For many years now I have been mindful of my surroundings. Whether it be shopping, in my business, or out and about on errands. And truthfully, every now I do lapse in these skills. Fortunately last Monday was a day that I did have my situational radar set to “on” mode.
As I was exiting my bank mid-afternoon, I did my usual visual scan left, then to the right for activities I should be aware. Just like a sci-fi movie my brain sensed a “DANGER! DANGER!” warning in my head. My eyes fixed on a man and woman around 20 feet to my right on the sidewalk of the parking lot. Nothing unusual about that except the couple was having a hard time walking a straight line and basically staying upright. To myself I mumbled Really., Middle of the afternoon and you are drunk.”
My SUV happened to be parked right near the entrance by the sidewalk they were attempting to navigate. I promptly be-bopped to my SUV while keeping my eyes on them. A habit ingrained in me by my mother since I started to drive is to immediately lock my doors once I get into my vehicle. (Thanks Mom for that valuable life lesson!) Locking my doors I turned my attention to putting my bag in my center console. Just as I put my keys in the ignition I view the stumbling man reaching for my drivers side door handle. Instinct kicked in and I firmly, loudly said “NO” and jutted my finger in his direction. Stepping back and shaking his head head looked perplexed at my command. Again he stepped forward towards my handle. “NO, stop” I barked through the glass. He then indicated a drinking motion. My assumption was he was asking if I had any alcohol for him. “Move away from the car NOW” I bellowed. This last cut through the fog of his alcoholic stupor and he stumbled back to the sidewalk to catch up with the woman. I kept my eyes on him as he cleared my SUV.
Most of my family, friends and members at my facility know that I work “what if” situations in my head to keep on top of my personal protection. As soon as the man stepped away from my car I thought to myself “if” he had opened my door my first instinct would have been to start punching, yelling and basically going nuts. I’m my own personal security guard. I refuse to let anyone get into my personal space unapproved.
“Safe” areas no longer exist – even in North Dakota. It does not matter the time of day, the location that you are at, or even if you are with someone you must be aware of surroundings. Situational awareness is your responsibility. Be confident, aware and smart in your daily travels!
Be Safe – Josette