To discerning souls this is usually enough to make them think a little about just how far I am willing to be pushed. Others, to their folly, have still pushed beyond what I am willing to accept from them and have discovered what it's like to have me walk away or push back. My walking away is usually much more pleasant for them.
This past week I have had some interesting dealings with three individuals who mistook kindness for weakness.
It all started last Monday on a beautiful morning. I had parked my car in front of my friend's house for our usual walk. When we returned we found that someone had damaged my car with their vehicle and then left the scene.
It wasn't difficult to figure out who had caused the damage. There was salt and sand on the hood of my car, in the gaping hole in my front panel and on the ground around it. Tire tracks led from my car to the driveway of an individual who drove a half-ton that carried salt and sand. My friend's husband commented, "It's not going to take a rocket scientist to solve this mystery."
When the RCMP officer showed up he took pictures, got my particulars, then followed the tracks to the driveway across the street and knocked on the door.
To our surprise, the young woman there claimed that her boyfriend had left at 5 that morning so he couldn't have been the one to cause the damage. It seemed it was more important for the individual who hit my vehicle to evade responsibility than it was to deal with the repercussions of an accident. Had he simply remained at the scene things would have worked out much better for him.
Four hours later, succumbing to pressure from family, his boss, and neighbours, the young man called me and confessed to hitting my vehicle. He begged me not to report it to my Insurance company, claiming he would lose his license and job, and promised he would pay for the damage. I calmly replied that I had already reported it and he would now have to deal with them.
From Monday through Wednesday I received several more calls from him, his boss, and even the mother of his girlfriend pleading his case and asking me to deal with him directly and not involve the Insurance company. I think that my civil manner with them led them to the mistaken belief that I would not look out for my own best interests.
They learned otherwise.
I can only imagine the difficulty I would have had trying to collect the $4,000 required to fix the damage done to my car had I given in and decided to keep the Insurance company out of the process.
And, fortunately, because I am no pushover... it's only in my imagination that I have to go there.