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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Employment; or You Got Any Change?

The young man begging in front of the LRT station is wearing a brand new pair of Timberlands; clean, fashionable jeans; and a very nice woolen greatcoat.

This outfit does not work, however, with the hand-lettered and ripped cardboard boxtop he is holding: Any Amount You Can Give, it says, God Bless.

"Anybody got any money?" he shouts. "Ma'am! Ma'am! You got any spare change?"

Even in my sleep-deprived, early-morning state, I can't help but wonder: there’s a “spare” kind of change? I don’t think I’ve ever had “spare” change...

I would like to try it, though.

But hollerin'?  Hollerin' for money?

I can't help but wonder how much he’ll pull in this morning. What are the odds that anyone will be moved to charity by the sight of this well-built young man in the dark gray woolens and immaculate boots?

Not good. Not good odds.

For me, it’s all in the approach. I mean, he’s doing it, but he’s doing it without love.

It's hard to want to give money to someone who looks better rested - and better dressed - than you.

And that sign! That sign is a travesty. You don't come to work unprepared! Me, I work every day. I get up, I brush my hair, I wear sensible shoes for the walk to the bus. I’ve agreed to sell my time and my brain by the hour, and I look like it, so if this guy is going to look me right in the eyes while hollerin' for money, he could at least provide something of value.

I'll tell you what: Amuse me. Tell me a joke. Stand on your hands. Sell me a map of the downtown skyways.  Dress the part, if you're going to try to pull me into this charade. You look like you just stepped out of Gentlemen's Quarterly.

He wants my “spare change”?

Come on, man.

15 comments:

vanilla said...

Indeed. At least some small exchange for your spare change.

joeh said...

At least have a dog we can all feel sorry for.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
You could ask him to roll in the gutter; you know, for credibility... oughta be worth a coupla bucks... Fair bet you're money'd be safe. YAM xx

Delores said...

Spare change....never heard of such a thing...all my change has purpose.

Joanne Noragon said...

Guess you have his number.

jenny_o said...

He may not have amused YOU, but you used him to amuse US, so ... really, we owe both of you.

Sioux said...

Would a dark pair of sunglasses help? He could at least pretend he's blind...

River said...

I agree he is too well dressed to be a beggar and with no ID he isn't collecting for charity either. I wouldn't give him anything. These days I rarely have change anyway, certainly none to spare.

Jocelyn said...

Even more than your wonderful description of him, I latched onto the idea of "spare" as laughable. I've never had a piece of money that I didn't feel like I needed or could use. Indeed.

the walking man said...

Pearl, Pearl, Pearl the guy was just collecting a little lunch money while waiting for the company shuttle to take him to his job as a Medtronix designer of torture instruments.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I wonder what thrift store he gets his clothes? It must be off Rodeo Drive.

Daisy said...

He might try channeling some of that energy he uses to holler at people towards finding a job.

ThreeOldKeys said...

oh, give the guy a break. he probably has a boat payment due.

or a tv crew hired him to holler for change while they gather reactions of passers-by.

Shoshanah Lee Marohn said...

I always think they are con artists when they look well dressed. But sometimes, if I totally believe them, I'm insanely generous. I hope I'm a good judge, but I never know. It is difficult to not be bitter and incredulous when they dress well!

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

No spare change here either just saying............and looking so well dressed