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Do I look rich or like an easy mark? I guess so because oftentimes when I am in the University Heights library applying for jobs on my laptop, someone targets me looking for a handout.

Once while I was sitting at a table job searching on my laptop, a woman entered the library and walked straight up to me and asked if I had any spare change to give her. I told her no and she turned around and exited the library without stopping to ask anyone else. Why didn't she ask a librarian? They obviously have jobs and don't look like they've ever missed a meal.

Another time a dude who was sitting at the table behind me, also with a laptop, decided to approach me and ask if he could borrow my phone. My phone was not in sight, but I guess everyone knows that virtually everyone owns a cell phone now because this wasn't the first time in recent history that a stranger asked to borrow my well concealed phone. I told him I hardly had any minutes left, which was true, but I also wasn't going to hand him my phone. Besides, I could smell that he could afford luxuries like cigarettes and see that he, like the librarians, never skipped a meal. If you need me to call 911 or roadside assistance, then I can probably help out, but I'm not giving my phone to strangers.

That same day as I was leaving the library, a man asked if I had a bus pass I could give him. I thought about it for a second and said, "Not on me." Actually, I didn't have a bus pass, but I did have a bus token. But I decided that I would save it for the next time my car breaks down.

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Comments

Jill Ballard Dec. 5, 2010 @ 3:48 p.m.

This story eloquently describes the folly of the poor. They grovel to their fellow poor instead of unionizing and demanding fair wages from the ruling class.

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a2zresource Dec. 6, 2010 @ 8:49 a.m.

I usually get requests for cigarettes near where the downtown methadone heads used to hang out around 12th and C... after I quit smoking over a decade ago!

If somebody asks me (unemployed disabled vet) for cash on the streets, I turn it into a job interview. After all, what are they going to do for me? And besides... if I'm getting hit up for change as broke as I am, then all that's happening there in that social transaction is just a total waste of time, so I might as well have some fun with it.

Unionized homeless persons: I guess this is where unionization is heading, now that municipal employees are already there. There's a strong correlation here. The less free market output one produces, the greater the need for one to be in a non-skill, no-trade union. When one produces nothing worth selling at all, then one MUST belong to a union.

Let's look at the folly of the rich: what to do when all that's left are index funds and hedges but no real economy, especially if there's that expected double dip in real estate next year? (See recent posts in SCAM DIEGO blog...)

As to anyone still not working and ending one's name with the letters "esq": Get thee to the Law Library, do some original research and back it up, then sell it. If it's at all relevant to Other People's Problems, then there will be a market for it: find it. If you do research for somebody else's legal matter, you can at least fee-split with that plaintiff's attorney, something which I and anyone else trained as paralegals cannot. If this is beneath someone who can legitimately end one's name with "esq", then perhaps having too much personal pride is an issue.

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Joe Poutous Dec. 6, 2010 @ 9:03 a.m.

Maybe it's "Esq" like "Bill S. Preston, Esquire" from Bill and Ted's.

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Founder Dec. 7, 2010 @ 7:57 a.m.

It's better to be asked for money that to have to ask others for money...

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SurfPuppy619 Dec. 7, 2010 @ 1:16 p.m.

Very true Founder.

We are facing dire economic times, a meltdown that we have never seen in our lifetimes.

Many of these homeless people have fallen on hard times and bad luck, and I would not paint all of them with a wide brush. Nor would I judge them.

True some are druggie losers, but who knows how they came to fall to such a low.

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JonathanWadley Dec. 23, 2010 @ 12:34 a.m.

It's impossible to visit the University Heights library without leaving demoralized. The branch itself stands as a testament to how poorly funded and poorly utilized libraries are.

I wouldn't fault somebody for feeling annoyed when asked for money. But I think it's important to remember that panhandlers do not equal homeless people. And the vast majority of homeless people do not panhandle. In fact, most of the homeless population is only temporarily dislocated and will not be homeless for long. (If anyone wants reputable statistics backing up these claims, please contact me.)

Regarding panhandlers, it's true that they flaunt certain social norms that most of us adhere to: privacy, self-sufficiency, even courtesy, at times. However, I've never seen a panhandler who looked like he or she was having a better day than me, so I just say, "Sorry," tell him or her where a free meal can be found, and go about my tedious, desperate way.

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FatCatSegat May 7, 2011 @ 8:41 p.m.

So sad. This is the state of humanity in this new world order. All about you and how your world was invaded by someone you'd rather classify as a "beggar". A homeless vagrant, a hopeless wretch at the end of his road, or... was it simply a person in need who looked to the kindest looking person in that library and your outward appearance was obviously a ruse, a joke or even a cheap parlour trick. But your true self involved colours shone through like the heartless, ugly person you really are. Bravo. Now go count your friends on face book and after that, look in the mirror and read aloud your winning blog. How Sad!

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Jill Ballard July 17, 2012 @ 2:59 p.m.

When pan-handlers see an attractive, petite, skinny woman as a pushover rather someone actually who actually consumes less food than them, that says something about why the system thrives. The trees they should bark up are controlling corporate shareholders & multi-unit landlords, but those folks happily know they're so unapproachable & not even a jealous working-class person like yourself would call a wealth-hogger "ugly."

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