Stories Of People Trying To Help A Complete Stranger Only To Realize How Stupid They Were.
People on Reddit were asked: "What did you do to help a complete stranger thinking you were cool only to realize later that it was actually moronic?" These are some of the best answers.
2/30 This happened just a few days ago. I walked into a public restroom and a guy had just finished peeing. I absentmindedly held the door open for him not considering that he would/should wash his hands. He hesitated for a bit and reluctantly walked towards the exit. I then realized that he may have wanted to wash his hands so I again, absentmindedly exclaim, "Are you going to wash your hands?" He is obviously embarrassed and makes his way back towards the sink. Needless to say I felt like a dick.
3/30 A friend of mine was at a continental breakfast, waiting in line for coffee. He poured himself a cup, and saw a lady behind him was waiting as well, so instead of putting down the pot, he thought he'd be polite and hold it out for her to take.
Unfortunately, coffee pots having only one handle, he ended up just expectantly holding a scalding hot cylinder at this poor lady. The stood like this, awkwardly trying to figure out what to do, before the lady said "Just put it down."
4/30 Saw a guy on the side of the road with his flashers on and he was standing next to his truck. We thought he was changing a tire and pulled over and asked "Do you need a hand with that?". Right as the last word came out, realized he was pissing. Then said "uh, nevermind" and took off as fast as possible.
5/30 I told a man he had some dirt or something on his forehead. He gave me a disgusted look and said "It's Ash Wednesday, idiot."
"More like Ashhole Wednesday," I said to myself two days later, still embarrassed.
6/30 A kid in my class in grade three told me that his parents were considering getting a divorce. I said to him "If your parents really loved you, they wouldn't put you through that". They got divorced soon after.
7/30 Helped an old, blind man who was having difficulties crossing the street and couldn't find the bus stop heading East. After I, self-satisfied in my random act of kindness for the day, got back in my car and drove off, I realized I'd escorted him to the bus stop heading West.
8/30 Used to live in a rough part of London. Late one night I was walking home drunk after a night out and I saw two guys trying to bump start a car - being a helpful guy, I gave them a hand.
I pushed for about ten minutes before I realised they were trying to steal it by rolling it away from the owner's house before starting it...
9/30 Stopped on the interstate during a 2 degree ice storm between KC and St. Louis to help a lady in a business suit and heels change her flat tire. I was wearing sweat pants and flip flops (comfortable while driving). Change the tire and send her on her way refusing payment for my troubles. Head back to my still running car and realize I locked myself out.
Started walking until a tow truck picked me up and helped open my car. Froze my [butt] off and it cost me $60. How much is karma worth?
10/30 Around 7 years ago when I was 13 me and my family was on holiday at a ski resort. I was a novice skier and still had trouble going up the ski lifts where you have to hold onto a handle that drags you up the slope. Going up the lift the first day I see that a couple of girls around my age drop one of their gloves. As the good guy I am I try to pick up the glove when I am going past it. I fail and fall down but I think "that ain't to bad I'll just give them the glove and try the lift again. I decide to throw it to them but instead of throwing forward i manage to fling it to the right into a ditch.
In my panic I decide to swoosh down there like a boss and get the glove. Instead I smash right into a tree, I have to take off my skies and struggle for at least 3 minutes before I get out of the ditch. I then finally walk up to the girls who have been standing there all this time just watching and give them their glove. Then I put on my skies and get out of there as fast as humanly possible.
11/30 I held the door for a woman as she was walking toward the building. Didn't notice the postal uniform. She put the mail in the box by the door and gave me a look like is he an [idiot]?
12/30 I once bought Reddit Gold for a random Redditor because I thought I would get thousands of upvotes for being so generous to someone down on their luck. The guy initially didn't respond, and after I messaged him to inform him he had Reddit Gold, he replied "Uh, thanks" ...The worst $3+ I've ever spent.
