I’ve been working Saturdays this month (not my norm), so I’ve been taking random days throughout the week off to make up for my extra hours (known as comp time in the corporate world). I decided to take off last Monday, but it wasn’t one of those lazy days where I do nothing but watch tv and play Candy Crush all day. I only did that for half the day…
In the morning hours I decided I was going to be productive. My motorcycle needed a state inspection (for those unaware, the state I reside in requires all vehicles to be inspected by a state authorized garage for it to be deemed safe to drive; it’s basically a money making scheme…), so I figured I’d take advantage of my free time and get that done.
I took my bike up the road to the nearest garage; one I had not been to before. I walked inside and was met with a construction site: exposed wall studs, stacks of drywall, paint cans, and a man using a power saw. He said the shop was under new management and that they were doing some renovations before their grand re-opening the following week. He asked what service I needed and told him that my motorcycle just needed an inspection. He asked me to wait a second while he went to get the owner for me to talk with.
The two men came back and the owner told me he had another shop in the next county over and that if I had the time, I could follow him out there where he could do the inspection himself and send me on my way without having to wait. He was already heading out there himself, so I agreed. I hopped on my bike and followed him out.
It wasn’t until I was 20 minutes into the trip down a windy back road that I had a thought: I don’t know this man. Why on earth did I agree to follow some strange man to an unknown location, especially when no one knows where I am?
My motorcycle helmet is equipped with a Bluetooth headset, so I pressed my speed dial to call Fella to at least let him know my situation, but I was already too far out in the middle of nowhere that I didn’t have cell signal. Great….
As we were turning down another side road I decided that if I didn’t like the look of the destination I would just keep going. I knew the area well enough that I could make a quick escape and head back to civilization without issue.
And before I tell you the conclusion of this story, I would just like to reiterate the title of this post: don’t be like me. Do not do what I did. Do not assume that every person offering you help is a good person with good intentions. Do not agree to follow a stranger to a unknown destination. Do not put yourself in a situation where you have limited or no options. Please remember to always be aware of your surroundings and your situation. It’s okay to say no even if you said yes. It’s okay to totally blow someone off if you don’t feel comfortable.
There. I said it. Thanks for letting me get that off of my chest.
In the end, we show up to this guy’s garage with about a dozen employees buzzing around, some male, some female (yes, that is important), as well as some customers waiting on their cars. All I had to do was show the guy that my blinkers and high beam worked, he gave me a sticker, and sent me on my way.
This could have ended a completely different way. I’m thankful that my wits kicked in and that I began questioning the situation I was putting myself in. I’m certain that if I tell my dad this story, he would ground me. I’ve not lived with my parents for 7 years and never in my life have been grounded, but he would for sure ground me.