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Thou Shalt Not Block My Exit

, , , , , | Right | October 14, 2021

I arrive at a local church just as services are ending. I am collecting for the local food bank as the church has a collection once a month.

Moments before the service ends, an elderly man collapses. I am a retired medic, so I go to offer assistance. As soon as a medic arrives, I go outside to wait for the ambulance and help direct traffic. A man is already attempting to do that.

Man: “I need you all to get in your cars and leave now. The ambulance is coming, and you will be blocked in.”

The crowd ignores him and stands around.

Man: “If you don’t leave now, you will be here for a while.”

Nothing happens. The ambulance arrives and parks in the only available space, blocking the entrance to the lot. The driver gets out. A random woman who has been standing there the whole time speaks up.

Woman: “Can you move over there?” *Gestures vaguely* “We need to leave.” *Points to the crowd of people*

Driver: “Um, we need to be by the ramp.”

Woman: “But we want to leave now.”

The driver looks confused and hesitates.

Me: “No. He’s not moving. There’s an elderly man inside on the floor. He’s staying, doing his job, and then leaving.”

The driver looks relieved and rushes into the church. Eventually, the gentleman is brought out and the ambulance is loaded and leaves. After I gather up the food bank collection, I leave. A few moments later, I get a call from the pastor.

Pastor: “I got a complaint that you were rude and forced people to wait until the ambulance left.”

Me: “Yeah. There was a guy trying to get them to leave before the ambulance got there but they ignored him. As soon as the ambulance parked, they all wanted to leave.”

Pastor: “That’s what I heard. I also heard you were blunt and wouldn’t allow the driver to move.”

Me: “Sounds right.”

Pastor: “Good. That’s what should have happened. See you next month?”

Me: “Yup.”


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