Why... I Shoulda, Oughta, You're Lucky I Didn't...

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Why... I Shoulda, Oughta, You're Lucky I Didn't...

Post  Perry Gamsby on Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:06 am

Today it was 42C and the pool was crowded at 5pm. They closed off the outdoor 50m due to an electrical storm nearby and everyone crowded inside. The end result was five yobs in their mid teens interfering with the lap swimming only lane. The arrogance and rudeness of these teens has to be seen to be believed. They have no respect for anyone or anything, including the police and teachers, adults etc. The fact half of them are indigenous meant the pool staff were reluctant to do anything for fear of getting hit with the racist tag.

I, on the other hand, opened my big gob and yelled down the pool for them to swim laps or get out of the lane. They don't like anyone questioning their authority and right to do as they please. Their parent never has, so why should they obey societies' rules of good social behaviour?

One started to splash me as I swam past, to the amusement of his friends. Another got cocky and swam towards me, head on and wore a stiff finger jab to the face (all in the stroke, of course). then one swam in from behind and tried to push past, only to cop an elbow to the face, all without losing a stroke. My word to the pool staff did little and of course by now they were getting stuck in. The big one (there is always a big one, isn't there?) chipped in with some petty insults. I ignored them, finished my laps and felt it prudent to leave quickly. Who wants to fight 5 15-16 year olds in the car park with nothing but a damp towel and a heart condition?

As I left they lined the fence and hurled the insults, which I ignored and off I went. I have to say I acknowledge the incident was avoidable if I hadn't yelled at them. However by then I had been messed about at least six or seven times with punks in the lap lane. I had ignored them, ignored the fat woman saying they should close the lap lane so her boy had more room and so on. When I did yell out, I guess it gave them license to turn, pack like etc. But I don't regret making a stand. If they won't obey a sign and respect other people's right to swim in peace they won't respect anything or anyone. I doubt I made them realise anything and no doubt made myself a target, brought on unnecessary and unwanted attention and ran the risk of a violent situation that might end very badly in one of many ways.

The reality for me is I have about one or two good shots left in me before the blood pressure goes up and the heart would get miffed (remember I'd just swam 1km). A 16 year old lad weighing a good 70-80kg and in fair shape can be a difficult opponent when he has four mates to help. If it went into the carpark I would not have wasted time talking because if they left the pool (and so would need to pay to return) then they want blood. I would strike first and without hesitation and take out the big one, then the mouthy one and hopefully by then the other three would be running. Then again, they might not be.

Feel free to discuss. I know I could have handled it better by simply not letting them piss me off but I didn't. We all have our line in the sand I guess. What I have learned is I need to control me a bit better. I am not young nor fit anymore, despite what the head says. I let them get me pissed off at them and I shouldn't have. Anyone care to comment on this 'soft' side to self defence? Controlling yourself is harder than controlling others in some cases. Cheers Perry
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Re: Why... I Shoulda, Oughta, You're Lucky I Didn't...

Post  Socrates on Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:50 am

IMHO, true soft skills would have involved shutting up, finishing early and looking for a better swimming pool!
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Re: Why... I Shoulda, Oughta, You're Lucky I Didn't...

Post  Ade on Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:21 am

Socrates wrote:IMHO, true soft skills would have involved shutting up, finishing early and looking for a better swimming pool!

Couldn't agree more,Soc.

...but there are times when you just can't let it slide,and something just has to be done.
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Re: Why... I Shoulda, Oughta, You're Lucky I Didn't...

Post  Peter on Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:26 am

Agreed.

There is an argument which says you should protect yourself by not being involved but if everyone actually does that then sooner or later society will detiorate to the point where the arseholes rule and everyone is involved.
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Re: Why... I Shoulda, Oughta, You're Lucky I Didn't...

Post  Socrates on Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:30 am

Ade wrote:
Socrates wrote:IMHO, true soft skills would have involved shutting up, finishing early and looking for a better swimming pool!

Couldn't agree more,Soc.

...but there are times when you just can't let it slide,and something just has to be done.

Agreed!

But if you're going to do something, commit to it 100% and make sure that the world is a little bit better at the end of it. Shouting at idiots, niggling them and then rushing off isn't effective soft skills and it doesn't change anything.
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Re: Why... I Shoulda, Oughta, You're Lucky I Didn't...

Post  Ace Ventura on Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:27 am

I agree with Ade and Peter otherwise we would not have the other thread hero

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Re: Why... I Shoulda, Oughta, You're Lucky I Didn't...

