Thursday, June 2, 2011


The day I went to the library with my computer asking for help to download the e-books programs was quite an eventful trip.

I first went to the counter to ask for the computer tech. We set up my computer at a table and I sat at the end of the table in between two empty chairs. As the computer tech and I were intently working on getting things going on my computer, I happened to look over my shoulder and saw an elderly lady (maybe in her late 60's) walking towards me with a small, long haired dog in her arms. I looked up at her with a smile on my face because the dog was so cute, but yet thinking, "Are dogs allowed in the library?"

She looked at me trying to force a small smile out of her very pale face when I noticed her eyes were all watery and crying. She was moving very slowly, in fact, like she was ready to fall down. I quickly pulled out the empty chair next to me so she could quickly sit down when she said to me, "Could you please help me find my friend?" I thought to myself, this seemed like an emergency situation and I quickly, but calmly told the lady, while I put my hand on her shoulder to try to further comfort her, I told her I would get her help and to just stay where she was. The man who was helping me with my computer just continued working on my computer.

I quickly ran over to the main check out desk and while the lady was in the middle of a conversation with a patron, I interrupted, knowing she would understand with me saying, There's a lady in distress." She quickly left her post at the desk and ran with me to the lady in distress. I stood there with her thinking she may need further help in getting more help. Maybe me calling 911 from my cell phone for her right there on the spot instead of going back to the main library counter and getting somebody from the library staff for help. "This may be a life or death situation," I thought. The man who was helping me with my computer was still working on my computer, with hardly a glance over to see what was going on.

As I was glancing over his way and by the time I looked back, there were three people from the library staff at the lady's side, one I am sure was trained in CPR asking if she wanted them to call an ambulance. She said no, just to help her find her friend. Evidently, she was waiting for her friend in the library parking lot in her friend's car and she felt ill and came into the library to help her find her friend so they could go home, to the hospital or wherever.

I saw that things were pretty much under control, so I turned back to helping the computer tech with my computer. I told him, she could have been having a stroke and explained to him that as you get older, that's one of the things you're always aware of when feeling ill, especially that ill.

In the end, the library staff did find her friend. The ill lady told the staff what he was wearing and what he looked like. When he arrived, he quickly took the small dog from her. After several minutes of making sure she was going to be OK and asking her several times if she wanted them to call an ambulance, they slowly got her up off the chair, put their arms around her waist and very very slowly walked her out of the library and into the car. The elderly man she came with, alongside, still carrying the small dog.

After I thought about the whole situation, I thought I did the right thing by calling someone from the library staff, because if I did try to help her find her friend with the state that she was in, I could have maybe be found liable if anything did seriously happen to this lady. I guess I just made a split decision that this was a serious situation that I needed help with and was too much for me alone to handle.

I also wondered after the fact why the library tech to was helping me with my computer didn't stop what he was doing and help this lady. He certainly knew she was in serious distress. He was a young boy, maybe in his early 20's. Maybe a lot of this stuff happens in the library dealing with the public and he didn't want to get involved. I don't know, but it sure was strange after I sat down and thought about it.

There was also an incident at my library in Southern California where I was walking out of the library and there is a small curb or a rise in the concrete where another elderly, overweight lady was sitting on the ground with a number of people standing around her. Evidently, she tripped on the raised concrete and she said her ankle hurt her and people were saying to each other, let's help her up. Well, with my legal background and just a quick sense of what to do, I said to call 911. They just ignored me and continued to lift this overweight lady with something wrong with her ankle as well as who knows what else. I just continued on to my car in the parking lot.

As I was driving home after that incident, I thought about that lady and if I should have helped further lifting her off the ground. I believe I did the right thing at the time, but then again, you wonder.

1 comment:

Feathers said...

You did the right thing. I always help folks and animals. Never have I been mugged or hurt in anyway. Of course I dont help young healthy men, the Ted Bundy lessons stuck with me.

The computer tech didn't get involved because he was a male computer tech and they help machines and not people. I know because I'm married to one!