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Basic Humanity

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by mkwerx, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. mkwerx

    mkwerx Forest Grove, OR Well-Known Member

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    I wanted to post this earlier - but this weekend kicked my bubblegum at work. Saturday and Sunday both stretched into 15 hour days. It's a bit of a rant - so be warned.

    On Saturday I was involved in an incident that really soured me on humanity, at least in general.

    A little back story - Saturday was really busy for me - I started my day with a run down to Gold Hill. It's an all day round trip. I left Portland with the customer's vehicle about 10AM - delivered vehicle around 3:30. Stopped for lunch on the way back at Wolf Creek. Hit traffic northbound south of Cottage Grove. Saw a horrible multi-vehicle accident northbound, police and EMS and ODOT were just getting to work when I passed by, plus Duck & Beaver traffic from Eugene onward. Once I slogged up near Halsey/Brownsville - traffic went from a slow crawl to a dead stand still, then slooooowly it started moving again. I happened to be in the hammer lane and as we crept northward, I started to notice cars waaaay ahead of me diverting around an object in our lane. I figured maybe someone hit a deer, lost a load, or some other debris was in the lane. No one was stopping to remove it - I figured WTF - I'll get close and take care of it if no one else would.

    As I neared the object - I realized it was a car. Stopped dead center in the highway, again, we're in the hammer lane. There's NO hazard lights on the car, it's just stopped. No one else had bothered to stop and check on the vehicle, until myself and a young gentleman that was right ahead of me stopped.

    As I approached the car I saw the driver slumped over the wheel, head down, and honestly my first reaction was "oh **** I hope the dude's not dead" - the young guy started dialing 911 while I checked on the guy. Thank GOD the man was not dead - but he wasn't conscious - not until I kind of shook him and started talking to him. His car was still in drive and thank god BMW's don't take a lot of pressure to apply and hold the brakes. He had no idea he was in the traffic lane when he came to - and he said he had been having chest pains and shortness of breath.

    We got him off the road - got EMS personnel on scene - and got traffic flowing again. The guy turned out to be alright - at least in the sense that he wasn't dead, didn't cause a wreck, and EMS crew decided he did not need to go to the hospital right then and there - his vitals had returned to normal, but the EMS folks and the state trooper who responded did not want him driving home. Guy also happend to have a AAA plus membership - so I wound up towing his car home (I would've done it even had he NOT been a AAA member or even if he didn't have two nickels to rub together - I wouldn't want to see him hurt himself or someone else, and the boss is an understanding sort with a soft spot so he would've approved in any event)

    We were still in heavy ducks/beavers traffic all the way from Albany to Woodburn - so I had a good long time to chat with the guy. Nice guy, runs a software company, travels all over the damn country, and he figured he was just exhausted from too much travel and it was taking it's toll on his health.

    During the drive back north, and while we were at the scene on the side of the highway, I could not help but be just a little bit pissed and disappointed in mankind - as I'd been in that traffic backup he was causing for quite a while - and at LEAST a hundred cars passed him/drove around him before the other fellow and I got to him and stopped to check on him - and not one god damned other car so much as stopped. From what we could gather - no one called 911 either to even report a car stopped in the hammer lane on the freeway. I mean - this guy might've had a mild heart attack - he could've been having a major heart attack or a stroke - and no one else stopped to help or check on him. Dude could've actually died at the wheel for god sake. All those people ahead of us just went around him like he was just an obstacle.

    Maybe it's just my personality - or a decade plus on the job, or maybe it's because I've been stuck in bad situations before when no one would stop to help or check on us - I have a damn hard time passing someone that appears to be in distress, and its almost compulsory for me to stop and check on people if something appears amiss. WTF is wrong with humanity in general that we've gotten to the point where people won't take a minute to make sure someone is OK when they see something out of the ordinary. I'm willing to bet that a good number of those cars that drove around him were honking, throwing up their middle fingers, and coming up with creative curses to spit at him.

    Hell - on an even less disastrous note - when I finally got back into town at 11PM last night I stopped at Winco in Hillsboro to grab a heat & eat dinner - and a lady in a Ford Sport Trac was parked ahead of me and had her hood up and I could see she needed a jump. Gave her a jump (freeby) just because it was the right thing to do. Other shoppers were nearby - no one seemed to even give notice to her nor did I see anyone else attempting to help. It just pisses me off that we as a whole seem to be turning into a me me me me me mindset. Maybe our society is doomed.

    Are we that afraid of others that we can't risk talking to someone, or getting involved if we see something is amiss? Are we so blind by the myriad of distractions that no one pays attention to what's going on - they ignore that which does not fit into their preordained idea of what should be? Or is it selfishness, ignorance, apathy? What is wrong with people?

