Dear Panhandling Dude:

I was walking down the street, Christmas shopping. As I walked, a guy approached me asking me if I had any spare change. There was something about him that made the hair stand up, and told me I should say no. Guiltily I did, saying I don’t have any change, knowing that I did in fact have change. I also felt guilty because there are many times when I have asked for directions, only to watch people run faster. I thought “someone is asking me for something simple, something small, and I’m refusing. I’m a horrible human.” But in retrospect, it wasn’t what he was asking, it was the feeling he gave me. There are people who don’t scare me, and people who do, and this one was in the people who do category.

When I said I didn’t have any change, he immediately said “Then what about a bill? I could take a bill?”

What sympathy I did have evaporated. Seriously dude, that is the worst sales tactic I’ve ever seen. Ask for something small, and when I don’t have that, ask for more! Really?

I ended up getting out of there, and he started bugging someone else. If I had reason to be afraid of him, I never found out thank goodness. But I have to wonder…has that strategy ever worked?

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