I was going to make this a simple Facebook post, but thought it might deserve a little longer post here on the blog. Not unlike my post here, nothing really happened, but I was able to use this situation as a good thought exercise.
There is a trip made from my house to the local Target at least three times per week. It might be my wife, or it might be me, but SOMEONE is going to Target at least that often. It has reached the point where I just regard this as a universal law and don’t really question it.
Normally, trips to Target are uneventful. The glaring exception was just last week, as our Facebook followers are aware, when I ran into this shirtless gentleman outside the doors playing his ukulele:
I took the above photo on my way into the store. He was gone by the time I left only a few minutes later, most likely chased away by one of the security guards this Target employs. I do not feel like he was posing any real threat; his mere existence at this spot was an aberration and was what drew my attention.
One of the things I like about my local Target is that, due to the layout of the parking lot entrances, I have an easy option to drive behind the building to access the side lot. I like to do this for two reasons. First, it allows me to avoid all the chaos (people hunting for the perfect parking spot, slow-pokes crossing the lane from the lot to the store entrance, etc.) in front of the store. As you will see in the photo below, clearly other customers feel the same, as Target installed speed bumps in this lane to slow everyone down. Second, it allows me a look behind the store to see if there are any ne’er-do-wells back there planning some sort of “happening”.
Yesterday, however, I was greeted with this scene behind the store:
I am used to the line of tan storage containers to the left side of this photo, as they have been there for several months. Their positioning usually still allows for two vehicles to pass each other between the containers and the building. However, the green dumpster to the right side of this photo was new. This created a bit of a bottleneck, but that bottleneck was exaggerated by the oddly positioned shopping cart in nearly the middle of the remainder of the lane. Hmmm.
I guess I am pleased with myself that the VERY first thought I had was not “What jackass left a cart there?”, but rather, “That’s a good spot for an ambush.” Paranoid? I don’t know. We have probably all heard how, when we enter our car after leaving a store, we should never get back out to remove a leaflet on our windshields, right? It struck me that the cart, in this case, could be positioned so that someone driving through might get out of their vehicle to move the cart, and at that moment someone lurking behind the dumpster or the containers could hop into the car and take off.
In the end, I continued down this lane as I was confident my car would fit between the cart and the storage containers. When I did so, I saw no one lurking about. So this was just a “false alarm” but a welcome opportunity to check my awareness and mindset while performing what was otherwise a routine task.
Just like the article I linked to at the beginning of this article, I think it is important to use the opportunities presented by out-of-the-ordinary occurrences in our lives to test ourselves. Test your awareness, how quickly you can analyze situations, etc., in order to help maintain your “sharpness”. For a “regular guy” like me who does not have many opportunities to see bad guys in action or too many “unusual” things, I think it is of vital importance to make the most of every opportunity we get.
As always, thanks for reading. If you have any questions or comments, please write below or on our Facebook page. Please share with like-minded folks, and we look forward to continuing to bring you relevant articles and reviews.