Saturday, June 26, 2010

Maybe I lack compassion

I can't stand when people wander through grocery store parking lots asking for money. I especially hate when they ambush you as you're loading your groceries into your car. You're focused on what you're doing and not really paying attention to what's going on around you. When, WHAM, someone suddenly appears and you hear, "excuse me miss. Do you have some change I can have?" It's usually followed by something like, "I'm all out of gas and I need to get to ___________. " (Fill in the blank.)

It's even worse to be ambushed in this way when you have 4 kids in tow. Kids you're yelling at to stop running around the parking lot and get in the car. Stop fighting. Leave each other alone and just put your seat belts on. No, you can't have your candy bar until we get home. Just be patient and wait. Fine just give me 2 minutes to get the rest of this stuff in the car and then I'll look for your stupid candy bar. I don't care if you want it now, you have to wait. Fine if you can't wait, you can't have it at all. It's mine now.

Anyway, I don't like it. I very rarely give anything because to me, it very rarely seems genuine. Most I have encountered have seemed so casual/comfortable, dare I say rehearsed, I immediately say I have no cash and turn away.

Once, while in the parking lot of Costco, a woman came up to me and said she had discovered she was out of gas. She said she had just spent the last of her money in Costco and now didn't know how she was going to get home. She made sure to tell me that she had no money in her checking account and so her debit card wouldn't work. She didn't have credit cards she could use either. She seemed highly embarrassed and was a little weepy. I almost gave in to my snarky impulse and told her she should go return something she had just bought to get the money she needed for gas. I mean really, she knew how much gas and money she had when she left her house. It wasn't my fault that she had driven too far and spent all of her money before putting in more gas. But...I didn't do that. I gave her the 2 or 3 dollars I had in my pocket. She thanked me profusely and moved on to the next person. I don't know why I gave it to her, but I haven't given anything since that time.

I don't know why I find this so irritating, but I do. I guess I'm so annoyed about it right now because I've witnessed it happening on 3 separate occasions this week alone. I know I could and should be more compassionate. I'm working on it. I know that this post is very rambly and unnecessary, but I just needed vent. And that's all I have to say about that. The end.


The Boob Nazi said...

I find it irritating too. And how likely is it that ALL of her credit cards are maxed out? And did she not have anyone to call?!?

Rosie and Derek said...

Ugh, I totally hate this too!!! I never give them any money.

Kristen said...

I agree with boob nazi... I know that if it happened to me I would NOT feel comfortable asking random strangers for money. I would hop on the phone and call Steve who would tell me to call his dad...
I hate the guys that come up to me with a bag full of tamales. Umm, no thanks.

Ang said...

I hate this too. I had a creep approach me several months back at a gas station, asking me to give him money for gas. I told him no. It's unacceptable and rude and I don't feel bad telling them no either. They're modern day gypsies.