There is a show on ABC that uses a hidden camera to asses what people would do in an ethically challenging situation. (These include witnessing bullying, having underage kids ask you to buy them alcohol, etc.). I don't generally watch the show, but I feel like our week has been one long "What would you do?". Work was crazy all week- the full moon and lots of sick people led to ridiculous numbers of patients. Some of them were interesting cases, so that made it stimulating.
I blogged last week about our experience coming home from a birthday party and coming up on an accident. We stopped and helped with a little girl who had a bad laceration on her face until EMS and Fire arrived.
Later in the week, Tommy had an experience where he went to pick the kids up from school and saw another father banging on a car window. Tommy went to help. The two of them could not wake up the man in the car (doors were locked). Tommy was ready to break into the car (which was running) to get the man out, when he woke up. When he rolled down the window, it was apparent he was under the influence. He was checked out by EMS to ensure that there wasn't an underlying medical condition (some things like Diabetes can mimic a drunken state), and the police were called. The school administrator was asking Tommy's opinion on what to do. Should they call the mother to get the child. He let them know that under no circumstances should she go with her father. The police dealt with the situation (who knows how many times this might have happened before?!), but I told Tommy how thankful I am to be married to someone who acts rather than walking by. Talking to my good friend (also a Mom at the school), we discussed the fact that we are usually so distracted (thinking about what to make for dinner, getting laundry done, work stuff, etc)that we might not have noticed anything out of the ordinary. I would like to hope I would have seen the guy sleeping in his car, but I don't know. I'm glad someone did, and that hopefully he gets the help he needs.
Then yesterday, we witnessed a road rage incident that could have gone really badly. I was (allegedly) sleeping while we drove home from the playground and lunch. I woke up when Tommy made some comment about someone driving erratically (he said the Mustang ahead of us had passed him "like I was standing still"). Then the guy cut across three lanes to the left turn lane. He was at a red light, and the guy he cut off pulled behind him and threw open his door. The Mustang driver saw in his rear view and jumped out of his car. They were in each other's faces yelling, but jumped back in their cars when the light changed. Thankfully there was no physical violence. Meanwhile, I had my phone out ready to call 9-1-1. Tommy joked that I was ready to tape the fight for Youtube. I can't say I would have jumped in to break up the fight, but at least reported it to the police and let them deal with it.
The full moon has definitely led to some crazy happenings. Last week I mentioned a book that I really enjoyed reading called "The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes and Why". The main premise of this book is that in a crisis, 10% of people do the right thing, 10% of people do the wrong thing, and 80% freeze. If your brain has never encountered the situation or a similar one before, it doesn't know how to react, and gets stuck cycling through your memories to figure out what to do. It is why people stayed in their staterooms on the Titanic...they didn't know what to do so they froze, why Capt. Sully was able to land his plane so amazingly on the Hudson...because he had practiced what to do. I can't say that I would react in every situation, but I think that Tommy's job as a firefighter and mine as an NP lend themselves to us being more likely to respond. We are used to crisis mode. (Or perhaps it is your personality that causes you to get into a job like that). Regardless, I would like to think we did the right thing when needed this week, and I hope we aren't tested anymore in the coming week. I met a new friend (over a beer with the girls on Friday) who is a teacher. I was decompressing about the week and she said that she would be more than happy to jump in if someone needed an "Emergency Tutor", but aside from that she didn't have much to offer. Sometimes just getting the right help there is the best thing someone can do.
So next time you witness a situation that doesn't seem right....do you respond or do you walk away?