Monday, January 18, 2010

Turning the Tables

It seems every time I go to the store, I get accosted in the parking lot by some person wanting to know if "I have a dollar I can spare". I even had an elderly man come up behind me unexpectedly one evening (dangerous!) asking if I could help him pay for his prescription. He even showed it to me. I nicely told him "no" and that it was a very bad idea to approach a woman from behind (if he did not want to get decked).

This past weekend, the tables were somewhat turned.

I had just come from the gym and looked pretty ratty with sweat. As I approached the drug store an older man in a car that was in very poor shape said, "Mam, can you help me?" I thought ok, here we go again. But, he told me he could not get out of his car because he had trouble walking and handed me a $20 bill -- asking if I could go in and buy him a couple bottles of pop.

Wow, this was a first. Someone handing me money in a parking lot! Of course I would. I went in and purchased his 7-Up, put it in his back seat then gave him his change and receipt. He handed me a ten dollar bill for my trouble. "No way!" I replied. "I am happy to help you out any time," I said.

He smiled, thanked me and drove off.

It made me sad. And, a bit scared. That could be me in a few years. I just hope he has family or friends somewhere that can help him around some of the time.

5 comments:

sheri said...

Good for you. So many people would have walked away or taken his money.

Anonymous said...

I have been there, makes you feel good to help someone out like that.
On a very hot day in July an elderly woman appeared to be lost in the mall parking lot. She couldn't remember where she parked her car. I offered to put her in my car and drive her around until we found it. She was hesitant at first but realized she needed the help. We found her car and I gave her a bottle of water and sent her on her way. I hope that she was able to find her way home, as I was concerned if she should even be driving.- Jen

Greg Browning said...

You're a good soul Abby* Even my once generous heart has turned somewhat cynical over the years because I've been scammed one too many times. Such as the day a few years ago, I left work and was driving out of the parking lot, when a man in a nice compact style car waved me down. Claimed his wheel was damaged, which it looked like it was, and that he had to drive down to Bloomington to see his sick mother. He asked for any money to help him get his wheel fixed. Even showed me his ID from Purdue University where we worked. Told me he'd pay me back. So I gave him $25 and my business card, which had my contact info. Never heard from him again. Did the $25 break me? No, but it was the principle. It sadly, it wasn't the first time I was scammed. -Greg

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