Hopeless, Not Homeless

, , , , , , , | Related | December 22, 2018

(There is a guy that stands near my local supermarket every day, asking people for money. I don’t really carry cash on me; I just use my card. Whenever he asks me, I just say, “No, sorry,” which is usually fine, except on this day.)

Guy: “Any change. Any spare change, ma’am?”

Me: “No, sorry.”

(As I’m walking away just loud enough for me to hear, he says…)

Guy: “F****** stuck-up b****.”

(This pisses me off. If I ever have spare change, I’d much rather give it to a busker, who’s actually doing something for their money, rather than someone who just harasses people.)

Me: *turning back to him* “Excuse me! What the h*** did you just call me?”

Guy: “You heard me. Look at you, driving a fancy car, wearing expensive clothes, but you can’t help out someone that’s struggling with a few dollars.”

Me: “Can I ask you something? How much do you make a day?”

Guy: *condescendingly* “I don’t go home without making at least $50.”

Me: “Okay. I’m guessing that you get [government pension] and you live in [government housing]?”

(He nods slowly, trying to work out where I’m going with this.)

Me: “So, you get about $900 a fortnight from [pension], and then if you make $50 a day, that’s $700 a fortnight, which totals around $1600 a fortnight. So, you’re doing better than I am. And that’s before you take into account the fact you get incredibly cheap rent, pay next to nothing for medications, and don’t pay taxes. So, even though I work, you actually make more money than I do and pay cheaper rent. So, how about helping someone struggling with a few dollars?”

(By now there are a few other shoppers, homeless people, and the security guard from the supermarket watching and listening, and people start laughing at the shocked look on his face. Someone says, “S***, I’ve been giving him money for months when he’s better off than me!”)

Guy: “What? This is bulls***! You’re nothing but a stuck-up s***. You think you’re smarter and better than me.”

Me: “Well, you’re obviously pretty smart in one way: for months, if not years, you’ve been harassing people out of their money, while doing nothing for it. But you’re right; I do think I’m better than you, simply for the fact that I work for everything I have and don’t expect people to just give me money every day.”

(I walked away and got in my car with the guy yelling obscenities at me. For the next few days, I avoided that supermarket. When I did go back, the guy was nowhere to be seen, but the security guard came up to me to tell me that after I’d left the guy had started shouting at the gathered crowd and then took a swing at the guard. He was charged with assault and threats to kill, and given a trespass order for the whole street. While I know it’s not easy not being able to work and living on a pension, it doesn’t mean you have a right to abuse people when they won’t give you money for nothing.)

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