13/30 Saw a rough-looking teen sat on his coat outside a bank. He was looking pretty downtrodden in his ripped jeans and shirt that looked a size too small. Initial thought of "Damn, poor kid, must be homeless". Coupled with his being outside a bank, money was on my mind. As such, I figured I'd be generous and handed him my change. Me thinks you can see where I'm going with this.
14/30 I saw a man outside 7-Eleven with a cup and he asked me for some change. I pulled $.50 out my pocket and put it in his cup, it ended up being his cup of coffee.
15/30 I was boarding a roller coaster at a theme park - a black family was waiting ahead of me. They all had matching "Universal Studios" shirts on. The father, mother, and son were ahead of me - and for some reason, their daughter ended up behind me. So being the polite, chivalrous white man that I am - and wanting to reunite this lovely family - I turned to the little girl and asked, "Would you like to go ahead, so you can be with your family?" Not her family. Racist SAP here.
16/30 2 days ago I was on a plane, returning from a business trip. Every seat on the plane had its own LCD screen and controller. I can normally go ape over such a small thing because any long trip becomes unbearable without having something to watch. But that day I didn't care, I was sick as hell. Closing my eyes was making me dizzy and any movement in my sight was making me uncomfortable.
So this cute girl was sitting next to me and she was frantically fingering the empty black screen trying to turn it on, I was getting frustrated. I watched her 5 minutes doing the same thing before I made sure she was stupid as a clam and then I reached over to her screen slowly, pressed the 2 inch wide power button with the power mark on it, looked at her eyes and calmly said "This is how you turn on the system". She was looking so stupefied that I remember thinking she would probably get an orgasm if I teach her the function of ESC button.
Only 2 hours later I realized the screen's brightness was so low that it was seen as black when you look at it from the sides although it was open and running. She was just navigating through menus to choose a movie to watch when I suddenly closed her screen and made my glorious remark.
17/30 Riding home on the bus the other night I could hear a fellow rider asking the driver for directions and which stop to get off at, etc. I didn't hear the driver respond so I saddled up to the task and sauntered down the aisle to her seat where, as if I were a designated ambassador to the city, I asked where she was headed and if she needed help. Turns out I wasn't familiar with the area she was going to, I couldn't help with directions, AND the bus driver had already answered her, I just couldn't hear that from where I'd been sitting.
Looked like a cocky idiot.
18/30 You know those dividers you see at grocery stores, that you use while standing in line to separate your stuff from the person infront/behind you?
Well I'm standing in line and feeling generous that day, and behind me is this really cute girl with literally just a bottle of Sprite in her hands. Without thinking, I just grabbed the divider, put it down, and nodded like "you can put your stuff down now"
BUT SHE ONLY HAD A DAMN BOTTLE OF SPRITE, thus the divider was useless, and she just stared at me like a moron.
19/30 An old couple pulled over next to me and asked for directions to Panera Bread (a restaurant). It was about 3 miles away downtown; I gave them competent, precise, street-by-street directions like a BOSS.
After they pulled away, I realized that there was another Panera in the strip mall across the street.
20/30 I was at a restaurant with some friends and I felt like helping the waitress by grabbing my plate off the big tray she was carrying them in on (in my defense, it looked like her hands were full.)
I guess she had her own way of balancing things, because as soon as I grabbed mine, the entire tray flipped and dropped on the ground.
That was pretty embarrassing.
21/30 I arrived home and saw some neighbours carrying a new piece of furniture to their home. It was trailing part of the wrapper and I was worried that it would get tangled in the wife's feet as she walked. So I ran up behind her and misjudged how fast they were carrying the table. Grabbed hold of the wrapping material and stumbled, falling onto my knees. They carried on walking and the wrapping went taut,yanking the table backwards. It tipped and their new table hit the ground.
