My mechanic family member told me to never offer to boost anyone because if I'm not comfortable doing it, if they screw up the terminals, it will fry my battery. Which is why I have auto club for myself too.
I consider this a rather pathetic excuse to get out of helping someone. Red to red, black to black. Mark cables with polarity (engraved will do) and just put them on the right battery terminals. Really, it's not THAT hard, people! And I don't believe someone can't spare 2 minutes to help a fellow Human who's stranded.
Any boss who gives you grief for being a little late, should be fixed with a "look" and the comment "So, helping my neighbour with a jump-start so they could get to work is . . . bad, is it?"
As for an 'Auto Club', I'm happy you're able to afford it. We can't. So, the few times I've needed a boost, I've been dependant on others helping me -- just as I help those who need it. Generosity of spirit is part of being Human.
Sorry to disappoint you, but not everyone is a shade tree mechanic. i am not comfortable jump starting a car, even going by the pictures in the manual. I don't do it often enough to remember is it live black to dead black, dead red to live red? And I'm not a roadside assistance service, so I don't feel obligated to engrave my jumper cables so I can remember how to handle someone else's inconvenience.
And I'm thrilled beyond belief that you've had bosses who would respond positively to a 'look' and a 'Really, boss?' Just about every place I've worked that would have earned me a serious black mark, if not a write up for insubordination (on top of the lateness). Just as it's not really my problem to spend 10-15 minutes (not 2) jumpstarting a stranger's car, the consequences of my Good Samaritan impulses are not my emplpoyer's problem either.
I'm sorry you can't affort auto service or alternate transportation if your car breaks. But these things happen, and if your car is that unreliable it would be your responsibility to have alternate plans made, not my responsibility to bail you out on demand.
Not to mention that even if it just takes 2 minutes (and 10-15 minutes is more realistic) those 2 minutes might still be enough to make you late for a bus or a train that would make you even more late.
I take a train and a bus to work, if I miss the train by 2 minutes, I miss my bus - and the next one doesn't come for another 40 minutes. If I missthat one, I either don't go to work at all that day, or I have to take a cab from the station as it's the last one that runs my way.
So a delay of 2 minutes in one end doesn't necessarily mean that the person will only be late by 2 minutes.
You beat me to it, MariaE.
Additionally, there really are some jobs that you can't
be late in for. Ambulance workers and firefighters are my first thought, but it can be the case even in fields you'd think would be more flexible. I know someone who works in computer forensics; he goes with the federal police to raids on persons of interest, to obtain data on-scene. That's important for legalities, to make sure nothing is missed, and especially to save data if the person in question tries to start a hard-drive rewrite when the raid starts. He absolutely could not
be even 10 minutes late for the meetup for a raid; there's lots they need to organize and they've broken up into smaller teams, so you can't delay the start.
My friend is also authorized to act as one of the two personnel required when transporting those obtained computers back for further investigation. If he's traveled to a different city, they will fly back - and they can't let the computer out of their sight, so they book an extra ticket for the computer and put it in the middle seat of their aisle, between the two of them.
The last trip, he came back and told me that a SS with a young child kept demanding that they produce the power, keyboard and screen for the computer, so that the child could play computer games during the flight,