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Old 07-20-09, 12:57 PM   #1
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Being an *** is okay sometimes.

Yesterday, I was walking around Columbus Circle, looking for a place to study. I get approached by a woman obviously in dire straits. As most in her position do, she asked if I could donate money for juice, food or something.

I wanted to tell her off, since I hate people that come into my face and ask for money or items. (Though I suppose it's kind of a double-edged sword, since going into people's faces is rude, but standing on the sidelines asking for change is perceived as lazy and is usually ignored.) I offered my sandwich that I was having for lunch, and she declined it. She asked me about the kind of bread it was, and after telling her it was wheat, she said she didn't like that stuff and wasn't taking it.

Making a long story short, we went into a Starbucks, as I was going there anyway. She wanted me to buy her an apple juice, but I felt like giving her a dollar instead, so I did. The way she was acting around me and other people gave me the feeling that I had been duped.

Part of me wishes I just told her off and went about my business, while another part of me feels somewhat okay for helping her out.

This is completely uninformative, but I just felt like getting that out.
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Old 07-20-09, 01:00 PM   #2
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I have been blowing off earnest young people on 23rd street for months - and all they want me to do is sign a petition for causes i actually support! I just am too busy to stop. At least it feels like I am.

don't sweat it - you tried to help, that can't be a bad thing.
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Old 07-20-09, 01:01 PM   #3
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If she wanted juice, and nothing else, she was likely withdrawing from narcotics. The concentrated sugars help stave off the withdrawal (think about how you feel when you completely bonk). If she had tried to eat, she likely would have hurled. You should have given her the apple juice, the dollar might just go for more junk. (sorry, I am a total cynic)
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Old 07-20-09, 01:08 PM   #4
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How about that. She did mention throwing up if I gave her the food.

This is why I love the Internet.

(great song in your location, btw)
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Old 07-20-09, 01:11 PM   #5
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since when can beggars be choosers?
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Old 07-20-09, 01:22 PM   #6
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Welcome to the eras of selective panhandling. I see a "Viet Nam vet" who is younger than me panhandling in front of local businesses. As for my younger than me statement, I was in grade school during that conflict. His sign says he is homeless. Although his sign says he's homeless he lives in a house up the block from my brother in law. There is another "homeless mom" sign carrier who drives as late a model car as mine. People suck
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Old 07-20-09, 01:34 PM   #7
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Tough to be a recovering junkie.

Good luck to her.
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Old 07-20-09, 02:09 PM   #8
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Don't feel bad about being duped.

The other night at the local Food Lion, my roommate got approached by a man who asked for help with food, said he had not eaten anything in days. My roommate, being the nice guy he is, obliges and proceeds to walk back into the store with him (we were on our way out when being approached) and buys him $15 dollars worth of steak. At the end of the deal, the guy asks my roommate for the receipt, and of course my roommate said no, citing that it had personal info on it. The guy's demeanor changed right then and there, and when my roommate said "have a good one" the man responds, halfheartedly, "aight."

He just wanted to return the food for cash and buy some other crap. I told my roommate to shake it off, and that he'd done his good deed of the month.

Meanwhile, as this is all happening, I was testing my own theory with the carts at this particular FL. They have carts that have an anti-theft system, when the carts pass a certain point (end of parking lot) the wheels locks up. Turns out...the theory is correct.

PS: Yes...I am a child...of 20 years.
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Old 07-20-09, 02:22 PM   #9
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I was working in the Bahamas and was approached by a guy who said he had just come to the island to find work and that the job had fallen through and just needed a little money for some food as he had not eaten in several days.

He looked like man who had done hard work his entire life, said he did not drink, and was hoping he'd soon find some kind of work.

He did not appear to be someone who had any issues with drugs and was pretty adamant that he did not drink... he was just hungry.

So I took him for a decent lunch of chicken, peas and rice (and we boxed the leftovers) and had a nice conversation with a guy who seemed pretty legit and after the lunch I gave him a little money.

I left the Bahamas and returned six months later and was walking through the square when this same guy comes running up to me calling me by my name. He thanked me for my earlier help and said he was doing much better, paid me back the money I had given him, and then said he had to get back to work.

