Hello. My name is Paige Finkelman and the title of my presentation is Dear Mugger, it Could Have been different. This is a true story – all the events I’m about to talk about happened to me and I hope that you find them inspiring.
So first I want to state that I love the Mission. I love that it’s sunny. I love BART. I love churros. I love that you can get a quesadilla suiza at 3 o’clock in the morning. I lived in the Mission for many years.
My feelings towards the Mission changed a great deal on Ocotber 13, 2008. I was walking down 23 rd Street and crossing Florida on the way back to my apartment. I was carrying a laptop bag and had just picked up some groceries and was headed home after work on a Monday.
I heard some footsteps behind me and as they got louder I felt a hand on the back of head. And believe it or not, I actually smiled. Most of my friends live in the Mission and I thought one of them was sneaking up behind me to mess with me.
I was very wrong. The person that put their hand on the back of my head was definitely not a friend. My head was jerked forward and I felt fists rain down on my face. My groceries flew everywhere and I was basically getting my ass kicked.
I should also mention at this point that the person kicking my ass was a woman. A feisty, angry woman. When most people think of girl fights, they imagine something like this – but we were not using pillows or in pajamas.
So it’s important to note: While I was getting my ass kicked, my attacker didn’t make a peep. She did not give me any indication of why she was kicking my ass or what she wanted. I was completely in the dark.
My only thought during the entire ordeal was WTF? And then it suddenly occurred to me. I was getting mugged! This is what it feels like to be mugged.
I can only guess that that was her intention. That when she saw me she thought, ‘Oh, there’s an easy one. She has long, grabbable hair and I’ll take hold of it, steal her laptop bag, sell her IBM ThinkPad and get some cash to spend on cool new stuff for me.”
When it dawned on me that I was getting mugged I started screaming and she eventually gave up and ran away. So now I have to pose the question: How could this have been different? How could things have gone better between us?
We clearly weren’t properly communicating. I had no clue what she wanted. Her non-verbal communication was not enough. And so I challenge all muggers out there to change the way you go about mugging and better communicate your needs.
After all, if you want to be successful at what you do, you must be innovative and communicative. Like Michael Faraday once said, those elements are part of the 5 essential entreprenurial skills for success.
I believe there’s a better way to mug. #1… me, walking down the street looking middle class with a laptop bag, #2… she became enraged and saw an opportunity…. #3…. She could have made a simple request and asked me for my bag. I probably would have said YES.
After all. I’m insured. I’m employed. Therapy is expensive and I don’t like getting my ass kicked.
In reality however, I experienced posttraumatic stress, otherwise known as PTSD which is basically anxiety developed as a results of psychological trauma. Getting my ass beat by this woman definitely counts.
Specifically my PTSD lead to my moving out of the Mission to Telegraph Hill with all the yuppies; I actually a developed a mild stutter when speaking in small groups and I dyed my hair brown and cut bangs.
I am grateful that this incident didn’t result in any serious injuries – it really could have been much worse. Poor Britney.
There’s still plenty of aggravated assaults happening in the Mission everyday. I created this nifty map and all the yellow circles indicate assaults in the past 3 months near the intersection of 23 rd and Florida Street.
My parting message to all muggers out there is there’s another way to efficiently and effectively get what you want and both parties will be happier with the result.
Paige Finkelman on effective mugging communication for Ignite Bay Area
Dear Mugger, It Could Have Been Different Paige Finkelman
Dear Mugger, I challenge you to be innovative & change the way you communicate. “ On December 8th, some of the Bay Area's most notable female thinkers will come together to explore innovation across communications , entrepreneurship, programming….” http://ignitebayarea.eventbrite.com/
“ The five essential entrepreneurial skills for success [include]… innovation and communication .” - Michael Faraday English Physicist 1791 - 1867
A Better Way to Mug <ul><li>1) State the person’s behavior </li></ul><ul><li>2) State your emotional response </li></ul><ul><li>3) What you desire as a result of subsequent behavior & emotional response </li></ul>
I’m insured. I’m employed. Therapy is expensive. What Do I Have to Lose?
<ul><li>Posttraumatic stress disorder (commonly referred to by its acronym, PTSD ) is a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event which results in psychological trauma . This event may involve the threat of death to oneself or to someone else, or to one's own or someone else's physical, sexual, or psychological integrity, overwhelming the individual's psychological defenses. </li></ul>