    I don't know if that young man from last night is a member here - I know he's a gun owner (we had a short chat about carry pieces - his was a Sig 226 - and his empty serpa holster while the cop and EMS were doing their thing :D) and seemed like a nice guy. I think his name was Austin (could've been his first or last but I remember that was one of the names he gave the trooper), and he was from Junction City. If he his I'd like to congratulate him on being a damned fine human being and showing a bit of compassion for others. If he's not - I still want to congratulate him and say that there are at least a few good souls roaming among us.

    Rant over.
     
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  2. BWH

    BWH Tualatin, Oregon Active Member

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    You my friend have old fashioned values. GOOD ON YOU!
    My day job puts me in like situations...no one is accountable, gives a turd, cares, not their job and all should have their parents butts caved in for not teaching their kids right and wrong.
    I too have done some of the things you wrote above in my life time.

    You "rant" is valid and just.
    You are a sheep dog and have just witnessed what modern sheep have for a mind set.
     
  3. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Yep, props to you for doing what you did. There are still good people out there, sounds like you're one of them. I make it a point to stop myself if it's something I can help with. Seems every time I come across an accident, EMS/Fire are already there.

    As to your question, I think for most folks that pass up these situations, it's a mix of apathy and selfishness. I doubt many are motivated by fear, though some may be, and some may simply be unable to help due to physical limitations, etc. No, I think most folks can't be bothered to get involved because they'll be late getting where they're going, or they worry about having to deal with one of the 'unwashed' masses that they don't want to have to touch.

    It's a sad state, but I'm always encouraged by the number that will stop and help. Just look at the last few weeks of events around the world - no shortage of good people, jumping in, making sacrifices. They are out there, and I think we need to do a better job of recognizing them.

    Thanks for posting, and thanks for helping. :)
     
  4. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    I mean you at the least stop and ask the person if you can help push the car to the shoulder right?
    But how could you just drive around a car that was empty or had a guy slumped over in it without stopping or calling?
    There was a story years ago of a gal who had rolled her car over in the gore and crawled to the edge of the road,with people looking her in the eye,and the kept on their way to work
    Good work from both of you BTW!
     
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  5. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Speaking of rollovers. 5 or so years ago, I was 4 cars behind a guy that lost control in the Terwilliger curves, crossed from the inside lane all the way across 3 lanes of traffic, went up the embankment, rolled over and ended up on his top, up against the center median. He managed to cross 3 lanes of traffic, twice, without hitting another car. Of all the cars on the road, 2 of us stopped. The driver crawled out of the car on his own, but was clearly in a daze, we grabbed him to keep him from wandering into traffic, and got him to sit down and put some pressure on a small head wound while we waited for the pros. Thankfully, he wasn't badly injured (seat belt saved him for sure). It surprised me in that instance how many folks just kept going, gawking all the way.
     
  6. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    The other day I was up in SW Hillsdale near Wilson High School and came across a 90 yr old blind lady hanging onto a fire hydrant because the city of Portland had busted up the sidewalk a week before and hadn't returned to repair the concrete.
    They had erected a bunch of a white saw horses across the whole sidewalk and the little ol' lady had attempted to go around the barriers and had dropped her white cane into the street and couldn't reach it.
    I stopped in the middle of the road and set my hazard flashers, then jumped out to help her when a car pulled up behind me and started to honk their horn.
    Ignoring the jerk behind the horn, I got her safely around barriers and on her way when I noticed a couple sitting in their car parked right in front of where the old lady was stranded.
    I looked at the guy sitting there sipping his Starbucks coffee and thought what in the hell is this world coming to, when I then had to deal with the jerk stuck behind my car.
    He started yelling at me to move out of the way as he was in a big hurry and how dare I block the road.
    It took all of my self control not to react in a negative way with the jerk and just moved out of his way.
     
  7. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    Doing the right thing means taking time out of your day.

    Thanks for being another caring member of society.
     
  8. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Great job, mkwerx! People may not stop for selfish, fearing, or even legitimate reasons. But EVERYONE has a cell phone! I'm not a fan of people either. Again, good man! SRG
     
  9. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim West of Oly Springer Slayer 2016 Volunteer

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    I was born & raised in the South, was taught to respect my elders, anything that isn't mine and to help others when they are in need.
    I am so saddened (actually sick to my stomach) by what I've seen in my many miles in 30+ states. I've come to realize that people (not all because I know some are golden) just don't GAS about anyone but themselves. Self-centered, egotistical and just sour grapes type of people and I'll tell ya truthfully that Californians are by far the worst!!! Can't say anything about the Yankee states because I never had to travel up there (by choice) but the ones who invaded the south upon retirement sure made that choice for me...
     
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  10. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Same carping thing happened to my wife and I. Noticed everyone in the left turn lane was going around a car that was stopped in the lane, so I followed. Looked to the left and a lady 45+ was slumped over the wheel!

    I jumped out of my car about the time I got it in park and ran over to the lady. Long story short, she didn't speak very good English but we got that she was having a panick attack and couldn't stop crying because she was getting late to pick up her daughter from driving school.

