When Good Intentions Go Bad

Yesterday my co-worker and I were standing on the busy street corner near our office. We were waiting for the light to change and gabbing about the office. There was a thin woman with a scarf tied around her head standing there as well.

“Excuse me,” she said quietly. “Do you know where this is,” she said and showed me a small map. “It’s on Murphy Avenue.”

Fortunately for this woman, she had just asked “She Who Knows Everything” (also known as me) for directions.

“Oh,” I confidently answered. “You mean Murphy Road.”

“I guess so,” the woman said. “I’m supposed to go to the Allen Clinic.”

“Well Murphy Road is that way,” I pointed. “It’s too far to walk, it’s at least a mile.”

She sighed. “Ok, thank you.” And she started walking up the hill to her destination.

This woman was obviously ill and obviously without transportation.

As my friend and I crossed the street, I said that I wished that we could get the woman a taxi and just pay for it to take her to the clinic. My friend agreed and then said “Oh my God, look right there!”

Sure enough there was a taxi at the light we waved it over and as the cab did a u-turn my friend ran up the street to stop the woman. I gave the driver a $20 and we got the woman in the cab and went on our way.

Later in the afternoon I got to thinking. I googled Allen Clinic on Murphy Road. Up it popped. On Murphy AVENUE…not two blocks from where we originally encountered her. It’s an imaging center specializing in the brain.

Crap. I (She Who Knows Everything) had sent this poor brain-sick woman a mile out of her way. I could only hope that the cab driver looked more closely at her little map than I did and delivered her to the right destination.

I told my friend about my mistake and we were both chagrined that our attempt at being good Samaritans might’ve flopped. Thinking that I sent that woman on a wild goose chase is sickening. So here’s hoping for a compassionate cabbie.

What do you think? Are we on the plus side of the karma equation or the negative?


Filed under At Home

13 responses to “When Good Intentions Go Bad

  1. Karen

    Plus side. Your intentions were right.

  2. Karen A

    Agree with the other Karen. Plus.

  3. Julie Fisher

    Good intentions are always a prayer in the right direction.

  4. Of course you’re on the plus side. Whether it worked out or not, that was a wonderful thing you meant to do. And as a fellow Know-It-All, when stuff like this happens to me (and it does) it takes my know-it-all-ism down a peg, and makes me more careful the next time. All good.

  5. Total plus. That was so nice. Even if she had to go on a little detour the thought behind the gesture is what counts.

  6. Though the road to hell is, supposedly, paved with good intentions, I think you came out on the right side here. At least you didn’t let/make her walk the whole way in the wrong direction!

  7. J9

    + + + + + + + + +

  8. Ok, if the Kira the priest-to-be says we’re good, then we’re good. Thanks for all the replies. And Ginny, I’ll totally think before I speak next time. (If I remember.)

  9. I once sent a blind man, who was originally heading in the right direction, onto the wrong subway train. I got confused by the signs I could see; he was doing fine with his inner sense of direction.

    Misdirecting a blind man. Beat that.

  10. You can put me in a cab anytime! You’re probably travelling right now. I hope it goes good! x

  11. Definitely the plus side! I have done things like that…where I try to help and only make things worse. But I think the good karma comes from the TRYING.

  12. It was definately good karma.

  13. Older Sister

    It’s actually Howell-Allen Clinic (on Murphy Ave. ) – Probably the most well known Neuro-Surgery Group in Mid-TN. Three spine surgeries later, I know them all too well. You did a good deed though.

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