Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Loosly Related Observations Regarding Employment, Baseball Values, and Poverty

Since I graduated back in May Friday was my last day at NLSA filing bankruptcies, union rules wouldn’t allow me to stick around any longer. I loved my time there and couldn’t imagine even one negative thing to say about that place. Even the timing of my departure seems to be just right as I’m certainly ready for a geographic change.

To celebrate my last day I went to a Pirates game at PNC Park. I’ve been to a decent amount of games there, so it’s about time to give the Pirates their due. For $16.25 I was able to get really good outfield box seats (price reduced to $12 thanks to an online special), a Richie Zisk bobblehead (free to every fan) and a Pirates batting helmet sunday ($4.25). Sure, the Pirates aren’t exactly the cream of the MLB crop, but all things considered they still give a great overall value for the price. Plus PNC Park is worth the price of admission by itself.
There’s something funny to me about being unemployed on Labor Day. Monday was the first time I can remember being unemployed and out of school on the national holiday devoted to the nation’s workers. Don’t fear for me or anything though, thanks to some saving and financial planning I’m fine for a little while.

I went to Burger King for dinner tonight and had an experience with the wonderful homeless community on Carson Street. On my way in and out I had to ignore a couple people begging, but that’s nothing new. What was interesting was that just as I began my meal inside a 5 foot 5 inch homeless guy decided it’d be a great idea to hover over me to intimidate me into giving up my Burger, clearly he had no idea of my commitment to keeping my own food. I’ll use this clip from the movie Falling Down to give a moderately accurate approximation of the exchange.

Unlike the clip I wouldn’t have even the guy at Burger King my old useless briefcase. So, why not give a guy food when he’s asking for it instead of money? Simple, it’s all about the way he went about it. My guy thought that by standing over me and leering he would be rewarded with food. That’s not the kind of behavior I encourage.

Instead, if you’re panhandling I will give you money or food if you can spin a tale. Not just any half hearted tough luck story though. Nope, you’ve got to get my attention and keep it. I don’t care so much whether the story is true or not, just make it good and not obviously false. Perhaps even add some song and dance elements, whatever suits your talents. Just don’t bother me to waste my time, make it worth it for me and it’ll be worth it for you.

There’s my quasi-libertarian guide to panhandling, hopefully there’s some homeless person using the internet at some public library that can make use of this approach to panhandling.

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