He went back to one of the busy market stands and started unloading boxes of produce.
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Old 07-20-09, 02:25 PM   #10
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Tough to be a recovering junkie.
Exactly why I remain simply a junkie.
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Old 07-20-09, 03:35 PM   #11
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Meanwhile, as this is all happening, I was testing my own theory with the carts at this particular FL. They have carts that have an anti-theft system, when the carts pass a certain point (end of parking lot) the wheels locks up. Turns out...the theory is correct.

PS: Yes...I am a child...of 20 years.
So you're the prick who's the reason none of the carts will roll when I'm trying to buy groceries.
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Old 07-20-09, 03:42 PM   #12
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Am I the only one that read this? Good story. Makes me wonder how many honest and hungry people are overlooked everyday because they are too ashamed to ask for help.


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I was working in the Bahamas and was approached by a guy who said he had just come to the island to find work and that the job had fallen through and just needed a little money for some food as he had not eaten in several days.

He looked like man who had done hard work his entire life, said he did not drink, and was hoping he'd soon find some kind of work.

He did not appear to be someone who had any issues with drugs and was pretty adamant that he did not drink... he was just hungry.

So I took him for a decent lunch of chicken, peas and rice (and we boxed the leftovers) and had a nice conversation with a guy who seemed pretty legit and after the lunch I gave him a little money.

I left the Bahamas and returned six months later and was walking through the square when this same guy comes running up to me calling me by my name. He thanked me for my earlier help and said he was doing much better, paid me back the money I had given him, and then said he had to get back to work.

He went back to one of the busy market stands and started unloading boxes of produce.
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Old 07-20-09, 04:47 PM   #13
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Am I the only one that read this? Good story. Makes me wonder how many honest and hungry people are overlooked everyday because they are too ashamed to ask for help.
I live in a big city and am very close to the downtown core so do encounter more than my fair share of panhandlers, most of which that appear to be suffering from mental health and drug / alcohol issues.

I carry bus tickets so when people ask if I have any change for the bus they get a ticket, and will buy or share food with people if they say they are hungry (and if I can afford it). I always have power bars and the like with me.

There is a homeless guy in my neighbourhood who rides around on his bike and collects bottles... I leave any bottle I have in a box so people don't tear through my trash... and they don't.

I have left a few solid beater bikes alongside the garage for adoption and they always vanish... I put them there at night and they are gone in the am.

The homeless guy often sleeps in an abandoned lot and on a few occasions I have dropped off a hot coffee for him which he really seems to have appreciated as when you have nothing, a few dollars for a cup of coffee can be a fortune.

I don't like the way people treat the homeless here... all problems aside these are people just like you and I and a small kindness is never wasted... but I won't help them get their next fix.

We also see a lot of homeless people at the bicycle co-op as we do outreach work in the city core and they come down to get their rides fixed... we don't charge them anything and they know we don't serve anyone who is drunk or high.

We are presently looking at setting up a permanent workshop downtown to be run by one of the support agencies so these guys can have the resources they need to do simple repairs so they are riding reasonably safe bikes.

Times are hard and with the economy suffering in so many places there are going to be a lot of honest people who find they need a little help to make ends meet.

I've been there.
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Old 07-20-09, 04:55 PM   #14
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I try to never forget that this is really not an easy world to live in. Ya did just fine.
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Old 07-20-09, 05:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RUOkie View Post
If she wanted juice, and nothing else, she was likely withdrawing from narcotics. The concentrated sugars help stave off the withdrawal (think about how you feel when you completely bonk). If she had tried to eat, she likely would have hurled. You should have given her the apple juice, the dollar might just go for more junk. (sorry, I am a total cynic)
I wouldn't have bought or given her anything, damned junkies!
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You see, their morals, their code...it's a bad joke, dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these...These "civilized" people...they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve

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Old 07-20-09, 05:20 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
I was working in the Bahamas and was approached by a guy who said he had just come to the island to find work and that the job had fallen through and just needed a little money for some food as he had not eaten in several days.

He looked like man who had done hard work his entire life, said he did not drink, and was hoping he'd soon find some kind of work.

He did not appear to be someone who had any issues with drugs and was pretty adamant that he did not drink... he was just hungry.

So I took him for a decent lunch of chicken, peas and rice (and we boxed the leftovers) and had a nice conversation with a guy who seemed pretty legit and after the lunch I gave him a little money.

