Getting help from strangersDec 28 12:54
I always struggle with the right way to ask for help in public. Do you ever find yourself waiting for the right person to pass that looks the kindest? I sometimes let several people pass before I ask the right person. Why the hesitation? One time at Target I asked the wrong person, and I found out exactly why hesitating is necessary.
She was older, and probably a bit unstable, or maybe she was just in a bad mood. I dropped a bottle of body wash in the middle of the aisle as she was walking by, so I asked her if she could pick it up. Instead of saying no, she just kept on walking. It was a bit strange. You’d think she didn’t hear me, but she did. So I was ignored, whatever. I’ve suffered worse. But it was an experience that taught me why gauging is so important. I now don’t ask the first person I see. I look for people with kind eyes and good vibes. The vibes part is a bit harder to gauge, but usually these days I’m right.
Once I find someone who seems like a safe bet, the actual asking for help comes in, and getting their attention is always more complicated than it seems. I was stuck the other day outside; jammed up against a brick wall on an uneven sidewalk. Sitting there I pondered the best way to get someone’s attention, since the street I was on was pretty empty. Cars were driving by, a couple was walking pretty far away, but in eyesight, but they weren’t close enough to half-way yell without looking like a crazy person, which I’m always lax to do.
I wasn’t sure what to do. I didn’t want to have to scream. Better to wait it out. So that‘s what I did, and I waited, and waited, and still no one came. I waved at another couple, but they didn’t see me, as my waving is sub-par. Time to whip out the ’ol cell phone, and I called for help instead. I swear, where would we be without cell phones now days? I called my trusty friend, who was more than a safe bet, and she came to my rescue. A stranger would've came around eventually, but why wait?
It’s a big crazy world out there. Wait to ask, carry a cell phone and never feel bad for wondering who you’re asking really is before you ask for help.
What are you asking for help rules?
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Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.