The Sandwich Bandit:
I went to Subway to get a sandwich the other day and some older guy in a cheap suit walked up to my car window, tapped on it, and then proceeded to tell me this story about how he is in Houston taking his wife to the Medical center for an operation and now he is trying to get back home but his car is broken down...blah blah blah. About halfway through the story, I realize why this guy and his story look and sound so familiar, it's because he gave me the same BS about 6 months ago in the same parking lot, but last time it was in front of Schlotzsky's. So I say, "Look man, you already hit me up with this same crap about 6 months ago so either you're really unlucky and got into the exact same situation twice and happened to find me both times, or you're full of sh-- and are scamming me." Angrily the man throws his hands up and storms away. I'm getting mad at this point too because he starts walking over to another car doing the same thing so I yell "Stop scamming people" and he turns around and shakes his fist in the air at me.
There are two things you need to understand about me:
#1 I am sympathetic to the homeless and the poor, but that doesn't make me a sucker and it doesn't give them a free pass to violate the laws of our society. Whether you are poor or not, it is not right to manipulate and lie to people for financial gain. I put Maddoff, The Sandwich Bandit, and anyone who sells Efusion in the same category.
#2 I do not give money to people on the street because I cannot be 100% sure what they are going to do with it. If they buy more drugs and alcohol (and yes, that and mental disorders is why they are on the streets to begin with), then I have not helped them, but have made their situation worse. If I want to help those people, then I give my money to charitable organizations that help the poor and homeless in a responsible way.
Does it make me an insensitive prick because I don't want to give my spare change or money to people on the streets looking for a handout? Maybe, but I would argue that the person giving them money is hurting them more by helping them finance their destructive habits.