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SadieMartinPaul's avatar

What would you have done?

Asked by SadieMartinPaul (8849 points ) December 2nd, 2012

An awkward interaction

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2 Answers

wildpotato's avatar

I would have added more details to my question :)

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

I was visiting my Mom at her assisted living facility. Mom has mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease and is a wander-risk. She has to wear a device that sets-off alarms at all of the building’s doors and elevators.

Mom and I were getting on an elevator, so the loud, annoying alarm starting howling. I stood outside the elevator for maybe 2 seconds and turned it off. One of the buiding’s employees was already on the elevator, and she was very obnoxious to me. First, she told me to leave the alarm alone…that a staff member would fix it. I didn’t respond. Second, she told me not to bother with any alarms because it’s “their” job to do so. I was more polite than I should have been; I said that there’s no need to leave a piercing alarm screaming and make someone walk a long distance to turn it off, when I can fix it so quickly. Third, she lectured me that walking’s good for “them,” and that I shouldn’t touch any alarms.

(Note: I visit Mom daily, and she frequently triggers alarms. Staff members gave me the code for stopping the racket, and they’re always very grateful when I do so.)

I wanted to inform this hideous person that she doesn’t get to tell me what to do, and that I don’t take orders from her. I wanted to use a harsh tone of voice and say that she was way out of line and to back off. I wanted to get the facility’s Executive Director, file a complaint, and tarnish the employee’s file.

I did none of these things. I laughed at this fat minimum-wage worker and ignored her.

Did I do the right thing?

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