Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Teachable Moment

I had an incident happen last night that could have turned very ugly.  Even though I wasn’t one of the two parties involved or was even a witness to the event I was the common denominator.

I offered to help a friend move the files from the old desktop to the new laptop.  I had done it a couple of years ago so felt reasonably confident I could handle it.  Well I couldn’t even get her monitor to turn on.  The green light would be lit for just an instant no matter what I did.  So I texted a person, whom I have known for 10 years and is an IT guru.  I explained the issue and he offered a few different suggestions than I had found online but none of them worked.  IT guru then offered to come out for an incredibly reasonable fee to look at it.  Well it turned out the hard drive wouldn’t even turn on.  The desktop was at least 6 years old and had been sitting on the floor.  It had a lot of dust inside and as my brother constantly tells me dust is the death of an electronic device.  IT guru offered to take the hard drive to his work to see if he could retrieve the information.  At this point I was feeling pretty bad because what was supposed to be a simple job was turning into a lot of hours for all involved.  

During IT guru’s time in desktop friend’s house her dog had given him a sniff and I watched her nip him.  I naturally took the dog away from where IT guru was working.  The dog loves to herd and had on a few past occasions herded some other guests.  The dog wasn’t being aggressive nor did her nip break the skin.  However IT guru shared he had been bitted a few times in the past and wasn’t very comfortable with dogs any longer.

After a few hours IT guru called and said a deep scan seemed to be recovering some of the files but it would need to run for several more hours.  We all were tired and had things to do on Saturday evening.  I was heading about 20 minutes north to enjoy game night at some friend’s home whom had stopped by during the day and was privy to the whole desktop hard drive issue.  IT guru naturally wanted to get paid and I had the money so we arranged to meet at the northern friend’s house because it was on his way home.  I should mention that he was riding a motorcycle with full gear and helmet as was his wife. 

It was dark at this point and my dear northern friends live in a rural area and on a private road.  I had been on the lookout for the motorcycles and when I saw one drive past I immediately headed outside.  I thought I must have been wrong because the 2 motorcycles were down at the end of the cul-de-sac for several minutes but I stayed outside looking at the beautiful moon and getting a lesson in planting pineapples from my friend, the owner of the house.  The two motorcycles head back out and one sees me and stops – it was my IT guru and his wife.  The wife was upset and said a homeowner at the end of the cul-de-sac had threatened to call the police.  The IT guru pulled up and then explained that the homeowner’s dog and come up to him growling and he was very nervous.  Here is where the teachable moment comes in.  He told the homeowner that she should be more careful with her dog and he had a concealed weapons permit.  I paid him and they left quickly.  As my friend and I were walking back toward her house I commented that bringing up even a hint of a gun isn’t a very good idea it will always escalate a situation.  Before we reached the front door the homeowner at the end of the street hailed us.  I wasn’t going to let my friend deal with this alone so we headed down the street.

The homeowner was furious and afraid.  I told her I knew the people on the motorcycles and to please vent to me, not my friend and her neighbor.   What she heard from the IT guru was “I am going to shoot your dog” and I perfectly understood that.  I let her vent through me for several minutes until she calmed down.  I apologized many times.  She ended up hugging me and apologizing for taking her anger at the situation out on me and I told her I was glad she did.  I didn’t want her to have this experience in her head all night long.  When I finally got back into the house I had a phone call from the IT guru apologizing also.

I understand both sides of this situation.  Dog owners forget sometimes that not everyone is a dog lover.  Some people have a real fear of dogs and when a strange dog approaches they do not see it as a cute let me sniff you event.  They think of it as a threat.  I also understand that if a stranger, in front of my house, in full motorcycle gear told me he had a concealed weapons permit I would take it as a threat.  I would have probably tried to clarify the intent before getting that upset but still I get it. 

People are extra stressed these days.  Sometimes they over react to a situation and in my opinion anytime a gun is mentioned the situation has just gotten out of control.  Yes there are some crazy people out there ready to do you harm.  However if someone is overreacting toward you take a breath before you respond.  It might save a life.


  1. Great post weekend for you for sure! I agree that there is no need to mention the concealed weapon permit at all. It also gives me good pointers for my friends who are terrified of dogs. I have a friend who will not even get out of her car at my house, so I can understand that fear.

  2. Thanks so much for commenting Amy, I appreciate it! Yes it was an interesting day and thankfully it all worked out in the end.

  3. This blog post was right on! Ginny truly was the conduit for this neighbor who was terrified but then was mollified, if you will, by our guest, yours truly, Ginny! It really impressed me and I think maybe Ginny missed her calling...she is amazing and defused a very difficult, ugly situation very quickly! kt

  4. Thank you kt for your friendship & support!