I left the Bahamas and returned six months later and was walking through the square when this same guy comes running up to me calling me by my name. He thanked me for my earlier help and said he was doing much better, paid me back the money I had given him, and then said he had to get back to work.

He went back to one of the busy market stands and started unloading boxes of produce.
Thats awesome!
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You see, their morals, their code...it's a bad joke, dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these...These "civilized" people...they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve
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Old 07-20-09, 07:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
I was working in the Bahamas and was approached by a guy who said he had just come to the island to find work and that the job had fallen through and just needed a little money for some food as he had not eaten in several days.

He looked like man who had done hard work his entire life, said he did not drink, and was hoping he'd soon find some kind of work.

He did not appear to be someone who had any issues with drugs and was pretty adamant that he did not drink... he was just hungry.

So I took him for a decent lunch of chicken, peas and rice (and we boxed the leftovers) and had a nice conversation with a guy who seemed pretty legit and after the lunch I gave him a little money.

I left the Bahamas and returned six months later and was walking through the square when this same guy comes running up to me calling me by my name. He thanked me for my earlier help and said he was doing much better, paid me back the money I had given him, and then said he had to get back to work.

He went back to one of the busy market stands and started unloading boxes of produce.
:jawdrop:
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Old 07-20-09, 07:07 PM   #18
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I'll give bums money but only if they promise to use it for drugs or alcohol.
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Old 07-20-09, 09:44 PM   #19
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I once saw this dirtbag using a toddler as a pawn to get $ from passersby, I dunno why on earth I did not call the police on him for child abuse/neglect. Disgraceful.

I hate it when beggars get up in my grill. I've moved to a residential area where I no longer have to deal with that kind of stuff, plus hard to get up in my grill when I'm on my bike. Right now, I aint doing much better than supposedly starving beggars so I can say I don't have much to eat, either.

I'm going by Sixty-fivers house and find a beater road bike that's my size!
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Old 07-20-09, 11:10 PM   #20
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That is a great story. It's truly a pity so few of the stories turn out that way.

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I carry bus tickets so when people ask if I have any change for the bus they get a ticket, and will buy or share food with people if they say they are hungry (and if I can afford it). I always have power bars and the like with me.
The bus tickets are a really good idea. I've been volunteering from time-to-time at a homeless resource center. Two of the most beneficial and perhaps least thought of services they provide that cost very little are to provide a mailing address and phone number for contact by potential employers, and bus tickets to get interviews.

What they seem to appreciate most, however, is the hospitality center that is open in the mornings to give them a cup of coffee and a quiet place to hang out.

Of course, we've got rules and expectations for behavior, and we enforce them. Probably even more so with those who are homeless as a result of mental issues than the others, I think the rules are good for them.
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Old 07-21-09, 08:56 AM   #21
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So you're the prick who's the reason none of the carts will roll when I'm trying to buy groceries.
Absolutely not!

This was the first time I tested the cart stopping mechanism.

Next up to test: Pushing the cart with a running start and all my might towards the boundary and seeing if the brakes will engage quickly enough that it just flips over...like a biker that slams their front brakes hits a bump and flies in the air then lands and flies over their handlebars....

mmmmm. I guess I'm turning into the prick...
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Old 07-21-09, 09:47 AM   #22
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As much as I likes Sixty's story, I am 100% against giving to panhandlers. There is free food, clothing and shelter available for the homeless in any large city. I just spent a weekend in Atlanta, and then a week in Nashville, and I am sick of these sponges hanging out in their bogus wheelchairs and canes, asking people for their legitimately earned money. Tell them you already donated to the soup kitchen, which hopefully you all do now and again.

Boo, mean Spreggy, I know, what a dick I am. But I swear the next mooch to spend five bucks on a subway pass so he can show me he only has sixteen cents to eat with is gonna get knocked on his ass.
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Old 07-21-09, 09:59 AM   #23
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Ha, I was just on Columbus Circle yesterday and some dude was asking street performers for money. Then when they and other people refused, he got pissed.

WTF is wrong with people.

I also never give money. Only food, or beer, and even my time.
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Old 07-21-09, 10:32 AM   #24
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indeed. sometimes being an ass is okay sometimes.
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Old 07-21-09, 10:37 AM   #25
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Don't feel bad, I once gave a guy in Memphis 5 bucks for playing the harmonica quite badly.
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