Friday, February 13, 2009

The Sheffield Samaritans

Let’s start with the facts:

My parents and youngest sister live in Sheffield.

By Monday morning the Midlands – where I live – was all but thawed of ice and snow, only a few discoloured remnants of obscene snowmen remained.

Sheffield however, like much of the North, was still flinching under a heavy gauntlet of snow. Not great travelling conditions by anybody’s standards.

On her way to work my sister slipped over on some ice in the middle of the main road and came crashing down heavily onto her back and hip.

And then lay there, gasping for breath, in dreadful pain, unable to move while the person walking directly behind her carried on walking as if nothing untoward had happened at all.

No offer of assistance, no polite enquiry as to her well-being, not even a jokey “ooh send us a postcard next time love.”

Just a kiss-my-arse cold shoulder and gone.

Thankfully a passer-by on the other side of the road crossed over and helped my sister up and walked her part of the way to work. She was very upset, very shaken and very much in pain.

5 days later she’s still in a lot of pain but is mostly hurt and confused as to why a fellow human being could just step over her and leave her – sprawled and helpless – in the middle of the High Street.

As indeed am I. Though I’m less hurt and confused about it as bloody furious.

How could anybody be this callous and uncaring? What does it cost to give someone a small helping hand – even a stranger?

I suppose I ought to be grateful that this person didn’t stick the boot in while she lay there and help himself to her purse and jewellery. Or just whip out his mobile phone and film her plight so he could shove it onto YouTube later and so boost his online kudos.

I know the chances of Mr Charming reading this are so slim as to be incalculable but if ever “what goes around comes around” needed to be a prayer and a curse it is today in my heart.

Back at yer, Mister. With nobs on.

31 comments:

Brother Tobias said...

That defies belief. How do such creatures sleep at night?

You have reminded me of something that I had completed forgotten, when a rather drunk woman in Newcastle slipped on some dogsh and fell heavily. And messily. It took all the charity we could muster for my companion and me to help her up.

I hope your sister is on the mend.

Steve said...

From the ridiculous to the sublime... I hope life gave you a much deserved reward for your adherence (though I hope it wasn't that sticky) to a noble and just cause.

As for the uncaring scrote who is able to wash his hands so completely of any kind of responsibility to his fellow man and woman... I daresay he sleeps absolutely fine at night; the truly ignorant usually do.

My sister is still very sore and tender... we're trying to persuade her to go to the doctors but is a little better. Thank you.

French Fancy said...

That is just dreadful - Obviously the person does not have a blog because bloggers are the nicest of people and would never step over someone in distress.

I hope your sis is back to being chirpy very soon.

Incidentally you are now attached to my sidebar where I can keep an eye on you.

Steve said...

That is very true, French Fancy, I can't imagine a blogger ever doing such a thing. I promise to be good in your sidebar and not to make too much of a mess. You're safely housed in mine too. You're alphabetized and everything. See, I'm a very tidy boy when I put my mind to it. ;-)

-eve- said...

I agree, Steve
As you say, this is the story of the Samaritan.. love is shown by our actions. Don’t worry – in the end, everyone will get their just desserts. Hope your sis is doing better. :-)

Steve said...

Thanks Eve, she's a little better and I'm calmer about it now too!

missbehaving said...

I hope your sister is okay.
It is incomprehensible. Pity is your best weapon here. What kind of shallow, empty life does that person have, that he cannot
show a shred of basic human decency?
I totally understand your anger, but pity is so much lighter to carry around with you.

Steve said...

True Missbehaving. Your words suddenly brought an image of Mr T to mind... "Pity the fool!" Can't argue with the T (or you)!

French Fancy said...

I wonder why your attachment on my side bar is not linking to your url - it says blog unavailable when I try. I've done it three times now - with the same result. There is also a little cross beside your name on the actual little screen where I add blogs.

Any ideas? I've looked on Blogger help and it is no help at all.

Steve said...

I think it's because I publish my blog to my own domain name rather than to a Blogger url - it seems to cause problems for lots of people. I guess all you can do is link to my blog's address: http://www.pocketropolis.co.uk/blog/blogger.html - though you won't be notified of when I publish updates you'll at least be able to find me with a click of your mouse! Thank you for trying!

Flaming Nora said...

It's incredible, horrible. I do hope she pulls through and will be ok physically and it doesn't dent her faith in human nature. We're not all bad. I would have helped, indeed I did, the other week when an old man was hit by a car near to our house. Lots of people didn't help though - and some walked away as others looked on. I was the only one who did help come to think of it. Anyway, I hope she's going to be ok soon.

Steve said...

