Angry People

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    NJMike
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    Just a quick thought from something that occurred earlier this evening.

    I was out running errands and stopped at a Taco Bell to get a quick bite. I was seated facing the entire restaurant, and near the side entrance. I’m just getting into my unhealthy food and I hear an argument starting to my right. Seems a man is having words with a mother in the adjacent booth. It’s a stupid argument over her telling her son to get more sauce packets when they leave and how this man is considering that stealing. That’s here nor there. Well the man gets up and involves the young cashiers who could care less. I don’t see a manager. He doesn’t get the reaction from them he wants and he sits down elsewhere. The mom is leaving and escalates back engaging the cashiers and by taunting the guy. When he gets up to argue back, she’s rubbing it in his face taking more sauce packets on her way out the side entrance. Angry guy leaves via the front entrance. Thought it was over then, but I’m reading the staff and see it’s not over. He’s walked around the lot to behind her car and continues to have words. Now I’m keeping my on him since he hasn’t let it go. He walks past my truck to another truck, but doesn’t get in, then walks back, then gets in a different vehicle. Now I’m not taking my eyes off him until he leaves.

    I realized at some point I’d switched off the normalcy bias and was actively paying attention. I was considering the possibility of being caught in a restaurant where things could escalate to where intervention might be needed, or worse the possibility of someone walking back in hot headed with a gun. People do get crazier in the heat of summer. And over hot sauce packets in this case. We often can be dismissive of other people’s arguments, and usually things go no further. However, the news is also replete with stories of escalated situations going out of control in restaurants, stores, bars, or on the roads. No matter where we find ourselves, it doesn’t hurt to keep ears and eyes open and have situational awareness.

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