Post  Socrates on Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:36 am

To be fair, there is a slight difference between a gang of 40 armed lunatics stripping a girl naked so they can rape her and a couple of teenage lads messing about in the wrong lane of the local swimming pool...
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Re: Why... I Shoulda, Oughta, You're Lucky I Didn't...

Post  Peter on Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:24 am

Yes there is but if someone had checked the 40 armed lunatics when they were just teenage lads mucking about about then maybe the 40 armed lunatics would never had happened? A stitch in time if you will
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Re: Why... I Shoulda, Oughta, You're Lucky I Didn't...

Post  Sven on Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:38 am

There is a simple rule of thumb - only make bets you can cover. In other words: when issuing an order you better be sure you're ready to go any lenghts (within reason, of course) to assure it's execution. Without that, anything is just empty words.

I'm not to criticize, first, I was not there and second, if I'd have a heart condition et al, probably I would had acted the same. Anyhow, what matters the most is that You're alright. And yes, there are times when something just has to be done.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing (E. Burke)
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Re: Why... I Shoulda, Oughta, You're Lucky I Didn't...

Post  jesse on Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:02 am

Err...only make bets that you're going to be able and WILLING to cover. I honestly can't fault the choices the OP made at the time, but while probably was able to deal with the situation without a ton of difficulty, he was ultimately not WILLING to deal with it because: it wasn't worth it, wouldn't really accomplish what he wanted, and had too many possible bad outcomes.

A couple of days ago I heard a guy shouting behind my house (a series of apartments). I looked out the window and he was a 20ish skinhead. I looked at his hands like Nick's taught us to do and he had a medium sized hunting knife in a reverse grip in his right hand. He was looking back to my right and smiling. I could easily have stuck my head out to ask what he was doing, but I decided not to do so. He walked back to my right and about 30 seconds later he, four other guys, a rotweiller, and a young blonde female (egging them on) came back past my back door. I could have dealt with the guy. I could have dealt with his friends. I was seven steps up a narrow concrete stairway with a 9mm handgun, reloads, good knife, and a lockable door. The worst case scenario would have been that they had guns too and would have taken offense at my asking what on earth they were doing. I physically was probably able to deal with the situation. However, I wasn't willing to deal with the situation. There were too many bad situations that could happen including that they would now know where I live and would just come back later when I wasn't there to take care of my wife and kids.

I really think that the two areas of soft skills that I can see where Nick's training has been invaluable are in the areas of situational evaluation (exposure to a lot of situations resulting in pre-planning) and a willingness to flip the switch when you do decide it is necessary.

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Re: Why... I Shoulda, Oughta, You're Lucky I Didn't...

Post  Perry Gamsby on Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:03 am

There has been some interesting debate on this, which was the aim in the first place. The point about being willing as well as able is worth further discussion. In this scenario, according to some, it could be construed that one makes a move (say yelling at the yobs to obey the rules) and is or should be willing to go all the way to a fight to the death if it comes to it as a result. What about someone who makes a mistake? Not intentionally but the reactions of the other party alter the ending he had in mind? As Clauswitz said, the best laid plans are all rubbish once contact is made with the enemy. Or words to that affect and in German, of course.

This concept of presumption of response can be looked at in many ways and differing scenarios. We don't all, always consider all the results and consequences, at least I confess I don't. Try as I might, sometimes I react without thinking things through comprehensively. Sometimes circumstances take over and events happen in a sequence of their own, beyond what you had in mind in the beginning.

As for willing to take on these five yobs, if needs must, no problem. The point I would make though is that I would not waste time in farting around. If I went physical it would be fast, aggressive and brutal as it should be. Then one asks was the result of that justified? Was it worth it? Should I have just put up with the yobs and then find somewhere else to swim? The answer is that in practical terms it is always best to avoid conflict. In real terms,it is not always possible nor is it always desirable. Sometimes you take your chances, have your go and deal with it.

You can very quickly run out of swimming pools within decent range of home where I live, but there is no shortage of loud mouthed, disrespectful yobbo's. I think in future I will just ignore them and keep swimming, then write an official letter of complaint to the Council, my MP etc Then again, why bother as that will not change the yobs and it is they and their parent/care giver who is at fault. Not society or the teachers or government but the parent. Then the individual who has the choice and knows what is right and wrong. Which comes back to sometimes you do something that seemed like a good idea at the time but in retrospect may not have been so smart. The trick is to live to tell the tale and perhaps by airing my dirty laundry here, others might take something worthwhile away from this. Cheers Perry
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Re: Why... I Shoulda, Oughta, You're Lucky I Didn't...

Post  Socrates on Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:42 am

I think in future I will just ignore them and keep swimming, then write an official letter of complaint to the Council, my MP etc

Soft skills!
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