22/30 Some people at school were messing about, trying to fix a broom or something (free lesson, just messing around) and I unclipped a tiny little penknife from my keyring and gave it to them to use. To me, it didn't seem weird, as I just saw it as a useful item to carry, like a lighter or keys. It was only until later that I realised I was the only one in that room who wasn't part of the close group of friends, so they basically saw some weird stranger sit with them, then randomly pull out a knife and hand it to them. I cringe when I think about it now.
23/30 Cute girl with a cigarette dangling from her perfect and shapely lips. She is obviously searching for a lighter. I say "Let me get that for ya" and go to light her cigarette. I had forgotten that I had the flame size on full from lighting a candle wick that was on the bottom of a tall, narrow jar. The flames gushed out and she literally screamed. Her perfect eyebrows weren't so perfect after that. I apologized over and over.
In between grimaces of pain she noticed that I was reading "City of Saints and Madmen" and commented on it. We dated for two years.
24/30 I was walking outside the 24h supermarket and there was an older lady behind me. There was a cart blocking her way, so I tried to swing it out of the way to be nice and ended up slamming into her in the nearly pitch black parking lot at 3am. I think she was pretty terrified, I just ran into the store.
25/30 I was working the cash register on time and this guy in a wheelchair came through, and he told me he couldn't move his hands/arms so he asked me to take his wallet, pull out his debit card and swipe it for him.
He also wanted me to punch in his pin for him and in a moment of stupidity I asked "Would you like to just write it down..?" since we were surrounded by people and I didn't think he'd want to say it aloud.
He was like "no...I'll just say it". I felt bad. Especially since 2 seconds before he told me he couldn't move his hands/arms.
26/30 So, when I was in the 6th grade, a girl in my class had appendicitis and had to be hospitalized. Everyone in the class wrote get well soon cards for her.
As I was writing my card, I was thinking that I wanted to give her something more comforting than just hollow words. Instead, I wrote a whole thing on how the appendectomy was an easy and routine procedure and that there really was no reason for her to be worried about the surgery.
Six years later, she told me that she still thought of me as the only person callous enough to say that he wasn't worried whether she lived or died.
27/30 A couple years ago I was a resident adviser for my university and midway through the year, I was helping some guy check in because he was moving onto camps midway through the year. Thinking myself the awesome new friendly face of my campus, I commented on his Texas shirt and said something about football (I do not know [anything] about football, we're Division III). I then said something like "Haha, I sure hope you you aren't looking forward to too many games out here, our team blows in comparison."
And then he said "Actually, I transferred here for football." I wanted to die on the spot.
28/30 I was hanging out at a park and a bunch of guys were playing soccer. I kept noticing the ball coming to me and so I kicked it back at the guys playing. It kept happening and every time the ball came near me I kicked it back thinking "I'm helping these guys from chasing after the ball". After the third or fourth time this happened I realised they had two balls and were kicking the extra out of the way so they could start the game, which I was then interrupting.
29/30 The boyfriend and I were waiting to get on a ride whilst on a vacation to Six Flags recently. In front of us were two friends waiting to get on a ride which could seat two people per car at a time. In the next line over was a family of three- a father, his son and daughter- and the father and son were next up.
Thinking myself polite, I leaned over the railing and said to the daughter in line, "Would you like to go in front of us, so that way you can ride at the same time as your family?"
This would have been a gallant offer, were it not for the fact that I was also volunteering to let them cut ahead in line of the two strangers in front of us.
30/30 I was walking by an apartment building with a moving van out front and three people struggling with a table stuck in the doorway. I went up to help them and pushed and pushed but the thing wouldn't budge. I was running late, so I finally said, "Sorry, but I have to run. I don't know how you're going to get that table in the building." They fell down laughing. They were trying to get the table out of the building...
Those of us who live in New York live this truth on a daily basis.
Sometimes, you just meet a person who isn't quite all there. It's hard to tell at first, but then you talk with them for a little while and it just becomes abundantly clear if they're two eggs short of an omelette.
The stories of how you find out are so interesting. But yet, they teach us to look for clues when we interact with others.