thought of that person when this young girl and her boyfriend asked the same thing and I declined. I give up on other people. People can be shitty sometimes. When I need to panhandle I will do so graciously and not be contemptuous of the hand that feeds me but charity has been drawn out of me.
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Location: Greater Boston area
I've frequently helped out stranded motorists. Been stranded myself on more than one occasion so I don't mind returning the karmic favor.

I'll help people out in small ways, like getting something off a high shelf when there are no salespeople around, help load/unload something that 1 person can't really do, point people in the right direction when they are completely confuzzled about where they are, offer to take a picture of a couple/group, stuff like that.

As an aside, I noticed I get asked to take pictures more frequently when I have the DSLR with me than when I'm carrying a P&S. People have said I look like I know what I'm doing because I have that "fancy camera".
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Old 12-12-2009, 01:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Location: Oregon
I was raised to believe that if you are able to offer a helping hand, you should. Given what I do and where I work, helping others is essential. I enjoy it. To be honest, I like helping other people so much that sometimes I feel guilty for enjoying it!

Given what I hope to be doing for my career someday, I better like it!
If I am not better, at least I am different. --Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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Old 12-12-2009, 02:19 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Location: Canada
Plan9's reply describes what I do in terms of motorists and minus the future career bit.

I'll stop. Perhaps my fear of strangers gland is faulty, but I've never been concerned about being attacked/mugged/murdered. I've picked up hitch hikers, I've helped to change tires, I've called for tow trucks.

I once used my CAA card to call for someone who locked their keys in their car. It didn't cost me anything, the fellow they sent out didn't care whether or not it was actually my vehicle, and the guy who owned the car was almost comically grateful.

I generally turn down money for these things. If I were ever to incur significant costs for something I might take cash if offered, but I don't help people in hopes that they'll pay me.

The most I received was a six pack of beer for changing a co-worker's tire once. She wouldn't take no for an answer, so I told her to buy me the cheap brand. I was honestly a bit uncomfortable -- after all, changing a tire takes less than five minutes of my time. I suppose the value of the act was much higher for her than it was for me.

All of this pertains strictly to motoring. I'll also help people who are struggling with doors or loads, need directions or any other sort of thing. I consider these acts to be matter-of-course human decency, and don't mentally catalogue them. The example in the OP with the mother and child isn't something I'd do, because unless I were solicited directly it wouldn't occur to me that she needed money. If I were directly asked, I'd probably direct her to the local food bank, as that would be a more effective solution than $20 from my pocket.
I wake up in the morning more tired than before I slept
I get through cryin' and I'm sadder than before I wept
I get through thinkin' now, and the thoughts have left my head
I get through speakin' and I can't remember, not a word that I said

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Old 12-13-2009, 01:12 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Location: US
Here in houston, if you help some stranded motorist, they may peel away with your wallet when you discover the guy in the back seat that you didn't see a minute ago had a gun.

I stop for no one. I am jaded. I saw a girl pushing a car down the road at 2:30AM and thought of that exact situation. So to, apparently, did the 5 others driving around me.

This is a bad city. You leave people the fuck alone here.

Now I'm not saying I don't help people. I'm building a computer, for free of course, for a couple that happens to be very good friends of ours. I rebuilt my little cousin's computer when I learned it was offline as well. I sent a computer to a guy that was in my gaming clan, and I may be sending my friend a power supply soon, his went bad and I'm determining if mine will work or not. I hold doors for strangers and I have given things to people in need.
We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.
-Winston Churchill

Last edited by Vigilante; 12-13-2009 at 01:16 AM..
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:58 AM   #15 (permalink)
Master Thief. Master Criminal. Masturbator.
Location: Windiwana
I always help others.

I never receive help.
First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the communists and I did not speak out because I was not a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for me And there was no one left to speak out for me.
-Pastor Martin Niemoller
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Old 12-17-2009, 02:25 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Location: Over the rainbow . .
Originally Posted by BackwoodsmanVA View Post
Do you see a young mother with a small baby in a grocery shopping store with a confused look and think "I bet she could use a bit of help with buying the baby some food or diapers".
So do you go,hand her some xx amount of money-whatever you can spare and say,here,take care of the baby and no offense meant?
That just seems rude. Just because a young mother is standing in the baby aisle with what you think is a confused look doesn't mean anything. She could be standing there wondering if the color purple that is on that can of baby formula would look good in the living room.

I would never walk up to a stranger and give them money for no reason. I have kicked in at the register when the person in front of me was short. This was due more to me not wanting to wait for them to remove items or otherwise fix the situation, easier to pay the 2 bucks so they will move along.

I will always help an elderly person. Whatever they need or ask, I do their bidding.