    Went and found the daughter after calling 911 and returned her to mom.


    I was so so bummed that day when I realized all of those a-holes that went around her honking only added to her stress and no one stopped to help....:mad:
     
  11. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    I worked for AAA for about a year and loved helping people in those situations.
    I have always tried to help people stopped and now after working that job I do it even more. But I know keep tools to unlock cars and a floor jack in my car.

    It's amazing how so many people especially on the freeway will not stop to help anyone.
     
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  12. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I forgot to share an experience where someone helped us. 2 years ago, Christmas Eve night. We were heading north on 205 to stay with family in Washington. The car was loaded out with suitcases and gifts. We were travelling in the middle lane, right near I-84 when something hit our car - I never saw it, I think it may have been something kicked into our lane by another car. It hit our back tire and blew it out. We were doing about 60 at the time, but I was able to keep it under control (thankfully it was the rear tire, I've had a front blow out before) and get to the shoulder. Where we were stopped was right at an on-ramp to 205. The traffic that night, as would be expected was very heavy. The blown out tire was on the driver's side, so that meant I would have to be almost in the lane of traffic to change the tire.

    We called AAA, but being a holiday, the told us it would be a minimum 90 minute wait, probably longer as they were getting lots of calls. So, I planned to make the change myself. As I was getting ready to pull the spare, some flashing lights came up behind us. It was one of the ODOT trucks. He asked if we had any help on the way, and I told him we called AAA already, but there would be a long delay. He called their dispatch himself and confirmed the delay. He then offered to change the tire himself - something he said they're not really supposed to do, but he was concerned for our safety (and my wife was not happy about me changing that tire). So he pulled his rig out a bit to create a safer buffer for the tire change, along with his flashing lights to alert the other drivers. I finished pulling the tire off the back of the car while he got out his jack (mine was buried under the gifts/luggage) and brought out a nice battery operated ratchet drill to speed things up. He pulled the bad tire off and I mounted it back on the car while he secured the spare on the car. All told, we were up in running in about 10 minutes. I thanked him and we offered him some $$ for a meal or something, which he refused. We thanked him again and went on our way.

    After Christmas, I wrote his supervisor to make sure he knew that this man had taken care of us on Christmas Eve and we just wanted to thank him again for making a potentially dangerous situation much better.

    Personally, I don't like being the one 'rescued', but I am very thankful he was in the right place at the right time that night.

    BTW, this was the 2nd Christmas blowout. About 12 years before this incident, on a very dark and rainy stretch of 205 (again), we hit a steel rake in the road and blew out the front tire on our Honda Accord. That one I got to handle on my own, but thankfully, it was on the side of the car where I had some protection from the traffic.

    I never did figure out what we hit, it wasn't in the road in front of us, and I couldn't get a look at it after we hit it. Here is the tire that blew out:

    tire_zps563a1963a.JPG
     
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  13. Guilty

    Guilty Salem, Oregon Active Member

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    So let me get this straight. The OP is out driving a tow truck, on duty for his job, and he is "a little bit pissed and disappointed in mankind" because other drivers, who were not on duty driving a tow truck, didn't immediately stop in heavy traffic in the middle of the highway to help a driver of a stalled vehicle.
    Since when is it prudent to stop in the middle lane of heavy traffic on the highway and exit your vehicle? Many people don't want to get involved now days, especially when helping someone might put your own life in danger, like walking around the middle lane of the highway during busy traffic with a stalled vehicle.
    To the OP, it could be that the people who drove by were not physically able or prepared to stop and assist, and I doubt that your ESP enables you to know if anybody actually called 911 to report the traffic problem. It sure was nice that while you were on duty driving a tow truck that you were able to provide assistance and you got paid for it. If you really were providing assistance due to your overwhelming compassion for mankind, you would not have accepted payment and you would not be bragging to others about how you helped someone, while getting paid for helping them.
     
  14. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Wow, did you really miss the point of his post? Did you also miss the fact that he stated he would have done it for free? I'm certain that MANY of the people that drove by were more than capable to render some kind of assistance. Plus, the guy had a medical issue - that was the point he was making - not whether someone could change a tire, etc. Did you also miss the fact that he helped another woman out with a jump - for free?

    Dude, get off the high horse. Kind of lame to attack the guy just for sharing an opinion.
     
  15. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Edit: Deleted to avoid penalty points for breaking forum rules.
     
  16. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    You should unlike my post. I chickend out and deleted it on the possibility it violated rules.
     
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  17. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I didn't think it would, but you never know :s0084:
     
  18. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Another for the ignore list!
     
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  19. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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  20. scrandall01215

    scrandall01215 Washougal,WA Well-Known Member

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    I liked it joe because it's probably something that was needed to be said. Some people just don't get it.

    Stacy
     
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