Nora, I'm beginning to think that people like us are starting to be in the minority in the modern world which is deeply sad and I do hope I'm wrong. I hope good things come your way in the natural justice of things.

http://rebeccahannay.blogspot.com/ said...

gosh that makes my blood boil with anger. If this so called fellow human had this happen to a family member of theirs, I bet they would also be angry. I agree with what comes around sure does go around. even if they were in a hurry they could have just said "alright love, can i phone someone for you, thats all i can do as i need to be somewhere"... aahhhhhhhhhh

http://rebeccahannay.blogspot.com/ said...

having re-read your entry it reminds me of something that me and my husband did...we were waiting for a night bus in london, right outside kings cross. there was middle aged man who was drunk and had a dresh head wound...i managed to get said person into the train station, thinking they would have a first aider who could help (no mobile phone back then to call 999). when i approached a member of staff they didnt want to know as it had not happen within the station...i got soo mad and asked if he could call 999, he said no - and get this - because it would have meant too much paper work...anyway, we managed to get him sorted. but he was about the age of my dad and i had this horrible feeling that he had been mugged or just beaten and i hated the thought of that happening to my dad...i can sooo se why your mad at this person, she could have broken something. atleast bruised heal quicker than breaks - and she has a loving family to put a plaster of her internal bruised.

Sweet Cheeks said...

How Horrible!

I could never watch somone get hurt and not do something to help. Even my enemies...I would help them too if injured. It is the humane thing to do...Unthinkable that someone could just walk by.
:(
I hope your sister doesn't lose her faith in all of us...some of us really do care.

Sending my good wishes to your family!

The Sagittarian said...

There's some rotten buggers about and no mistake! Hope your sister is up and about soon.
I wonder sometimes what we're coming to (as a society) , frankly even if your sister had been trollied I would like to think someone would have stopped to help her. I always consider that a person is somebodies "wife, mother, sister, daughter, father, brother etc" and treat them as I would like to be treated.

skatey katie said...

ouch.
much love to your sister X

Steve said...

Rebecca, sadly your story is I suspect rather typical these days where people are reluctant to do the right thing because they fear all the red tape and idiotic legislation involved. People seem to have lost their commonsense as well as their decency.

Thank you, Sweet Cheeks, she's on the mend. And I guess the bad side of the experience is balanced by the fact that someone did help in the end.

Amanda, that's very much how I try and think - everybody is someone's sister / brother, daughter / son and one day it may be us or one of our loved ones who need a helping hand.

Steve said...

Thanks Skatey Katie - your good wishes are much appreciated!

French Fancy said...

If you don't mind I'll rely on your Followers button to get to your blog then, as your link won't tell me when you've updated. For one thing it's nearer the top where I am likely to see it.

Steve said...

I'm not entirely sure that that work either (so will be interested to find out) but I really do appreciate the efforts you are making!

justme said...

It is realy depressing when something like this happens. I hope your sister is feeling better now and I am glad that someone else DID come to help her.
And I agree that whoever that person was would NOT be the sort of person to read your lovely blog!

Steve said...

Aw thank you Justme! And yes, she's a lot better now!

Reluctant Blogger said...

Not good. I would always help and I am sure most people would be the same.

I wonder if some people are too embarrassed or something. I dunno. It seems very strange.

Glad she is OK now though. Whenever I have hurt myself or any of my children have, someone has always helped, so I think most people are good and kind. Your sister was just very unlucky.

Steve said...

True, Gina, but it still defies belief that someone could behave so uncaringly... but I guess everyone is different and not everyone has the same capacity for empathy and compassion.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

What an a-hole! Though I'd better add 'without prejudice' since apparently some of my previous blog posting commentors have behaved in a 'defamatory' way.

I do hope she is recovering well.

Annie said...

Hello Steve, I'm saddened by your story but not surprised. A similar thing happened to me when I slipped on ice last week and struggled to get up. A neighbour glanced at me then got into his car and drove off. (Any other neighbour would have helped I'm sure.... I just fell in front of the wrong one) The trouble is, some people are too insular or in a hurry to care about anyone outside of their own little worlds. It's a shame but I suppose we should reflect on the people who ARE kind and caring... and like Gina says, most people are really. Anyway, glad to hear your sis is better :)

anni said...

That is so disturbing and must only add to the pain. It seems almost inhumane that someone would react that way and maybe you just don't want help from a person like that in any way shape or form. I hope your sister is getting better. Those falls are the worst. We're unprepared..standing one moment and flat out the next. Been there done that. And yes...what goes around comes around. Passerby will get his due.

Steve said...

She is, Laura, and hopefully the a-hole has been tracked down and lynched (without prejudice)!

Hi Annie, you and Gina are right of course - much better to concentrate and devote time to the caring, deserving people than the ones who don't give a brass fig for anybody else.

Anni, is it wrong of me to hope that I am there to see it when he does get his comeuppance? Probably. I ought to let it go and leave it to the Universe to sort out... ;-)

Old Cheeser said...

People in London act like that all the time. Bastards!! But as you say what goes around comes around.

Steve said...

I certainly hope so anyway, OC!