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Don’t film fight but call for help

Dear Heloise: I came upon a fight between three girls, and I was shocked that other witnesses were just standing around filming the fight instead of calling for help.

What should I have done? — Becky D., age 15, in Pennsylvania

Becky, you should have called for help, whether that be a teacher, a parent or 911 for a police officer.

The phenomenon of people watching an “escalated situation” (a fight, a car accident, a fire) is called “the bystander effect.”

When people gather around these scenes, a group mentality can kick in, and people want the “I was there” sensation.

Always think “safety first.” If someone needs help, get help! Shooting video is not a priority. — Heloise

Get in writting

Dear Heloise: My wife said women routinely are given high car-repair estimates, saddled with unnecessary repairs and upsold unknowingly.

My hint is: Always get a written estimate before any work is done, and make sure it is signed by you and the shop. If you have any questions, show the estimate to a knowledgeable friend, or get a second estimate at another shop. — Dave in Waco, Texas

Another view

Dear Heloise: My co-worker and I had a disagreement, so my supervisor had us switch desks for the day.

This gave us a totally new perspective on our work environment. This may not be practical for some offices, but it worked great for us. — Colleen N. in Ohio

(Heloise is a columnist for King Features Syndicate. Send money-or time-saving hint to P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or E-Mail: Heloise@Heloise.com.)

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