In the fourth article in our new series, Suzuki takes questions from readers and lets the audience decide - is this real-life person an, erm, donkey, or not, in a road-related conflict. And you get to share your thoughts!
In Suzuki’s newest series, based on the reddit thread of the same name, we take in anonymous reader’s questions on road rules and car etiquette. This is a place to vent and a place to judge! We want to hear all about your non-violent, legal, car or road-related conflict. Give us both sides of the story, and our audience will judge: were you right, or were you, well, the mampara? Read the real-life stories here and vote on our social media platforms. We’ll update this blog with the overwhelming consensus so you know for sure if you were in the right or the wrong.
Last week, during lockdown, my sister called from the shops to say she’s stuck in the parking lot and could I come help jump-start her car? I said no and, a week later, she’s still mad at me for not helping. But hear me out:
Firstly, I had reminded her to start her car and let it run every few days so that the battery didn’t run flat during Level 5. Precisely so she could avoid this situation. I know my sister and can assure you she didn’t do this. Naturally, this led to an instant argument when I mentioned it, but I know she didn’t take the time to just turn on her car every week.
Then there’s the fact that I have two small children at home, and I’m not just going to throw them in the car in the middle of lockdown. I should also mention that I stay in Midrand and she’s in Randburg. I know it’s not that far, and if my sister was in any kind of danger, I wouldn’t have hesitated! But, it was in the middle of the day, at a big shopping centre. Also, I have taken lockdown very seriously, and have taken all measures not to expose my kids.
All of the above said, my sister’s car is insured and she has roadside assistance. But, according to her, it would take too long and she would still have to pay a fee to get AA to come out and assist her.
In her view, I was at home anyway and could have saved her the money and effort if I had just jumped in the car and come to help her. We’re very close and regularly help each other with everything from babysitting to moving and stuff like that.
But my point is: this was in the middle of lockdown and this ‘simple’ favour would mean my kids having to leave the house and possibly getting exposed. My husband was on all-day Zoom meetings, btw, so I would have had to take the kids with me.
I felt like she had all the tools, and even other people around her to help, why couldn’t she just call the AA this once? Now she’s mad at me because she feels like I left her in the lurch. I, on the other hand, felt like I was just making the responsible decision. Again, I wouldn’t have said ‘no’ if she didn’t have AA, or if she was stuck in the middle of the night. But she was in a safe place and I saw no reason why she couldn’t just sort this one out on her own. Am I wrong?
FYI: she’s still really mad at me for not jumping in to help and says I was being selfish.
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