Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.

It is a Tuesday morning in early spring.

The large homeless shelter has faded tan bricks and a thin layer of melting snow.

Inside is a poorly lit hallway. OSHA workplace safety posters cover one wall. Stacks of canned goods line the other.

Five seconds determines whether you get punched

The new guy is going to get punched by that old dude. – That was my first thought.

I was in the men’s bathroom of a homeless shelter.  I was training Steve, a new staff member.

In case you are wondering, the bathroom had tan walls, four stalls and two sinks.  The faint smell of bleach was losing out to “other” odors.

Steve and I were responding to reports that an elderly resident was causing problems in the bathroom.

I provided backup for Steve so he could practice his de-escalation techniques.

Steve charged into the bathroom like a Navy SEAL in pursuit of a terrorist.

Seeing the elderly resident, Steve squared off like John Rambo (in the later movies… when he got cocky).

Then Steve yelled like an Army drill sergeant on the first day of basic training.

Holy Military Similes, Batman!!  Steve needs a lesson in human psychology!!

The second staff member to get punched is…

You’re a 21-year-old college Junior.

For extra credit, you go to the psychology building to be in an experiment.

The experimenter has you sit alone in a room with a computer. She has you play a computer game against another college student in a different room.

If you win, you can blast the other student with a 90-decibel white noise machine.

If you lose, the other student can blast you.