Ever confronted a stranger when they did something really stupid?

So, I was filling up my car at a gas station on the way to work this morning.

As I was finishing up, I noticed that the man at the pump on the other side of mine was smoking a cigarette. :eek::eek:

I was absolutely livid, and asked him “What the hell do you think you’re doing smoking a cigarette at a gas station?”

In his (very minor) defense, he looked sheepish and stubbed the cigarette out with his shoe.

I don’t usually go out of my way to talk to strange people, but the stupidity of his actions set me off. Especially when we were 5 feet away from each other and his actions could have been very, very detrimental to my safety and well-being.

Have any of you ever had to tell a complete stranger that they were being a complete idiot and called them on it on the spot??

Meh, what do you think was going to happen. The gas station would explode?

Gas isn’t explosive like it is in the movies. You need a very specific mixture of air and gasoline to get it to anything akin to an explosion.

Sure smoking at a gas station probably isn’t the smartest thing to do, but it’s not really unsafe.

Unless of course you’re spraying that gas everywhere around the station. Then you have bigger problems.

I’m thinking throwing a lit cigarette onto the ground where there’s recently been gas pumped was the most dangerous part of this scenario. I mean, I know they have No Smoking signs and all, but have a sense of perspective.

If I confronted every stranger I see doing stupid stuff I’d never get anything accomplished.

I’ve done exacty what the OP several times. I also ask people to set their gas cans on the ground, not leave them in their truck beds, to ground the static electricity. I’ve noticed that when I use the “firm but calm” voice, instead of the “freaking out random asshole stranger” voice, the situation is more easily resolved.

Recently I passed a construction site where they were digging a hole deeper than 3 feet with no ladder, and had piled all the dirt right at the lip. I went to find the boss and explained the OSHA violations and hazard present.

When I go to restaurants, I always look for the available exits. Often they’ll be blocked with boxes, chairs, etc. If they’re too busy to address the situation before I leave, I phone a photo to the county fire marshall on my contacts .

I used to worry I was just being a prick, but then I realized the difference:

Grocery store: “dont’ buy that: it will make you fat.” = prick.
Gas Station: “dont’ do that, you’ll kill somebody.” = not prick.

I’ve yelled at people who were stealing bikes on a couple of occasions. In one case, the guy ran off a short distance and waited until I left, I suspect. In the other case, the guy (in broad daylight!) brazenly claimed that it was his own bike that he was stealing and added (and I quote): “Fuck you, Magoo!!”

“No, no. . .keep your back straight and lift with your legs. Here, gimme the shovel and I’ll show ya again”.:smiley:

I’ve told more than one warehouse store manager that storing the ammonia cleaner right above the bleach is not a good plan. And would appreciate it if he fixed that. Now.

gas station smoking
Dumb Smoking motorist sparks gas station fire…

I could have confronted some strangers about a month ago, but I didn’t want to be “that guy.” And I would have stopped a couple of assholes, but that wouldn’t have stopped the larger problem of “but everyone does it.” I really wish that cops still patrolled the area.

The crime: Digging chunks of clay off of a cliff where it is clearly posted as illegal. It destroys the landscape, and locals consider the clay to be sacred.

I was at the National Zoo back in the Spring with my family. I was walking through the concourse with my 18 month old, when a very obese woman on a Rascal scooter was zipping along right toward us. She was texting on her phone, not paying attention to where she was going and nearly hit both of us, if I hadn’t side-stepped very quickly. As she passed I said, “Hey! No texting while driving.” She looked up at me with a scowl on her face. I kept on walking.

I will probably put this in the Pit sometime in the next few minutes, but some bozo in a white pickup right-lane-camped on I-77 all the way from the Virginia/NC border to Charlotte yesterday. I never could quite catch him (the large queue of vehicles stacked up behind him kind of made that difficult, you see), but if I had I would have pulled up beside him and indicated with unambiguous gestures that he should have moved over at some point.

I caught a guy once writing on the drive thru window “Fuck you I hope you die”…

He claimed that a week before they had messed up his order and when he called they said they would compensate… so he shows up at 3am and of course the manager he talked to isn’t working and he’s demanding free Mcnuggets…
So he holds up the line and starts yelling at the poor girl threatening her…and to make it worse he had his little sister (15yrs old) and her friend in the car with him while he did this…
Took his ass to jail promptly… bad enough to act a fool… but to scare a poor woman who’s gigging for 5.15 per hours… is uttter bullshit…

You don’t suppose gasoline vapors never escape into the atmosphere?

Right-lane camped? Do you mean left lane?


I confronted a woman smacking her kid in a WalMart parking lot after I took a picture with my phone of her and her license plate.

Why? :dubious:


I’ve “confronted” people but I don’t yell at them. That makes people defensive. Try, “Excuse me but it’s not safe to smoke around gasoline.”

Sometimes people forget to flip the breaker/pull the fuse when working with electricity. A polite reminder is all that’s needed.

I did confront a drunk who was damaging mail boxes. He had a baseball bat. I had a well trained German Shepard. I won. He decided to wait quietly for the police to arrive.