I would never, ever stop for someone on the side of the road. Not much desire to be hacked up into pieces.
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Old 12-17-2009, 02:38 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Location: Southern England
A scout is helpful...

I try. I fail more than I should, as I'm lazy and selfish, but I try when I remember to.
Overhead, the Albatross hangs motionless upon the air,
And deep beneath the rolling waves,
In labyrinths of Coral Caves,
The Echo of a distant time
Comes willowing across the sand;
And everthing is Green and Submarine

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Old 12-23-2009, 01:04 AM   #18 (permalink)
Location: I get alot of mail in St. Louis, so I guess St. Louis
[B]"I have kicked in at the register when the person in front of me was short. This was due more to me not wanting to wait for them to remove items or otherwise fix the situation, easier to pay the 2 bucks so they will move along."[/B]

LMAO! That's beautiful stuff there! It' SOOOOO true and I've had it used on me before. The guy poked around on purpose knowing I was in a hurry. He kept shooting me looks while he dug through his pockets six times like money that wasn't there before would magically appear. Well it did... From MY pocket! Like you said, well worth it.

I have a habit of noticing brake and tail lights and trying to let people know if they have faulty lights. Most people don't do periodic inspections on their vehicles and will drive until they get a ticket or cause an accident before they are aware of a bad bulb. I won't go far out of my way, but if I have a minute I have followed a car into a parking lot and told the driver. And low tires too. Those are more dangerous than bad bulbs.

I help people every day when I'm at work. I'm a full time fire fighter and EMT, but I don't even count that. I enjoy it and feel good when I know I have had a positive effect on somebodies life but it's not the same as when I can do something on my day off.

But catch me in a bad mood or after going a couple days on no sleep and I may not be so quick to go very far out of my way for you. I've been scammed plenty and have learned to spot most players. As far Texas is concerned, they better be pretty fast on the draw and willing to shoot because I am.
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:00 AM   #19 (permalink)
The sky calls to us ...
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Location: CT
I help people. If I see someone looking lost on the street, I'll ask them where they're going and try to point them in the right direction. There are a few local homeless people who will always smile and say "hi" to you as you pass, I've gotten them McDonald's gift cards (It's not the healthiest, but you can get a sandwich or a coffee for a dollar.) If someone I know needs help with something, I offer to help instead of waiting to be asked. If dozens of people can sit idly by as a woman is raped and murdered, how can I just assume that someone else is going to help someone who's "only" broken down on the side of the road?

One day a friend was driving me home to help with a car repair, and we were going slowly enough in traffic that as we passed a worried-looking woman on the side of the road with smoke coming from under her hood, he said, "want to stop and help her out?" and we weren't far past her. We both know cars pretty well, but most times when either of us has seen someone broken down, we're far enough past them that it's not safe to pull over and walk back to offer help, but it worked out that time.

My biggest concern was that she was a very petite woman and would be scared shitless of a 6'8 and 6'3 guy jumping out of a car and approaching her, so we shouted "do you need help?" as we walked up and she said she did. Turned out she's one of maybe 4 people in CT who didn't have a cell phone and after her car died, she was barely able to get to the side of the road. I gave her my phone and checked under the hood as she called her husband. Unfortunately, the smoke was coming from under the timing belt cover and there was enough top end damage that when I opened the oil cap, chunks of metal were visible. After a few minutes, a State Trooper pulled up and parked behind her with lights on to make everything more visible, so we left since we couldn't do anything else to help. She gave us her card, it turned out she runs a travel agency and told us to call her if we needed a good deal on a vacation. Later that night, her husband called me and thanked me again, and told me that they were getting her a cell phone the next day and not putting it off any longer, and thanked me another ten or twenty times. If that officer hadn't been driving by and we hadn't stopped, that woman could have been waiting in the rain for a long time and her husband at home worried sick about why she wasn't home when she planned to be.

As cynical and misanthropic as I tend to be, I will go out of my way to help people because I think it's it's the right thing to do. If some day it does turn out to be a trap to mug me, I'm bigger and more heavily armed than 99% of people out there, so I think I'll do OK. If I try to help someone and something bad happens to me, I hope it doesn't discourage good samaritans.
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:19 AM   #20 (permalink)
We work alone
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Location: Cake Town
I've picked up a hitchhiker once and was honestly kinda uneasy the entire time he was in the car. Friendly guy, but I have a distrust of strangers. It was raining. I felt bad.

I always hold doors for everybody even coming back to the door to hold it for people with strollers or full bags. It's surprising to hear a thank you three or more times for holding the door in the latter cases. Seems kind of common sense to me.

That's about as far as helping goes.
Maturity is knowing you were an idiot in the past. Wisdom is knowing that you'll be an idiot in the future. Common sense is knowing that you should try not to be an idiot now. - J. Jacques
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