The "what would you do" moments
There is a reality TV show on now called, "What would you do?" and the premise is just that: what would you do in certain situations. Most of the situations are awkward, tense and even a little outrageous, but the concept is a good one. You can't ever predict how you'll react to a certain situation...but your "response-ability" is important (see what I did there?).
Today I had a big "what would you do" situation in real life. I was working for a friend who owns a building on a busy street in town. I was plugging away at the computer when I heard a frazzled woman's voice come in and start speaking to our intern in the front of the office. Our intern proceeded to come get me and described the woman as being "freaked out" and that she "needed help".
When I arrived up front, the woman was very flustered and spoke quickly about how she was new in town and how her car had just broken down. She was desperate as she wasn't going to get her first paycheck until next week and she was short id="mce_marker"8 for a tow truck. She swore up and down that if we gave it to her, she would pay it back. Apparently, she had been walking for a while and no one would help. Ugh. That was for sure a tug on the heart strings.
Admission: I am NOT quick on my feet. Yes, I am trained to listening intently, structure conversations and think rather quickly during life coaching sessions, but I'm always prepared for the situation. This time, in everyday life, I was not.
I thought it would be best to go get my friend who owns the company. On the way to her office, my mind was torn into two thoughts: 1) Maybe I should be skeptical. There have been a lot of scams going on lately and this story just sounds made up--and a little brilliant. 2) Maybe this woman is one of those angels you hear about (commence giggling to yourself--I know how it sounds). Wouldn't I want someone to believe me? Shouldn't we treat our neighbors as we would like to be treated?
My friend handled the situation beautifully. She did give the woman the money; however, she gently, yet firmly pressured the woman to pay it back (it's not about the amount--it's the principle and she said she would pay it back).
After she left, I pondered the situation for a long time. I had a lot of "should-haves" that came to mind: I should have asked the woman if we could get the police involved as a safety precaution to all parties involved; I should have trusted my gut; I should not have been so judgmental.
Will she come back with the money as promised? Only time will tell. I hope for my friend and for the woman, herself, that she does. It would be a glimmer of hope in a skeptical world. It would be the right thing to do.
I can clearly define the "right thing" after this situation ended, but in the moment, I had no idea "what I would/should do". Choices in this life aren't always black and white. We all struggle with them from time to time. I mean, heck, I'm trained to help others make the best choices for their lives, but in an everyday, well, not-so-everyday situation, I went blank. I had no real "response-ability". I needed help. And that's OK.
I know you'll have your own opinion about this situation and others similar to it; for me, I want to constantly be better prepared to be "response-able" in life situations. I also hope that good will come out of this situation for all parties involved. Life coaching can help prepare yourself to be more "response-able" in your work, home life, community, health and many other things, but there will always be the "what would you do" moments. I think the most important thing to do in these situations is to trust your gut, follow your heart and learn something for the next time.
What do you think about this "what would you do" situation? Have you had a "what would you do" situation lately? Were you "response-able"? Stories welcome!
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