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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Professional Panhandlers

On the subway, there are occasional panhandlers. Most of them are "professional panhanlders". A good panhandler can make $5+/hr, tax free.

I can tell by body language, the difference between a professional panhandler and a real homeless person. Most homeless people don't have the competence to go from car-to-car systematically.

The professional panhandlers have a good system. They do 1 subway car per stop. They switch trains at places with an island platform (like City Hall, Court St, or 59/Lexington). They have a refined pitch.

I can tell the difference between a professional panhandler and a homeless person. However, I don't call them out, because that would be risky.

If you give money to a panhandler, YOU'RE ENCOURAGING MORE PEOPLE TO DO IT. Via the market, you are saying "I want more people to beg on the subway!", whenever you give money to a panhandler.

If nobody gave money to panhandlers, nobody would beg. If you give money to a panhandler, you're encouraging more people to do it. I suspect most subway beggars are professional panhandlers.


Anonymous said...

I hadn't been accosted by a panhandler for years. But it happened a few weeks ago.

The guy was reasonably well dressed but had a common, course accent.

He first of all gently accused me of avoiding him in the street and looking away from him.

Feeling guilty I denied it.

He then went on to say people couldn't understand his fast speech and showed my some wounds. I was beginning to feel a little sorry for him.

He then went for the old trick of saying he needed money to travel home to a relative.

I offered him a pound or two. I thought he could get the rest of the fare from other people.

But that wasn't enough for him. He wanted the whole fare. So I gave him more.

I felt bad afterwards. I don't have much money myself. I work for myself and so don't have a stable income. He is probably claiming welfare which means some months he probably gets more income than me!

I have now vowed never to give money to people on the street.

I was foolish. It was because I hadn't been accosted for years.

Next time I will walk quickly and if someone stops to talk to me move on.

Actually I remember doing so a couple of years ago and a rough looking man said he just wanted to ask for directions and shouted at me.

Vargas said...

Yea they're pros - same for hustlers offering free sandwiches and begging for donations.

DC said...

I was in Montreal, Canada most of last week and was surprised to notice that there are no beggars in the Metro. I also noticed that there is hardly any visible police presence in the city.

I slept in my hotel room with the window open (due to perfume smell) and heard only a few short sirens at night.

I inquired about the horrible perfume smell in my room the next day. The hotel told me that they perfume the rooms every day. I told them to stop, and the room cleared out after about a day with the windows open.

Chemical perfume smells are very annoying. I suspect that they are harmful.

I was surprised that hotels are spraying perfume into their rooms every day.

Some people can not smell perfume, others are very sensitive to the smell (toxin?).

"Kick a beggar, save a life"


Anonymous said...

Panhandlers Union: grievance meeting every day at 4:30 pm at the town square.

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