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Author Topic: S/O Panhandler and...Sympathizer?  (Read 5351 times)

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S/O Panhandler and...Sympathizer?
« on: May 13, 2011, 06:41:45 AM »
I did not want to thread jack but I have a question. I lived on a road just of a highstreet with lots of shops and cafes etc. Each and every day, I had to get the bus. each day I was stopped by the same man asking "could I just have 20P for the bus/homeless shelter." This happend both on the way to work and on the way home. Each day I would say No. I started out very polite, however I very quickly got very fed up with it as he would step in front of you to ask. He seemed to target women on there own mostly. (perhaps hoping for some sympathy.) More frustrating is that later on at night, if I went out anywere I would see him drinking cans of beer (Illegal in the area I live). This meant that he had not used his money to get "the bus".
The shelters in my area are free so the 20p for the shelter is rubbish.

I guess what I did was give him the cute. Was I wrong? This person asked for money twice a da,y for the best part of a year. I am sure many people who saw me thought I was very, very rude. I was just tired of having to say no each and every day. So is it rude to give the silent treatment, as long as you have been polite for a reasonable amount of the time before hand?

I had started to say "I don't give money on the street (which I don't) before I have up and went with silence. I made it very clear (politely) that he was never getting any money off me.   
“For too long, we've assumed that there is a single template for human nature, which is why we diagnose most deviations as disorders. But the reality is that there are many different kinds of minds. And that's a very good thing.” - Jonah Lehrer


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Re: S/O Panhandler and...Sympathizer?
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2011, 06:46:03 AM »
You are not required to stop and talk to any random stranger- especially if they are begging.

NE England


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Re: S/O Panhandler and...Sympathizer?
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2011, 10:22:03 PM »
I would say that you do not have a social contract with somebody who approaches you soley for money.  Therefore, you are not required to respond to him, nor acknowledge him, anymore than you would be required to respond to somebody aggressively selling something you hadn't asked for.

If he was otherwise social and pleasant, then you should acknowledge him.  There is a vendor who sells the homeless newspaper The Contributor near our post office.  It has a new edition once per month, so I buy it once per month.  But whenever he sees me coming to get the mail he says hello, and wishes me a pleasant day when I'm leaving, even though I don't buy the paper.  That's a social contract that I acknowledge with similar responses. 


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Re: S/O Panhandler and...Sympathizer?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2011, 03:01:07 PM »
When I started working at Large Government Agency about 15 years ago all new employees were told not to respond to beggars because you would become a target.  Complete silence is usually the best option.


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Re: S/O Panhandler and...Sympathizer?
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2011, 03:22:35 PM »
In this case I would go with complete silence as well.  I had a panhandler who never asked for money (just had a sign) but who said hello to me every morning and I always said hello back.  However, if everyday had been a plea for money, it would have turned to silence.

Also, a point about him approaching women on their own: while this may be an attempt for sympathy, I have also seen it used as a form of intimidation.  So just be aware. 


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Re: S/O Panhandler and...Sympathizer?
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2011, 03:25:36 PM »
If someone asks you a question thirty times and you give them the same answer thirty times, you are no longer required to respond to that question. Doesn't matter what the question is.
If I had some ham, I could have ham and eggs, if I had some eggs.