Saturday, February 18, 2006


Professional begging

Ever been stopped by a person begging for money? If so then you would have experienced some emotions ranging from annoyance to disgust to name a few.Whenever someone begs me I find myself wondering what happened in the person's life to bring them to this level.Is it a case of falling on hard times,abandonment by parents,lack of family support or just plain laziness? Every life has a story but unfortunately some never get told.

Anyway,this Friday am heading downtown when this old lady pulled me over.Being somewhat in a hurry I was reluctant to stop but then I decided to listen her story.She showed some prescription pills and informed me she was now discharged from the hospital and had no money to pay to get home.Well,I didn't see any bags or anything so a little caution bell began softly chiming.You see the new scamming style around here is persons using some sort of medical problem as a way to obtain money.

Another thing that struck me as odd was that she was with a grown grandson who appeared to be in his mid twenties.He didn't seem to have any discomfort in the fact that his granny was begging and my cynical self wondered if he was using her as a meal ticket.Rather than get over analytic I reached into my pocket and gave her some money.Would you believe the woman looked me in the eye and asked if I can't give her something more? At that point I was regretting giving her when the grandson stepped in to do some damage control.

I walked away feeling as if I was scammed.Maybe,maybe not but if I know I have a lecture planned if that lady runs into me again with the same story.

The schemes gets more complicated as the years go by. The perscription one is a popular one around here. They stand by the pharmacy with a perscription that is old, wrinkled and you have no clue what's written on it. Sometimes they have an empty medicine box that they show you.

My thing about it, is that if you give with a kind heart, it's up to them to deal with their conscience as yours will be clear. If they are habitual, you'll see them again and know not to give.
What Camp said...
I've been working at Harvard Square in Cambridge now for three years and you can't walk a block without being asked for spare change. If I were to give a quarter to everyone who asked me, I would end up on the streets with them.

The weird thing is that I can recognize all of them since I see them everyday and they work in shifts just like anyone else. The people begging in the morning leave around 4pm and the 2nd shift takes over. It makes me wonder if even the beggars are now unionized.

I've seen people try to give the beggars sandwiches or lunch. Most of the time it is accepted but more than once I have seen a beggar get upset that they were getting food and not money. I guess beggars sometimes can be choosers.
i know how you feel, you hate to walk away and not really know if the person is being sincere or not. however, one thing that i've learned is you shouldn't give out of guilt. instead of giving on the street, each year i make contributions to organizations that support the causes i believe in and only those who are legit in the services they provide and can attest to how they spend american red cross or united way giving for me!
Kami, there is one here....a male who 'works' (begs) at the Post Office in Constant Spring. Claiming to have just returned from having radiotherapy for the leukaemia! Sick of him. One day I told him some dutty claats.....tell him he mustn't tell lie pon sickness....cause God naw sleep! he may yet learn what it feels like to be afflicted with leukaemia. Nuff o dem don't want to look work.
I know what you mean. If you give, you may be getting scammed & if you don't, you feel bad. I always feel really bad when it's winter cause it gets so cold here, but I've offered to meet the person at a nearby fast food place, buy them a meal & then I don't feel so bad.
hahaha, kami is a five cents you throw the woman?
serious though, i cant walk downtown without being begged and whenever i give change i always wonder if they are actually going to put it to good use or just score dope
Karl.much much more than 5 cents:).But serious all those scammers make it real hard for you to give a genuine case.And its true they most always refuse food.
I normally give a small amount. Whether they tell the truth or not is between God and them.
I can just imagine the picture they made...the grandmother by herself would have suckered me everyday of the week and twice on Sundays... but the mere presence of the adult male would reduce her chance of getting money from me to ZERO!

I have become extremely selective with who I give money. Here at a couple of spots well, people dress up in their pants, shirt and tie, on the road, begging. The scams are even more prevalent here and in some cases, these down-trodden people rob you as well.

It's sad how society forces you to be selfish sometimes but ... that's just how it is. I took a stand never to give money to anyone who looks able-bodied enough to work.
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