Always be civil
Last Friday while cycling to work suddenly a car door opened in front of my oncoming bike. It was too late to steer away from harm so I flew though the air and landed on the pavement.
Two things happen: pain and an adrenaline rush that, had I given in to it, would have started me on a swearing & cursing excercise towards the driver that had been stupid enough to open his door without glancing in his mirror.
Somehow I managed to remain civil. Instead of hurling all my French vocabulary at your man, I checked whether my kneecap and shinbone had survived the air trip. Or rather: the car door and the unhappy landing. It had. My bike was fine and I had only suffered some bruises.
We exchanged telephone numbers, mainly so I could later during the day check whether my laptop, that had flown with me in my rucksack, had survived as well.
It had and I called your man to reassure him that the unhappy incident would now not have any more unfortunate consequences besides some bruises and a stiff leg.
He excused himself for not paying attention and told me why he hadn’t: he had gotten a start from a passing undertakers car, which I had seen as well. His younger brother had the day before suddenly suffered a heart attack and had died in the ambulance on his way to hospital. He wasn’t at all there.
I offered him my condolences, and counted myself lucky that I had remained civil.