It Takes A Marathon Effort To Make Her Realize

, , , , , | Right | March 16, 2018

(I am volunteering at my local half-marathon race, as a marshal at a junction where the road is closed to let the runners through. The race has happened on the same Sunday for the past four years. Before the race, the organisers and local council send letters to local residents who will be affected by road closures on the morning of the race, signs are put up six weeks before the event advising people of road closures, and volunteers go out a few days before the race to put leaflets on cars along the route warning drivers that the road will be closed while the event takes place. Still, people have trouble grasping the concept. The following takes place approximately five minutes before the last of the runners has passed my location. A woman in a car comes up to the “Road Closed” sign.)

Me: “Good morning. I’m sorry, but the road is currently closed for the half-marathon. Can I help you with an alternative route?”

Woman: “No! I only live on the next road. You have to let me through.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but the road is closed by law until the last runner has passed and we have permission from the sweep car to reopen.”

Woman: “This is nonsense! There is no one on the road! I only want to go just down there. I’m not going to run anyone over!”

Me: “I’ve been informed that the last runner is five minutes away. Once they have passed, we will reopen the road.”

Woman: “I can’t wait five minutes! I have ice cream in the car! I have desserts in the car! They are all going to be ruined!

Me: “Okay, well, I can offer you two options. Either you can park your car here and walk–” *she interrupts to tell me she can’t possibly walk “all that way”* “–or, as I said, you can wait here for five minutes until we open the road.”

Woman: “NO! You must let me through!” *picks up box of ice creams and waves it at me* “I HAVE ICE CREAM IN THE CAR! I demand you give me the telephone number of whoever organised this ridiculous event. I DEMAND COMPENSATION FOR MY ICE CREAM!”

Me: “You can find contact details for them on the website. I cannot let you through until I have permission to reopen the road. There are still runners on the course, and they all have a right to run their race safely.”

Woman: “AND I HAVE A RIGHT TO GET TO MY OWN F****** HOME! I WON’T LISTEN TO ANY MORE OF YOUR F****** NONSENSE! I’M REPORTING YOU AND I DEMAND COMPENSATION!”

(She executed a screaming three-point turn and zoomed off in the opposite direction. Lo and behold, two minutes later, the last runner came past and we were given permission to reopen the road.)

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