For as long as I can remember I’ve been a person who jumps in. Puts my hand up, even when it may not be wanted. Or simply reaches out to help. I don’t know where this has come from – whether I’m overly confident or due to my upbringing of my Mum always telling me I can do anything.
STOP RAMBLING WOMAN AND EXPLAIN.
Yes. So on more than one occasion I have jumped in, even in somewhat dangerous situations. There have been what I call tiny incidents where I’ve told a woman she had toilet paper on her shoe, or ripped a size sticker off a lady’s brand new jeans. Another time a lady was glamming herself up on the tube, applying mascara and lippy and I spotted she had a bit of food in her hair. So I signalled to her subtly, because clearly she was off somewhere, not just home or the supermarket, and mouthed “something in your hair” in over exaggerated jaw and lip movements. She was very grateful and said thank you to me more than once.
I believe in karma.
I would want someone to tell me if I had something stuck to the back of my head, or my ass. The hardest bit is reading the room – do they want to know? I’ve talked about this with a good friend of mine – she’s been there on occasions when I get involved. She told me she has tried to channel my helping someone, and once did it in a gym changing room, which didn’t turn out how she’d envisioned. You’ve got to read the room and the situation.
One of my most memorable moments was when I was out for a bit of pampering getting my nails tended to – an absolutely vile woman was complaining about the fact she needed to pay for a drink she had drunk, but the new employee had forgotten to add it to her bill. SHE DRANK THE GODDAMN DRINK. I’d had enough – it went on for a good 10-15 minutes before I jumped in. I felt bad for the newbie, clearly not experienced in awful women like this one who just kept going and going. Plus, as staff they couldn’t be rude or say anything blunt. But I could. I turned around from my nails and looked at the woman; “excuse me, you are ruining my pampering experience”. She looked at me and then tried to tell me the situation all over again. I said “I know, I’ve heard you yelling at the staff.” She kept going; “it’s my birthday and this girl has ruined it.” That’s when I lost it. I kept calm, I stayed seated but I told her “have you never had a first job? This girl is brand new, be mature, plus you drank the drink, did you not? Therefore you trying to avoid paying for it says a lot more about you than it does about someone missing it on a receipt.” She was not happy, but she ended up paying for it and sulking out the door. The girls in the nail salon were very grateful. I just said to them it was nothing, I knew they couldn’t tell her to fuck off – but I could and that’s what’s key.
Twice I have been involved in public domestic situations; the first time was December 2015 on a bus around 2am when a woman and her husband jumped off and he punched her so hard in the stomach she fell to the floor. I was already aware of them on the bus, him berating her loudly, but didn’t think it was going to escalate like it did. EVERYONE saw it. But the bus driver was about to drive off so I got up and yelled at him to stop. Of course, the coward husband took off down the street, so I was safe to get off and help. I was amazed at all the people on the bus who had seen the situation and simply sat there. I told the bus driver he was not to leave as it’s his duty to be calling this in (I later reported him). Thankfully a guy on the bus jumped to help and we called the police. Talking to this woman I asked her if this was the first time, and she told me “of course it’s not”. I’ll never forget her voice and face. She had never before reported him. But I hugged her and told her it was best she spoke to the police.
My second domestic situation was probably a bit sillier as the man had hung around. Again, late night, but this time on the tube; a lady ran on to the tube crying. She sat down two seats from me, followed by a man who ran on to the tube and sat glaring at her, but a couple of seats away. Thinking she was being harassed by a random guy (with at least 4 other men around us), I asked her if she was OK? The man turned to me and said “she’s fine”. I turned to him and said “I’m asking her”. He wasn’t going to scare me, by this point the adrenalin was running through me seeing her panic and I never thought once that he may escalate the situation or be holding a weapon. Reflecting, it’s silly. But someone had to say something because once again everyone else around me was as useless as a baked potato. I didn’t find out if she was OK because she got up and jumped off at the next stop. He stayed on for a couple more stops so at least she was separated from him. I made sure he got off a stop before me.
As I’ve got older I’ve realised it’s not always those who look helpless that need a hand. Sometimes it’s something tiny like a bit of toilet paper – but if I can help someone in anyway, I will. Phil is not too happy with me jumping into aggressive situations, especially with men, when I’m alone. But how could I just sit there and do nothing? I understand what he’s saying – that I could get into danger. But when you see someone so upset you can’t just sit and watch, like the rest of Britain does, you have to help if you can. I’d feel so much regret if I didn’t just ask the question.