Yes times are hard. But this begging for change action has been dominant since the day before forever.
When I first started working for the branch of the government I work for, I started off working downtown. And I don’t need to say the city I work in. Downtown anything is pretty much the same.
That’s when I got introduced to my countless dependents. At least they thought they were. I kept meaning to ask for their SSN to claim them on my taxes.
It was a strong awakening. You really can’t walk from Point A to Point B without being stopped at Point A1 – A50 without being asked for money and/or food.
At first I was just happy to be working so I didn’t care. Then day after day after day after day it started to irritate me.
Yeah yeah, if you have a job and a roof over your head we’re more fortunate than those people we see in Africa with fly’s on their eyeballs. Got it! But that doesn’t mean that we are “rich”. Some of us are struggling to make ends meet too. All those things we have – clothes on our back, roof over our head, food in our and our family’s belly – are not free.
And not to mention that we work for what we have. I didn’t win a life pool to work a job and have a life. I went out and did what I have to do, like most.
All I’m saying is if you can ask if I have any change, you can ask if I want Paper or Plastic.
But sometimes I do help. It all depends on how I feel, how you approach me, or just simply if I feel like being bothered or not.
Following are odd ways that I’ve been approached that made me wonder and/or laugh out loud:
When I worked downtown, there was a guy who was basically famous among the working class for being homeless. But he was intelligent and coherent.
Whenever I walked past him he rarely said a word to me, perhaps because he noticed me holding my breath.
But periodically he would randomly speak to me as I walked by. And he would really throw in the extra sugar ending his hello with the word sir.
He would do that for about three days straight. Then on the third day, he would go for the gusto. Put his plan to work. Reveal his reason for speaking.
He would ask for change.
First time he got me. I gave him some change I had on me. Then when I started paying attention and noticed that he wouldn’t say a word to me after I gave him that change, he messed up.
He started again.
I spoke back for those three days knowing what was coming. Sure enough, on the third day he went for it again. This time he was not only met with a no, but I made sure I hit him with it before he finished asking.
Much to no one’s surprise, he never spoke to me again. Don’t play me for a fool. Just ask for change when you need it. Don’t try to butter me up, beg, receive, ignore and repeat at your convenience.
And at least I don’t stink. So Ha
This guy came up to me and hit me with this:
“Do you have an extra quarter?”.
I was stumped. What is an extra quarter? I don’t have a daily limit on quarters, so technically none of them are extra’s.
And if it were extra why would it be in my possession? I was so confused.
You might want to work on your lingo there sir.
There’s a Chase bank right across the street from my job. One day I had to go over there early to get some cash out for something at work. I mean, let’s face it if you work in an office today, with all the girl scout cookies, birthday club, water club, coffee club, child’s fundraisers, and boss’ day expenses, it might be cheaper to be homeless.
Anyway I went over there to withdraw cash. The bank wasn’t open so the only way to get your money is through the ATM.
To my surprise, there was a guy out there asking people for money. At an ATM.
Dude, not sure if you know this but ATM’s only distribute your money in increments of $20. Do you really think that I’m going to give you a $20 bill? I don’t think that’s a good spot to be begging. But since it’s a cash dispenser, apparently he thought this was a genius idea.
Back to downtown. I ran across this lady who caught me on a good day. I was walking to a local restaurant that I believe was McDonald’s. She asked for change, I gave her a dollar. She ended up going to McDonald’s too. She walked in before me and placed her order. It came out to $1.10.
Can you guess what happens next?
Yeah, she turned to me and asked me for the difference!
She didn’t ask another person in the restaurant who had NOT already given her money. Nor did she ask the cashier to give her a break on the dime.
As I shook my head no to her question, I began rethinking this whole good-hearted thing and realized it’s much more effective to be an ass.
This last one is pretty general. It’s happened to me but it’s happened to all.
Once you reject someone by not giving away your hard earned money to a stranger, why do they always hit you with what sounds to me like they’re saying something without saying it? You know what it is. It’s that customary:
“God Bless You”
Let’s face it, they’re not saying that for God to bless you. They probably don’t even believe in God. After all, they’re down on their luck enough to have to beg for change. No one gets blamed for hard times more than God.
They don’t wish blessings on you. You didn’t even give them any change. You’re a cold hearted bastard in their eyes and they don’t wish anything good on you.
They’re condemning you. They are secretly hoping that you end up having to ask them for change so they can tell you no.
Then you can say to them:
“God Bless You”
I’ll leave you with the immortal words of the late great Robin Harris regarding begging.