Monday, December 08, 2008
In the last few months, someone new has become a part of the neighborhood landscape. She has set up shop on the corner by my bank and loudly claims to be collecting money to keep homeless children off the street. As there is no sign or literature or even a collection box with a logo, we are expected to take on faith that she is in fact an angel of mercy and donate large chunks of money to her humanitarian cause.
She is persistent enough to have gotten through an MBA program in entrepreneurship with perhaps a minor in street fighting.
If you decline to empty your wallet into her hands, she assails you with insults referencing your selfishness and uncaring nature and assures you that because of your stinginess, The Homeless Children will remain on the streets until they are old and decrepit. Unless of course, they die first. Which is likely.
I do not believe that she is a homeless person as she appears to be clean and reasonably well-dressed. She is extremely aggressive. Relentless. Indefatigable. You might be impressed with her zeal if there were any indication that she actually represents anyone but herself, but there is not.
Yet she persists.
An entrepreneur must possess innovativeness and flexibility. Financial expertise. Strategy. Managerial autonomy. She must be equipped to recognize opportunity and to develop a business plan in order to be positioned for success in this challenging economy.
I drop dollars into the Salvation Army buckets and help the Christmas begging nuns because I recognize their causes. I also give money on occasion to panhandlers just because they need it. I appreciate their honesty. People in need are welcome to any help I am able to offer.
However, I will not be bullied and shamed into mindlessly giving to someone who is unabashedly running a scam. Insulting me is most definitely not the way to my heart, or my wallet. I have been verbally assaulted by this unpleasant young woman so often that today I almost told her, "I won't give you money because I don't like you."
I also refuse to cross the street to avoid her. She will not run me off my preferred route and I cannot run her out of town on a rail, so we engage in our daily stand-off.
Suffice to say, no holiday cheer is being generated between us.