Overdrive Extra

Jack Roberts

The adventures of Miss Super Samaritan

| May 18, 2013

The stupidity of all this was highlighted by that fact that there were still no cars behind her, while a seemingly endless line of traffic continued to whoosh by coming from the right. The cars in front of me were stuck, no matter how much waving Miss Super Samaritan did.

But all that was about to change: Because now, from behind Miss Super Samaritan, came a line of fast-moving traffic, rushing up the hill and around the curve she was blocking only to confront a car stopped dead in the middle of the road and a bunch of people all sitting there waving at each other like idiots.

From my vantage point farther back, I watched with my jaw in my lap as the drivers in this on-coming line stood on their brakes, nosed the front ends of their cars over and tried desperately to keep from running into one another, going out in the oncoming lane or smashing into the back end of Miss Super Samaritan – who was still sitting there blithely, waving at the cars in front of me saying, Don’t be shy! Come on out! I’m here to help! Really!

It was a close, close call. But nobody hit anybody else – although I’ll bet there was a lot of spilled coffee and jangled nerves amongst the new drivers who’d just joined the party.

Amazingly, Miss Super Samaritan was not deterred by the line of about six cars filled with totally pissed-off drivers that had just appeared out of nowhere behind her. She insisted on sitting there until two of the cars in front of me finally managed to pull out onto the road. The third car couldn’t make it. But then, even Miss Super Samaritan realized she couldn’t hold back the dam any longer. She gave the third guy a wave that said, I’m sorry! I did the best I could! But I’ve got to go now!

And finally – mercifully – she went on her way down the road while the rest of us mopped our brows and breathed a sigh of relief.

Now, I’m all for helping people out. We all need to do to so whenever we can – and we probably all ought to do it more often than we do now. But as Mr. Spock once said on Star Trek, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”

I’m sure Miss Super Samaritan went on about her day with an imaginary halo glowing around her head, patting herself on the back and reveling in how great and wonderful a person she is.

And there’s no doubt she had good intentions.

But she created a far bigger mess than any good she did. In fact, you could argue she did no good at all: In any event, she “helped” two drivers out.

But in doing so, she came perilously close to causing a multi-car pileup that would have involved at least six vehicles. Injuries would’ve been a given. Deaths? Maybe. Damaged cars? A major road shut down for a couple of hours while the authorities tried to sort out and clean up the mess? The mind boggles at the sheer scale of the misery, chaos, disruption and frustration she almost caused this morning.

The morale of the story: By all means, help people out if you can. But make sure you’re not putting others at risk or creating a bigger problem by doing so.

  • Shane Chase

    any of you new drivers are struggling out there, and thinking about
    giving up and going home. Listen to this young man who sent me an email
    last night from Alaska, after reading my Blog that I posted yesterday.
    my reply I just shot back over to him. It is a good sign!
    [A Trainers View] New comment on Commencement to Culmination.

    12:32 AM (5 hours ago)

    to me
    Unknown has left a new comment on your post “Commencement to Culmination”:

    Well said I am arookie trucker who has been driving a little under a
    year in the state of Alaska I love being a trucker and I know that I
    have so much more to learn so I appreciate this blog its good to hear
    that another individual who has more knowledge than I is willing to
    share I look forward to hearing more. Josh Sly

    Posted by Unknown to A Trainers View at February 3, 2014 at 12:32 AM
    Trainer Matt decker1673@gmail.com
    5:50 AM

    to Unknown

    Cool! Appreciate that comment. It shows you have a lot of insight to
    grasp what I am trying to relate. Your willingness to learn, be humble,
    and patient, is seen in your comments. You are on the right path, you
    are showing (professionalism) That is all we need as truckers to have a
    lasting career. Please chime in regularly, I could use you as an example
    how listening to older and experienced drivers will have the same old
    school education that is missing. Okay?

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