Wednesday, June 16, 2010

that sucks. what can we learn?

A couple of volunteers up north got rolled by a group of teenagers.

There are maybe a few things that could have been done differently here.
  • Don't go wandering around a strange city late at night.
  • If you do, don't ask a crowd of teenagers for directions. (Anna's a big fan of this. I might or might not depending on the situation and how dodgy they looked. I sort of imagine I might have passed in this case.)
  • If you ask a crowd of teenagers for directions, don't just turn your back to them and walk away. (I definitely wouldn't do that. When I'm walking around alone, I pay attention to everyone I can see, and make sure I know where they are.)
And if you're not caught too much by surprise, there are other options if you have some training in handling physical conflict.

It's always important not to blame the victim when something bad happens (and I'm glad John and Ryan weren't more badly hurt than scrapes and minor concussions), but it's also always important to look at the steps leading up to the bad thing, and learn where we could have done something different to avoid it, so we can avoid it in the future...


  1. I was also thinking later: don't carry your wallet in your back pocket. Their response to the whole thing was pretty impressive. Sounds like they really kept their cool in the midst of it all, and that is quite respectable.

  2. Yeah, I did a lot of things wrong, for sure. I never keep my wallet in my back pocket, but for some reason I had just gotten lazy that weekend. Probably didn't help that we'd both been into the vino that evening as well.

    Good advice though. I've definitely used the whole episode as a learning experience.

  3. @Anna: That would have freed them from worrying about the wallet per se, but would it have changed the outcome?

    @John: My media naranja there is right, as happens distressingly often: there is an impressive lack of panic in the story. It's good practice for me to remember to point out the positive things.

    And, as an episode of "Kung Fu: The Legend Continues" once pointed out, sometimes you just lose, even if you do everything right. I'm glad you guys are okay.