Tonight I was driving home from work, and had something happen that is really bothering me.
I was sitting in the left hand turn lane at a red light. The intersection I was at is one that usually has heavier traffic, even after 10 pm when I’m usually headed home. As I was sitting at the light, I became aware of someone knocking at my passenger side window. When I looked over, there was middle-aged (looked to be in her mid-forties) woman standing there wanting me to roll down my window.
I’ll be honest, I got scared. I was alone, it was late, and this woman had appeared out of nowhere. Out of all the vehicles at the intersection, she had picked mine, which certainly couldn’t have been her first choice, especially since she had to pass several vehicles to get to mine. Even weirder? The intersection I was at is one that is right next to several restaurants (fast food and sit down), and gas stations; so it wasn’t like I was sitting out in the middle of nowhere leaving her with nowhere to go. Plus, my stupid brain wasn’t helping. All I could think about was the woman who got murdered last summer when she was on her way home from work (http://www.wowt.com/home/headlines/Andrea-Krugers-Murder-Was-Quick-and-Random-222445351.html).
My paranoia got the best of me, and I ended up pulling away from her. I saw her walking (not running, or even walking with much haste) towards the Village Inn on the corner. I’m hoping that the lack of haste indicates she wasn’t in trouble.
I’m hoping that she’s okay. I honestly don’t know what I should have done. I know plenty of people who wouldn’t have thought anything about rolling down the window, but I’m apparently not one of those people. I apparently assume the worst about everyone, even if I have minimal reason to. Did I do the right thing by putting my own safety ahead of someone else, or was I just operating out of fear? (This is more a rhetorical question, but it doesn’t change the fact that I’m incredibly frustrated by the fact that I may have been wrong).
You’re not a terrible person; we just live in a terribly scary society. In my opinion, you did the right thing as the whole scenario seemed a little sketchy. As you pointed out, there are MANY gas stations and restaurants along that stretch of road. She had many options available to her that were more promising than knocking on a car window in the middle of an intersection, AFTER DARK, no less. You can’t say for sure what her intentions or state of mind were, and you did the decent thing by making sure that she was mobile & moving forward before driving off completely. Paranoia=No. Good Judgment=Yes!
Well like you said, she didn’t seem to be in any distress, and if it was that important she would have approached another car. Driving alone I think you was right in being careful.
I probably would’ve done the same. I think the most I would do is crack my window. (If the window controls actually worked in my car… Which they don’t. My only other option would be to open the door, but HELL NO to that.)
I am an extremely paranoid person. Like, to the point that I should maaaybe consult a professional about potential anxiety disorders. I know that doesn’t really add credibility to what I’m about to say, but I suppose I win points for honesty? Anyway, I feel that people should trust their instincts. Sometimes instincts are wrong, such as how cops instinctively go after black people WAY more than they should. However, in a sketchy situation like what you described… No way. I think the best you could have done is to recruit someone you trust to go back with you to check on the lady.