I'm tired of being asked for money

The day’s nowhere near over, and I’ve already been asked for donations/charity 13 times:

I stopped at the grocery store this morning: someone collecting for some anti-drug program at the doorway.

At work there were two collections: someone having a baby and someone retiring.

At lunch I stopped at a drug store (Would you like to donate a dollar to help our troops do… I forget what) and went for a walk in the park: three separate panhandlers.

Back at work, someone selling crap to raise money for some band trip.

I checked my personal e-mail – five requests for “support”, i.e. donations for various charities.

And no doubt there’ll be one or two in real mailbox when I get home, and then there’s the appeals on tv and …

I’m sure all (or at least most) of them are for a good cause, but I’m starting to feel harassed by it all. I think I need to get a button that says “Wearer has no money on her.”

I always say , “I’m sorry, I don’t believe in charity.” They usually smile and wait for me to hand them money but I remain completely deadpan (I also don’t give them any money). Once you master the technique, you won’t have to worry about this issue again.

Hey StarvingButStrong, would you like to sponsor my kid’s…

oh, nevermind.

Wow, I never get that many. Maybe because I don’t give much, and when I do, it’s anonymously. I never get e-mails, or if I do, I just ignore them.

It does seem like everywhere you go someone has their hand outstretched, however. It’s my money, and i’ll spend it - or not spend it - where I like.

ETA: I don’t say “I don’t believe in charity” or any such thing, but I have no problem looking them right in the eye, smiling and saying “no”. The work thing is a little more difficult. Were they collecting to buy a gift? Or just collecting $$$?

Be glad you don’t live in Manhattan. Particularly irritating to me are the subway panhandlers who take advantage of the captive audience, but the absolute worst? Panhandlers who set up in ATM lobbies so that they can open the door for you with one hand with their cup in the other. At least they don’t usually give a spiel. I will actively avoid ATM lobbies like this–I recently got caught in one because I mistook a rather plump lady holding the door for a gentleman in a wheelchair for a simple good samaritan.

On the more official sort of panhandling… let’s just say that I know the number of the Metropolitan Opera very, very well at this point. Checking on my phone, it looks like they’ve called 7 or 8 times in the last month. My praise and gratitude forever to the man or woman who invented caller ID.

it’s constant at the grocery store and this is a small town with very few options for shopping.

for some reason I always say “no, thank you” but I really want to say scream NO because I am getting cranky being asked. I realize it’s not the cashier’s fault but I will find my own charity.

I work in Manhattan, and actually think it’s less irritating here since I’m basically anonymous. I simply ignore everyone on the street. It’s that simple. In the suburbs where I live, people many know me by face and name so it’s much more of a hassle. There’s the little league team standing in front of my favorite bagel spot or the cashier at Walgreen’s asking for a donation for the troops. It’s far more difficult to avoid paying something without being embarrassed.

Mmm, Vegas was terrible, too. It was very obvious, the difference between the have and the have-nots. Rich hoity-toity people laughing and talking and making their way between casinos - these are the ones that chose to walk; doesn’t even count the ones that take a car/cab to every casino - and dirt-poor people sitting on the side of the bridges and the pavement, hoping for a handout.

In between are people like us, the tourists, who have some money, but not a lot. And then of course there are the buskers who are begging for money in their own way but at least are entertaining (some of the time) while doing it.

I have noticed recently that supermarkets and even fast food places are always asking if I want to donate $2 or $5 to some charity. Why are they doing this? It probably gives them some brownie points, but it must annoy a lot of customers, some to the point of switching stores. If I do donate, I want a receipt for a tax deduction, and you don’t get those in line from a clerk.

Me too.

My parents are always asking for money. They think I have lots to spare, which I really don’t. I cringe every time I get an email because it’s never “how are you?” it’s always “can I borrow $?”.

It makes me sad.

I recently posted here or elsewhere that I actually snapped viciously at the Greenpeace bint who got in my face in front of Trader Joe’s. This particular TJ’s has a very narrow passage between the storefront and the parking lot; solicitors (beggars) plant themselves right in the middle of it and there’s barely any space to get by.

An aggressive young woman got right in front of me, did some sort of hand-jive in my face, and said “Hey, hey, earthling, wanna save the planet?”, and I snarled “Back off, whore!” I’m usually a placid, hard to annoy person but she really got my goat. I complained to TJ’s management, and afterwards the solicitors disappeared – for awhile. They’re back again of late, and I’m solicited every time I go in and out. Nowadays I completely ignore them, lest I get flip out again.


The subways are the worst. I always love having the tranquility of my subway ride interrupted with some profound announcement and subsequent sob story, followed by some hobo* shuffling up and down the aisle with their change can.

Then of course you also have little black kids selling those boxes of candy. At least they are offering something in return, even if it is some sort of scam.

The absolute worse is those coked-up hyper-enthusiastic Greenpeace (or whatever) volunteers with their clipboards who waylay you on the sidewalk. I don’t care how big or small or if they are young, old, male or female. I don’t even know what they want half the time. But there is something about them that makes me want to say “you and me are now going to have a fist fight.”

*if you’re homeless on a train, AFAIC you’re a “hobo”.

Ever get the guy come up to you with a pencil with a small paper flag taped to it, and a little note that describes this guys tragic situation due to his injuries suffered overseas, or whatever, and if you buy the pencil for 2 dollars you would be doing him a great favor.

The guy just stood there while I read it, staring at me. It’s the last time I’ve ever taken a pencil, leaflet, or anything handed to me in a public place.:smack:

Well dress gentleman:

Hey could I ask you a question?


You know man I have had a really rough life and I just got out of prison, which means I lost my job and my apartment so I’ve been…

I am not giving you any money.

Oh ok then.


My other favorite is the people who have the GALL to ask for outrageous amounts, a dollar is below these people no they ask for 35 dollars to buy groceries. I don’t spend 35 dollars in the grocery myself usually!

The intersection stalkers are fun, too. I wish I was joking about the one in VA where I actually, swear to gods, saw the guy who’d been panhandling get into a limo after closing up. Not once, but twice. Now maybe, just maybe, his buddy works at the limo rental and is just giving him a lift at the end of the day. Maybe. But I’d heard other stories about that corner as well, and believe them all after that.

There’s an intersection here, where there’s an interminably long left-turn wait, and there’s always someone there walking up and down the stranded left turn lane knocking on windows and asking for money. And yes, I’ve been known to go out of my way to go around that intersection entirely. What cracks me up about that one is that it’s outside the Walmart. Walmart? Really? Not that there’s anywhere ELSE to be, but…really?

This is my technique. Make eye contact, wrinkle your nose up like they are vermain then kind of laugh and mutter “Pathetic.” I’ve never had anyone ask me for money after doing this.

Yes. The Met. Three times today. Makes me want to never buy opera tickets again. Ever. Or at least pay cash at the box office. But they probably charge a fee for the privilege of paying cash.

I’m truly fucking sick of the Met. Really.

I know I’ve whined about it before… but my kid’s school. Jesus. H. Christ. It is one never-ending beg-a-thon over there.

I counted something like 85 separate requests for money, food, equipment, volunteers, classroom supplies, charities, fund-raisers, and other gimme-gimmes in one three-month period last year.

And this year I’ll have three kids going there instead of one.


I’m a subscriber and a Guild member. Presumably this means I am down in the Met’s database with “SUCKER” next to my name.