Thursday, October 30, 2008
Good Samaritans Rescue Poor Planning
I must say that even the best of us and the most careful forget or make poor planning decisions.I had this experience last night due to carelessness and having the notion in my head that my stupidity could be mitigated by someone else.
Last night, I went with my friend to the bar nearby. I pointed out that I forgot my cell phone, but insisted we just kept walking- it was freezing. Long story short, after I returned home, I realized I had either locked myself out or lost the keys at the bar. At an effort to just get in my apartment to confirm, I rang the bell several time waiting for my roommate to answer. Once. Twice. Three times. Umpteen times later, still no answer. Her sweet tired soul was dead asleep and I gave up. I tried curling up in the hallway but it was quite uncomfortable. I went back to the bar: A) to see if my keys were anywhere in sight and B) to have another drink- if I was going to have to fall asleep in my hallway I would need the proper tools (Vodka and Cranberry juice. Instead, I wound up going home with this very friendly 'Newsbian' (newly lesbian) where I met a hyperactive pug and her cozy wooden floor. It happened that what I thought was a Frenchman sleep-talking french was actually just one Frenchman speaking to the other he was cuddled up next to. Needless to say, it was a peculiar and tiring night. At 9AM I finally got to my bed within the apartment. It turns out my keys were on the key hook.
Why did I tell you a story you probably found frustrating due to grammatical errors and strays from my usual blog entry format? It has to do with the kindness we take for granted from good Samaritans and how we could have avoided their generosity. Why didn't I go back for my phone? That was disabling even if I did have my keys. Why didn't I make sure I locked the door and had my keys when I left? These simple innocuous precautions could have saved a lot of trouble, energy, and effort on behalf of my host for the rest of the evening. It seems that we (or I) should plan better and think how one small action could influence others? How hard could this be?
For example, you are having a dinner party. You want to bake a special dessert and this dessert contains almonds. You could either call all the people in the dinner party and ask if they are allergic to almonds which could seemingly take short minutes of your time or you could assume no one is allergic based on previous experience of what they've eaten in front of you. You choose the latter option and you've just killed one of your guests. This is an extreme example but I think you get the gist.
Planning ahead and pondering worst-case scenarios in order to think of possible backup plans is essential if you want to avoid a situation such as the one I had. Although, it does make a great story.
So, in an effort to help everyone out, here is Mission 9
(and it's a two-parter oh boy!:
1)Take a business card sized piece of paper and imagine a few worst-case scenarios.
Write down emergency contacts, phone numbers of those with spare sets of keys, friends that live near by that can let you crash or might have the numbers of people you need to get a hold of, taxi services, nearest hospital, plumber, locksmith, etc.
Just in case you lose your phone and your keys, you hopefully still have your wallet. If you want to take an extra precaution, upload this list to somewhere online that you can access from any Internet connection. You don't have to get too paranoid about this, but these extra steps will definitely help you when those extreme situations actually occur.
2)Be a great Samaritan: While it is someone's own responsibility to correct their mistakes or fight battles, sometimes a little kindness can help. Whatever happened to people helping old ladies with their groceries? Do something for someone that takes some time or is a little bit of a burden on you. Who knows when you might need the favor repaid?