It maybe sounds weird but the more I start fighting me out of trouble the more I also worry about other peoples sorrows. I even cross my fingers for Nicolas Cage and his tax debt, if the rumors are true.
But Nic is not the ‘he’ in title of this post. No, it’s a guy I see walking through our city for something about 10 years now. Asking people if they can give him 1 Euro.
It was at the parking lot of the DIY mall when I bought some bags of sand for my backyard project (I’ll try to post some pictures of my progress soon). This guy was walking from car to car asking everybody if they could miss 1 Euro. I know that the same guy once rang the doorbell at my girlfriends place and asked her at the door for 1 Euro. She gave him money and when she later went shopping in the city, the guy showed up again and asked for 1 Euro. This time she told him friendly that she wasn’t able to give him money all day long. I would never consider asking for something without offering something back. When my girlfriend told me that story I asked myself why this guy isn’t offering something. Though it is embarrassing walking from door to door (and the facial expression of this guy is very embarrassed, I swear) why not chose homes with dirty windows and offer to wash them for a Euro each? OK, not many would make use of this offer. Maybe some would and he would earn 4 or 5 Euro. Maybe some people would give him a tip without letting him clean anything. Just because they find it a nice offer. But wouldn’t this be much more positive and less embarrassing?
I don’t know how you think about this, but I find this situation embarrassing. This is exactly what I want to avoid for myself. The need of begging for money. So when he came to the parking lot I honestly told him that I was in similar situation and couldn’t spent something for nothing. Moments later when I sat in my car on my way back home I thought why I didn’t gave him the following advice: ‘Take 10 pieces of 5 cent and offer them to somebody who is bringing his shopping cart back to the stand. Some people will take your little money and give you the cart. Then you have to get new 5 cent coins for the 50 cent coin that’s in the cart. Other people wouldn’t bother to give you the cart with the 50 cent coin in it without taking your little money. Some would tell you to go inside a shop and change the money. However, chance are big that you earn a couple of Euro’s this way without any embarrassing situation.’ Of course he is a well known face out on the street and people recognize him, but wouldn’t this be better?
When I stood in the bread factory the next day, working for a small hourly wage, again I had a thought about this situation on the parking lot. I thought why isn’t this guy standing here doing this? Didn’t he get a chance to do this work? In fact everybody could do this. Why not he? Did he ever asked for a job like this? I just know one thing for sure, however low it pays, I feel much better doing something like this than humiliating myself by walking from car to car on a parking lot and ask people for 1 Euro.
I don’t know the background of this guy. I never took the time to talk to him to be honest and I don’t know if he tried to find some work. So it’s surly not up to me to judge.
Before I wrote this, I spoke to my girlfriend about it and she said that it maybe isn’t anymore in his comfort zone to ask for a job. Maybe he feels more comfortable by just asking for money and maybe he has success with it. After all he is maybe very lucky with his life. Although I can’t really imagine this last one, I think this could be a possibility as everything is a matter of perspective.
What do you think?