I Suck At Helping

I try, but geez do I fail miserably when attempting to help others.

There have been too many times that I've mistakenly given wrong directions.... at work, the store... and I realize my error too late and feel horrible. I don't know why people keep coming up to me and request assistance; I should just wear a sign that says "Ask At Your Own Risk" or something.

It happened again today.

As I was leaving the parkade at work, a lady and her elderly mother were backing their little car away from the automated exit gate. Looking distressed and stopping in the entrance lane, they waved to me so I rolled down my window.

"Do you know where we can pay for our parking?"

Oh crap. I couldn't recall... you see, I have always used my handy-dandy "Magic Parking Gate Thingy" to enter and exit.

My Magic Parking Gate Thingy
But I DID know that this exit had no attendant.

So I suggested to them to re-park, cross the street and ask the Parking Guy at the other hospital lot where to pay.

They thanked me, and as a lineup of cars began to queue up behind my van, I left feeling pretty good about lending a helping hand to strangers in need.

I felt like a Good Samaritan.

I felt smart.

"S-M-R-T. Smart. I am smart."

Until I was half-way home and remembered there was a parking pay station around the corner just a few feet away from that exit.

Oh crap.

I really NEED to make that sign. And one for the car too.

23 People would rather be commenting:

fari bradley said...

You meant well, if they can't think for themselves they can't blame you for putting you on the spot to think for them! in south italy if you ask directions and they don;t know the answer the4y simply say "yes carry on this way" to avoid admitting they don;t know the way! Nuts!

Momo Fali said...

Oops. But, S-M-R-T cracked me up!

Phoenix5 said...

Just get yourself a t-shirt that reads, "Don't ask me, I'm lost too!" Thanks for yet another entertaining post!

Karen MEG said...

I don't even try, even when I really, really want to help... because I usually end up doing something like this.
Too funny, though ;)

toners said...

These things happen...and your intentions were all good!

WT said...

Now see, that's why I never help anyone! And here I was thinking it was just becasue I'm a prick.

Jo Beaufoix said...

least you tried. And S-M-R-T made me laugh too. :D

Cherrye - My Bella Vita said...

Ha! That is funny. I can imagine you, feeling SMRT and all, and then - WHAM! LOL. Thanks for the laugh. And, if you made that sign, it would probably only tempt them more!

mr zig said...

You had good intentions - so that counts for something! :)

Jeff said...

Heh :-) Oh well, you gave it a shot... that's more than some people are willing to do.

Maureen said...

Fari: Welcome, and thanks... I just wish I could think faster when pressed for info.

Momo Fali: Ah yes. I often quote Homer Simpson. Sad, but true.

Phoenix5: I DO need that shirt!!

KarenMeg: Well, at least I am not alone.

Toners: Yeah, but I'll bet those two ladies are NOT pleased with me now!

WT: Welcome! But like I said, I'm sure those ladies had a few choice words for my "help" after they went back to the same exit...

Jo: Thanks. I love your ostrich!

Cherrye: Welcome, and you're right; people would probably just come and ask me for directions just to watch me stress out...

Mr Zig: I guess, thanks. BTW, your blinking icon is very freaky.

Jeff: Thanks. But I'd better get in the habit of running fast after giving out directions -- one of these days someone is going to chase me down for sending them the wrong way!

damon said...

If anyone you know has been to Florida, and got wrong directions, that was ME! I do it on purpose. Tourists love it. It's fun for them.
I've even been in a Walgreens parking lot and had someone ask me where the nearest drug store was.

P.L. Frederick said...

When I ask a stranger for advice, I try to keep in mind that their answer might not 100% solve my problem. It's nice to connect with people though. It's difficult to answer, "Sorry, but I don't know." But it's okay to answer a question that way too.

Em said...

Your heart was in the right place...even if your brain was wandering.

Kathy said...

When people give me that "lost look" I'm like "No, no, no! You don't want me!" I couldn't find my way out of a wet paper bag. I'm pathetic and I need that sign, too.

Maureen said...

Damon: Oh, I laughed out loud at the Walgreen's remark; that's too rich!

PL: Yes, you are absolutely right... but I dearly would love to help; just as I would hope someone would help me if I asked.

Em: Ah, perfect synopsis! Exactly!

Kathy: If I make myself a sign or two, I'll be sure to send you extras.... ;)

Mamma said...

Well you do have the best intentions...

Jen said...

Hey Maureen, thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm guessing you've seen the LOLcat that references S-M-R-T. And at least you meant well.

Oh, and WT, it IS just because you're a prick *grin* A lovable one, but a prick nonetheless.

lotus07 said...

You are just like my wife....when ever I ask her for anything, it is like playing russian roulette regarding the right answer....but at least she 'tries'.

JD at I Do Things said...

I'm so terrible when it comes to giving directions. I know how to get myself there, but I can't explain it. And then I feel all flustered and under a time constraint when the people asking me are parked in the middle of the street, holding up traffic. I think I'll do like they do in South Italy: "Yes, carry on this way"!

JD at I Do Things

April said...

LOL - I just did the same thing the other day! A car next to me asked me where Los Angeles was (I was in the Valley), and how to get to the 405. I realized later I gave him directions to the 101! Oh, well. He could catch the 405 from there...

Blog Hoppin',
Balancing Hops

LadyBanana said...

That's happened to me before, so now when ppl ask me, unless I'm 100% sure, I just say I don't know... Or even pretend I don't know the area...

Vegas Princess said...

But you were still helpful. At least you were not a total dumbass like me who said something to someone I shouldn't have and immediately knew I shouldn't have said it and now have to worry if it will cost me my job. Yeah, give me a foot to insert in my mouth. Please.

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