Tonight I was witness to something that’s going to bother me for the rest of my life. I was heading down the stairs at the AMC building by Dundas Square to get on the subway when someone fell on the escalator. I heard this loud thump, then this group of young guys heading to the stairs started to laugh. When I saw it was someone who’d fallen I assumed it was one of their friends, since they were laughing. This guy started making this horrible noise as he was being pulled up by the escalator while lying on his back. I watched as I walked down the stairs wondering why they weren’t helping their friend and why he was just lying there letting the escalator abuse him. Because the guy was on his back I didn’t notice he was nearly bald so not likely a friend of theirs. As he kept up the horrible noise the young guys finally realized he was actually freaking out and it wasn’t something to snicker about anymore. I feel embarrassed that I didn’t ask them if he was their friend instead of just assuming. By the time I got to the bottom of the stairs and hit the stop button on the escalator someone up above had already done so, and another young guy bounded up the escalator so that 2 of the guys were helping this gentleman up.
Remembering the noise he made and thinking how long we all waited to do anything makes me feel a bit sick to my stomach. That guy could have really been hurt! I’ve seen blood on an escalator before, after the ambulance has been and gone. As a society we need to start being more ‘nosy’ when people show or make any sounds or actions of distress. We need to stop being so ‘it’s not my problem’. It IS our problem because one time it will be someone we care about or love who’s needing help while others just gawk and walk by, not doing anything.
Please please please, when someone seems too shy or intimidated to ask for help, ask for them. Even if it’s as simple as not being vocal enough with the bus driver who drives right by a bus stop. Standing up for others is an awesome characteristic we should all possess :D