Recently, I have been experiencing people trying to take advantage of me. And the funny part is I see it happening almost like an out of body experience point of view and I think it’s just a little sad. If I were to put in a pie graph, 20% of people I have encountered are nice and 80% are out to “get someone”, cheat them to get ahead.
I recently got in an accident. Luckily, I was okay. Little setup: The accident happened near south central LA. As I was calling my insurance trying to figure things out, 2 tow truck owners came to the scene and started asking questions. I had to ask them to hold back so I could talk to my insurance. Then, another tow truck showed up a few minutes later, parked behind the other two, and then took off. I resolved everything with my insurance company and they were sending a tow truck. I told the tow truck guys, “sorry but the insurance can’t approve you over the phone since they have a system”. The guys were super nice and said, “hey no problem, just here to help. we’ll kick back in case things take long with your insurance”.
The insurance was suppose to take 45 minutes or less but they were taking a lot longer, over an hour. I called them back to get a status and apparently, they were backlogged. A little notification to the waiting client would have been nice. So I waited. Then, a tow truck showed up saying “Mercury? Mercury?” (the name of my insurance). Naturally I said “YES!”. He proceeded to be nice, very nice actually, introduced himself, and said “Coo man, let me set you up.” He proceeded to attach the car to the tow truck. I found it a little weird that he didn’t ask for my license or Mercury card. But I figured that was being handled by the insurance company somehow and they were just trying to get me on the way. I had been waiting over an hour and was just happy someone from the company finally showed up.
He hooked up the car to the tow truck and when I got in to the tow truck, I asked him if we were going to Fix Auto Body Shop which is where my insurance told me we were going. He said “Oh nah man, they changed it to one local to here. Yeah, yeah it’s over here”. A red flag went up. Unfortunately, we were already on the way. I didn’t want to create a scene. Obviously, this was a semi-kidnap scene.
He proceeded to be a great friend all about putting me at ease.
Now we get to the body shop “Impact Body Shop”. The owner makes me wait a few minutes. Then, he asks me what happened. Weird, I thought the insurance would tell him that. The he asks “what insurance do you have”. SHIT, 2nd Red Flag. It was then that I realized the tow truck guy was the same as the one that pulled up second on the scene. He talked to the other gentlemen there to ask what my insurance was… DUH!
So I was able to stall him and get back to Mercury and get another tow truck which got me to the right body shop. After 5 hours.
So, why do people lie? Cheat? Their fellow human beings? Is this survival of the fittest?
How can we become so low as a society to come to this?
Bear with me, I am not ranting about anyone specific in LA. I have had the SAME experience of people trying to cheat me in London and back at home in India.
Over the past month, the balance of people being nice vs. being nice to get me has been really skewed.
I can only thank my parents for raising me in a way to stay strong and hold my ground. I get the true value of their teachings and an even more heightened respect for them. I often said, “oh dad/mom don’t worry”. Now, I get why they worried. I get what I need to do when I bring a kid into this world. I get it. But I can’t help but think how sad the whole thing is. Human nature, survival of the fittest.. it makes you grow some balls.