If the surf is up south side, you know where you can find me when I'm done shaving.
Mahalo nui loa,
I used to manage some apt's, and one of my renters had her hours at her job cut way back and couldn't afford rent and was living in her car. She came by and asked if she could park in the parking lot at night because the security guards were harassing her at Wal-Mart and other places. I told her: "no, but you can stay in my apartment until you get back on your feet". So she moved in. And it was nice having her. She did all the cleaning and cooking (heck of a cook). I was kinda sad to see her go after 6 months. She had found a FT job by then. I prefer helping people like this who are trying to do the right thing.
Last edited by jd_1138; 05-14-2012 at 12:51 PM.
The other day my twelve year old kid and I were at an intersection with a "sign person" plying his trade.. His sign claimed he was a Marine vet down on his luck. My son told me I had to help him as he was "a Marine, too" and I had told him before that Marines look out for each other.
I rolled down the window and he approached. A few simple queries about units and lingo convinced me he was a fraud. I told him that I didn't appreciate the phony vet act, but there was food for work at our place if he didn't mind getting his hands dirty. I got the finger from him, so I smiled, told him to have a nice day, and off we went when the light changed.
I think my kid learned a valuable lesson, but in some way, I'm pretty sure I dropped a peg in his estimation that day, too. Life is funny that way.
"He must be a king. He hasn't got Williams all over 'im!" - cb91710
I spend my knights at the Veg Table.
Yesterday I was on the way to Auto Zone to buy some fuses. I saw this overweight gent crossing a busy 4 lane road. He had an Ace bandage wrapped around both knees. He was carrying one of those canes with a 4 foot platform on the bottom. I thought to myself that he was moving pretty fast. He wasn't really using the cane. Just touching the ground with it occasionally.
As I entered the store, there he was. Dirty and disheveled he asked me if I could spare a dollar. I just looked at him as I entered the store. He thanked me as I walked by.
At least he was a polite con man.
This is exactly why my spare cash donations are strictly reserved for cheerleader fundraising carwashes.
I was once headed home from the university and I was looking for a gas station and no gas station came along and I ran out of gas. I luckily made it off the freeway and started walking in a really small town. I saw a car and waved the woman down and she stopped, I asked her what direction the gas station was and she offered a ride. I gratefully accepted and we made small talk during the drive. She was a school teacher. I purchased a fuel can and some gas and she drove me back to my car. When I was getting out she offered me some money, I really needed it but I declined.
I was blown away by her kindness.
A scammer would have asked for the ride, rather than directions, and would not have wasted the money on the can and gas in hopes of getting more from the victim.
Same situation I would have done the same as her... perhaps not offered cash outright but maybe offered to put another 5 gallons in once we got back to the station, maybe kick down a meal.
If you, in good faith, do something believing only that you are helping someone less fortunate, are you not better off for the act regardless of the result?
- Steve | Montani Semper Liberi
James' fault by association
My zombies ate your Dingo.
My mother started reaching for her wallet, but I held her back before she could give the man any money, and I asked him "Hey ... I'm a Veteran, and I need a job. What can you do for a Man like ME?"
He seemed shocked at my question, and he confessed "Well, I'm not the one who actually does the job-placement. I just raise the money."
So I asked him "So who do I talk to? I really need a job. Help me find a job, I'll give you my first pay-check so you can help others ... but first, you have to help me."
He said "No, it doesn't work that way. You have to give a donation first, then we help you."
And I said "So basically ... YOU ARE A FRAUD, aren't you?"
He snapped to attention, saluted me, and said "Thank you for your service to your country." then he went on to hustle the next person coming out of the store.
My mother was shocked that I was so rude to this person, and she still wanted to give him some money. I wouldn't let her, and we argued about it all the way home.
I've run into similar scams in other cities ... guys with clipboards working their way up and down the streets, all claiming to be there to help Veterans find jobs. But when pressed for more information on what they can do to help ME get employment, they clam up and move on to the next victim.
I used to be a soft touch for pan-handlers, but now, I've learned to recognize the truly needy from the pretenders. I'll give them money / cigarettes / food / clothing / toiletries / almost anything if they're really sincere, but they won't get the time of day from me if I think they're faking.
I Came. I Shaved. I Conquered.
I noticed a few discrepancies in his uniform that didn't add up right. He may have been in the military at some point in his life, but I think he was just wearing the uniform as a costume to further his cause.
When I asked him where the money went to, and who was further up the chain-of-command in this fund-raiser, he was unable to come up with answers. He said the money was mailed off to a P.O. Box, but he had never met anyone nor did he know the names of anyone else involved in this fund-raiser. He had no contact information on where I could go to get help with finding a job. He didn't know how many Vets had been placed in actual jobs.
When I meet people running scams like this, I pester them with questions. I ask for literature, documentation, and make them PROVE that they are for real. Almost every time, they fail these basic litmus tests right at the beginning, and there is no need for me to do anything except walk away ... except to warn other people nearby that the guy is a fake.
Other scams I recall were a guy who approached me in the parking lot of the US Post Office one morning at 2am when I went to pick up mail from my P.O. Box ... he was carrying a gas can and asked for $2 so he could get some gas to get to work. I gave it to him. When he approached me again the next day, same time, same place, I told him "I remember you ... I think you're lying ... give me my $2 back!"
Another woman used to push her baby around in a carriage in the early morning hours in downtown Baltimore. She needed $35 to get a bus ticket so she could take the baby back home to Pittsburgh. I gave her $2 ... she said she needed $35. I said "Too bad, $2 is all I can give you ... just get the rest of what you need from other people." She seemed upset, started crying, and pleaded for more money. I just drove off. When she approached me again 2 days later with the same sad story, I reminded her that I had already given her a donation, and it seems that she should have had enough time to get the rest of the money from other people. She said it was her first time doing this, but I wasn't fooled. I asked her for the $2 back I had given her previously ... she started crying again, and again, I just drove off. I saw her AGAIN a few days later, same time, same intersection, and I didn't even bother to roll down my window and talk to her this time.
I Came. I Shaved. I Conquered.
On the other hand, there were some truly homeless people that I became friends with ... when I lived in Washington DC for a few months, I became friends with the group that sits in front of the White House with picket signs. I would stop and talk to them every day I passed by. I would give them a few dollars, I would give them however many cigarettes I had left in my pack, I would buy extra groceries for them when I went shopping, and I even took one or two of them back to my apartment so they could take a shower and wash their clothes. I trusted them, they trusted me, and when I got thrown out of my apartment, they took me into their impromptu family and *I* was living on the streets for 2 weeks with them.
In Baltimore, there was one homeless guy who used to hustle bar patrons after closing time when they would pour out into the streets. This guy was dressed in rags, smelled pretty bad, but he was always smiling and was polite and spoke clearly. He would tell me about his life and his family and how he came to live on the streets. After a few months of giving him a dollar each time, I asked him if he would like to get a real meal, my treat, so I took him to an all-night diner and let him order anything he wanted. He was overjoyed that someone would give him this much respect, and the fact that I treated him as a human being rather than just a worthless bum meant a lot to him.
A few months later, one of the new homeless people in that area tried to rob me. My friend saw what was happening and rushed to intervene, he grabbed me and pulled me away from the danger. When the word got out that someone had tried to hurt me, the others in the group ganged up on the wannabe robber and beat him to a bloody pulp. No more problems from the robber after that, either to me personally or anybody else.
I Came. I Shaved. I Conquered.