Literally nothing.

I have some amount of respect for the people who stop other people on the street in order to get money from them, I mean it’s good that they’re doing something with their lives but Jesus the fuck christ, what the actual fuck?

I refuse to believe that such methods yield any sort of efficient financial result for the street-level workers and I can only rest easy at night on the pillowed notion that it’s not about the money, but rather the awareness. “No I’m not going to bind myself into a monthly contract to save homeless animals, but if I happen to see one on my way home I promise not to kick it in the head“. Of course, this train of thought begins to veer off the tracks when I think about the ones selling various insurance schemes, lest it be on some subconscious level that I’ve yet to comprehend which is a possibility, I’m not the knower of all things.

One of the best interactions you can get with these types are with the people who think they’re good with people. They will make assumptions about you in the hopes that if they’re correct, you’ll want to stay and listen to more of their sales pitch. Here’s a word for word dialogue of my most recent encounter:

  • “Oh wow, you actually stopped!”
  • Yeah, though this is hardly a good time to catch people, *Look at watch* speaking of which I really should be going sorry
  • “Wait. What’s your name? Can you spare 2 minutes?”
  • 2 minutes? Sure
  • “Great. I’m Amy, let me start by saying that I’m not here to take your money! I know how hard it is being a student anyway”
  • I’m not a student” (I was wearing a nice shirt too! What an insult!)
  • “Oh really? What do you do?”
  • (I really didn’t want to answer this, and this was reflected by my pause before hand) : “I’m a 3d artist, I work down the road
  • “Oh wow, I know how much money you guys make, you’re so young though, 20, 21?”
  • 27
  • “Oh okay, well it’s good that you’re over 21 at-least”
  • “I work for the insert animal charity here and Christmas is coming up where most parents will throw out their pets and get their kids iPhones and it…”
  • I don’t think that really happens
  • “No it does! and it costs us £40,000 a day to keep all these pets safe, you could probably make that in no time but I couldn’t”
  • (she wanted a response, but I didn’t know what to tell her, so I just stared)
  • “Cats? Dogs? You look like someone who really likes dogs”
  • Nope, cats all the way, I’ve really got to go now
  • “Look, it’s been over 2 minutes so you’re already late, can I get you to fill out this form? For just £2.50 a month you could…”
  • You said you weren’t here to take my money!
  • “You can cancel at any time!”
  • Now would be good, I’ve got to go

Surprisingly, she still smiled and shook my hand and I still told her to have a good evening but everything about that conversation was riddled with bulls excrement. I’m sure she was genuinely just happy that someone stopped, let alone someone so dashingly handsome and obviously charming as myself but it left me with a metric fuck tonne of questions. Why was she there? There’s no way in hell she’s going to get anyone to stand there during rush hour to sign forms and agree to subscriptions, she must be on a quota too… how is she supposed to meet it? I have to assume that her employers haven’t gone full retard so there must be an ulterior motive of sorts. There just fucking has to be, because otherwise it just doesn’t make any god damn sense.

Any organisation or charity that can afford to put foot soldiers in uniforms with official looking identification out onto streets in order to get £2.50 a month from what I can only assume to be a very low number of people has got to stop and ask themselves… “the fuck are we doing?”. Maybe they really are that desperate though. No, I’m missing something. I know I am. I just don’t know what. Are they not supposed to meet the quota? Employer gets profit but doesn’t have to give any of it back unless “X” amount was reached by “Y”? Logic prevails.

The homeless people in London are a sight to see too, I actually give money to the homeless despite their obvious hooks. The shakes, the limp leg, the 2 year long broken arm. They have schedules and rotations on who gets to be at what spot and when. It’s a proper art to behold, that of the beggar. They also know when to show up, and when to not bother. Now, you could rightly argue that it means more to the beggar to get a fiver than it does to the fake-tanned blonde who wants to get you hooked on herbal remedies for the profit of a third party but the method in the madness has been cut out for that scenario.

One of my past run-ins with someone wanting to sell me something almost ended quite badly, a guy got involved and he blatantly wanted to throw-down right there and then. It was for health insurance I think so feel free to laugh at the irony. A girl had stopped me on my way to the bank. I apologised, told her I was on my lunch break and I had to pop to the bank real quick, then get back to work. Nothing more was said.

Skip ahead 10 minutes and I’m leaving the bank. The girl see’s me walk out and she’s with the male version of people that do that job, she pats him on the arm and then points at me while saying something to him. He quickly hops up, his chest expanded and eyes that scream “I have no formal education” and he says to me “I thought you said you were heading back to work?”, “I am” I replied as I kept walking, awkwardly fitting the strap of my satchel over my head. He didn’t want me to keep walking though and shuffled his way into my personal space “you’re a fucking liar”.

Now… this caught me off guard a touch and I stopped walking, which was probably a mistake. “Why are you here again then?” he said, I assured myself that the stupidity hurt my brain far less than what his fists could do to my face, so I explained “I said I was on my break, going to the bank, then back to work… I’ve just left the bank” I make a notion to the bank behind me, to help solidify the fact that yes, that is a bank and then hoped he’d be able to work out the final piece of this puzzle. “And now I’m going back to work“, I started walking again at this point and he tried, actually fucking tried to trip me up, then called me a piece of shit.

He wanted to fight for sure, and if I were a lesser tempered man his advances would have worked a treat, but fuck me, you don’t get that from homeless people.

Oh, I also wanted to talk about the people who stand around and give you free newspapers. I don’t know if The Metro have got a fucking monopoly on generic containers for their paper but just put the god damn things down in a pile and stop getting in peoples way, what are you worried about… theft?

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  1. Did you stop because she was hot?

    I like the one’s that try and tell you a life story – they walk along side you (as obviously I’m not stopping) telling me there hopes and dreams, which usually finishes with they need 20p or a pound to get a train somewhere.

    What train route costs 20p?

    Actually, this reminds me, a few months ago some guy outside Sainsbury’s was telling me a life great story. I’d even actually stopped to listen, intrigued as to how it would end. He asked for a fiver (shooting for the stars son!) for a taxi to the hospital so he could get stitches on a knife wound ….. but he hadn’t been stabbed yet, it was happening later that evening.

    Brilliant.

  2. First of all, “eyes that scream “I have no formal education”” has got to be one of the best descriptors I have ever heard in the history of ever.

    Secondly, I agree with everything you said. Those people drive me nuts. I don’t know who’s worse, them or the poor saps who got suckered into working at a shopping mall kiosk selling hand lotion on commission. Ugh.

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