Last night I was rushing from the gym to the theatre, and I stopped to get tokens from one of the machines. I put my $10 in, got my four tokens and was happily on my way, when I saw a man on the opposite side of the turnstiles holding a $10 bill out to me and saying "get me some tokens".
Huh? Get you some tokens?
He wasn't being polite or asking me nicely...he simply said "get me some tokens" with a shrug and a hand gesture as if to say "come on, just do it". No "please", no "excuse me"...nothing. It was almost as if he was thinking "You're a woman, do this for me now."
I told him that no, sorry, I had to rush to the theatre so I wasn't going to wait in line and get him tokens. He said "come on" and I said "no, just show the collector and I'm sure he'll let you back in". I was pissed and offended.
I walked away with a mixture of feelings; I was offended that the guy had just assumed I would wait in line and do this for him. I was angry that he didn't even say "excuse me, I'm very sorry to do this but..." or "I'll even give you one of the tokens if you do this for me"...I felt he was being very rude. I felt guilty because I hadn't helped this guy out. I felt okay because if I gave that strangers five minutes of my time, what if I NEVER got a thank-you and ended up being even later than I already was? I was torn.
I try to live my life to make others happy and make the world a better place; if I followed more closely the things that I read, I really SHOULD have helped this guy. Karma, karma, karma! But at the time I was angry, running late and offended, so I decided not to. I mean, the guy could have come out and done it himself - I've done it many times and the collectors have let me right back in, so why would this be any different? Was I right? Wrong? Is there a right or wrong in this matter? I'm still feeling badly about it.
What would you have done?