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Can You Really Trust People Asking for Handouts When They Are Dressed Better Than You?

We had a hectic schedule this past weekend, and our time was limited.  This is why we decided to eat dinner at a city restaurant called “House of Hunan” this past Saturday.

This particular restaurant has 3 other restaurants, and to my suprise, each has a different decor inside (one has a wall of steaming water), but I digress…  We had our meal, which was excellent, and since we dished out of the main plates onto individual plates, we decided to get some boxes to go to share with the people we were visiting! 

So, we are now walking on the sidewalk to our car, when I notice a very well dress, and groomed man walking on the sidewalk up ahead coming this way.  I thought to myself, that guys is not in a suite, but based on how he looks, I bet he just put some weekend hours in at one of the offices here in this small city.

He was almost to me (at this point my wife and kids were getting in the car) and proceeded to stop in front of me and told me he was hunger!  Well, the irony was that I had 2 huge boxes of servings from the restaurant…  So I took the top one and said here you can have this, nobody touched this food.  Well, at my offering, he kind of fumble there for a minute and said that he wanted to go up the street to eat?

At this point, my wife and kids were already in the car and we had to go, so I said I’m sorry, but I have to go, bewildered and confused, myself at that point.

Later, I thought about this, I’ve never seen someone looking for a handout that was better dressed, groomed and presented themselves in such a professional manner as this man did.  Today at work, I told one of my buddys and he said it could have been a con.  He said that his Dad told him that he use to see a guy asking for handouts daily at lunch, who would then redress, get in his cadillac and drive to work.  I wonder if this was such a man? 

Sometimes life hands out surprises like these that keeps you wondering…  If the man was so hungry, when did he at least consider the box full of food I offered?  I wonder if the man was testing me to see what I would do?  I’ll be thinking about this one, subconsciously, for quite a while!

In this scenario, what would you have done?


13 Responses to Can You Really Trust People Asking for Handouts When They Are Dressed Better Than You?

  1. Hi Don, whenever someone asks me to give them money for something to eat I’ll usually volunteer to buy them food instead. They invariably come up with multiple excuses as to why they need cash instead. Or it could be they’re out of gas and I’ll volunteer to help them get some gas and again they’ll hit me up for the cash. I don’t have any problem with telling them to take a hike.

    I’m all for helping people in need but I would bet money all these individuals have an addiction they’re trying to feed.

  2. @David
    Wise words, and I think you nailed it.

    During college, I would see a guy regularly work certain street and strip malls. Once a buddy and I were going into a store, and the guy that asks for handouts, said that his car ran out of gas and he needed money for it. My buddy gave him $20.00, I was flabbergasted! If you give con artist like this guy $20.00, he’s going to keep on doing the scam!

    When we came out of the store, we saw the man get in a car and drive off.

    The guy I talk about above in my post looked GQ (older but GQ…), I was shocked when he asked me for money for food…

  3. I can relate to this story of yours.

    Last year during the recession, a well dressed man in a suit carrying a briefcase was standing at the corner asking bypassers for a donation.

    He yelled out repeatedly every minute about needing money to take the bus to his job destination. He was trying to gather enough money to buy a bus pass in the city.

    I hesitated to give him some money since he was so nicely dressed and well groom and thought it was a trick to prey on the gullibles. But there were others that dropped a few cents and bills here and there.
    .-= moneyhoneysf´s last blog ..February 2010 Net Worth Update =-.

  4. @MoneyHoney
    I almost named my post “Is it real or memorex”. It’s so hard to tell what’s real and what isn’t anymore.

  5. I never had that particular situation. I’ve been approached by people that look like they need it, but never the opposite.

    I remember once I was craving chicken wings. I drove to a restaurant and got a DOUBLE order to go. On the way home I was actually feeling guilty about the over purchase and undeniable gluttony that was about to take place.

    About half way home, there was a homeless man with a sign stating he was hungry while I was at a red light. I gave him one of the order of wings.

    For a brief second when I pulled off, I wondered if he was going to eat the wings, or waste them and continue to look for cash.

    I dismissed the thought and was thankful that I was able to be a help to someone else…I’ll never know if it was received or not, but I’m content knowing I did what I was supposed to do.
    .-= Lakita (PFJourney)´s last blog ..Along the Journey Weekly Roundup #6: Celebrating Women’s Heritage Month =-.

  6. @Lakita
    First, Hi and welcome to the site!

    Yeah, I was floored, I really though the man was a bigwig businessman working on the weekend. I was very very surprised!

    I did offer him my food, but he wanted money… Oh well, the food was excellent, his miss.

  7. @FS
    I got to get me some of that!!! Actually what I need to do is sit down and really research that company, then flip a coin and go for it!

    Yes, it is! I almost wonder if the Mr. Professional looking GQ guy in the post was playing a trick on me… Let’s see what this guy would do if I ask him for a handout…

  8. As a previous city-dweller, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been approached with the “money for the bus” type-story by well-dressed put together looking people. In 10 years it was probably hundreds of times. I became so jaded with it all, if someone unexpectedly approached me on the street, I would say before they had a chance to speak, “If you are going to ask me for money the answer is no – sorry.” You did the right thing offering the food…
    .-= Stay at Home Mom CFO´s last blog ..What it’s like to live in 1 of America’s 25 Richest Counties… =-.

  9. With me, the only prior experience I had with people looking for money was at college in the city nearby. But they were very obvious looking in there appearance. Not the GQ looking older gentlemen that I encountered.

    And to think, I thought I saw everything by now… 🙂

  10. Looks like a perfect time to give my standard “I don’t carry cash. Bye” response.

    Part of me wonders if he was a casaulty of the recent recession. Maybe that was why he was so better looking than a usual beggar.
    .-=´s last blog ..Update on Bum & the $15k Loan =-.

  11. @SeeJaneGetRich
    I like the “I don’t carry cash” line! nice and easy.

    Besides if you open your purse or wallet who is to say, you might not get robbed!

    He could have been a casualty of the recession, it’s entirely possible.

  12. […] Giving People Handouts – Tell me this isn’t something you should talk about with the kids? […]