Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Just Let Them Solicit!!

We ate at Bertucci's (an Italian franchise out here at least) tonight, as an added bonus for Father's Day, and as we sat there eating our rolls, a very quiet man walked by, placed something on the edge of our table and kept on going, placing these whatevers on more tables. I picked it up with my Dad and it read "I am Deaf. I sell these pins (American Flag) for $3. This is how I earn my money to live on. Thank You." Yeah I know there ARE people who will lie and what not to get money, but these were hand typed cards, they looked like they had been made with care. So we bought the one he had placed on our table and he signed Thank You to my Dad. I DO know thank you. And moments later, I saw the manager force him to leave. I get it. No soliciting, but this is not the same king of solicitation that I always felt those rules were for. This poor elderly man, is handicapped and this is the way he makes his money. Selling a pin of our Country's flag!

The manager didn't rudely push him out, but he pointed to the door and the man left. And it just upset me so much. Maybe I am too soft. Maybe that will get me taken advantage of, but I feel this man was trying to make a living. And he just needs some help. I don't believe anyone else in the restaurant bought a pin, it was just $3 people! My Dad gave it to me, I think because I was so upset when Dad started mentioning solicitation, and I couldn't get this man out of my head. There is a difference between someone trying to sell you a car or new stove, and someone looking to make some change, not by asking for donations, but by asking you to buy a tiny object that will help them LIVE. I just found it totally upsetting.There IS a difference. LET them solicit if their lives depend on it! He didn't har rass anyone. He gently placed these cards with the pins stuck to them on tables and waited to see if anyone was interested. And we were. How can you not help a fellow human being, down on their luck, but TRYING to make a life for themselves. Some people just expect handouts, but this gentle man wasn't asking for handouts, he was asking you to pay a tiny fee for a tiny item, to help him pay for his living expenses.

I'd rather take the No Soliciting sign down and say NO to traveling salesman and drive them out, than to miss helping a fellow human being who might be that one "solicitor" who could really use our help. Maybe that will make me a beacon for getting bamboozled, but it just bothered me so much.

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10 meaningful meanderings:

Kristina P. said...

Honestly, I have to side with the manager. It's a private business and the man could drive away customers and make people feel uncomfortable. I wouldn't have a problem with him doing it outside, but walking around tables, to customers? Probably not.

Tori_z said...

I understand your reasons for disagreeing with the manager. But I have to agree with him. I'm not saying this man did anything wrong in how he tried to sell those little flags, but that was a private establishment. It can't be one rule for one group of people and another rule for others. Now, had he been just outside the door holding these cards out to people as they passed him, fine. But most people don't want to be bothered when they're eating. Fair enough, the guy didn't try and push sales on anyone, but still. Deaf or not, the man shouldn't be allowed to come in to a private place of buisness to try and sell things... Especially when there is a sign in the window forbidding it. He should have settled himself outside, or maybe found a good spot in a shopping mall where plenty of people will be passing him. That kind of thing.

Yes, it was only $3, and he didn't try to pressure anyone in to buying from him. But it's not how much he was asking for that's the issue. Nor what he was selling. The issue is that people came there to sit down for a meal in peace, not to be bothered in the middle of their meals by someone wanting them to buy something. If they wanted that they'd stay home and watch the shopping channels while eating.

This mightt sound a bit harsh to you, but it's just my opinion.

Disabled or not, he still has to follow the rules.

Natalie said...

You're a sweetheart, Wendy!

Kristina P. said...

I just wanted to come back and add that I definitely feel sorry for the man.

It's really a no win situation for that manager however.

He doesn't allow the man to be in there, and he's a big meanie. He allows the man to continue to solicit to customers, he could lose business, which is how he makes HIS living.

Fiauna said...

I've seen this before. I've seen them for the blind. I've seen them for the deaf. I'm just not sure if they're legit. I've just had too many solicitors come around to my own home saying, "I'm selling this or that so I can go to college, or reach this goal or survive," only to later find out that it's a fraud--that some higher-up recruits these people and pays them to solicit for him. I'd hate for someone like that to be taking advantage of the disabled and reaping rewards. There are legitimate ways for the disabled to earn money without having to solicit. (Believe me, I know of what I speak. I'm looking into these things for my daughter's future.)

But, hey, I'm proud of you for seeing the value in this man.

Amander said...

I think it's great you were able to help someone out.

Sheri said...

I agree with Kirstina - doing it inside while people are eating he should not be doing. If he did it outside it would be different and the manager may not even mind. It was very kind of your dad to get the pin though. :)

LadyStyx said...

Sorry hun, Im with the majority above my comment. An outside display with a table and chair is one thing, I'm more than likely going to stop if I see I'm not going to get harrassed into it (like any of the scouts do?)but in an area where I came for some peace and most especially at the table I'm eating at? Not so much. It's almost as intrusive, to me, as showing up at my door unannounced.

Yaya said...

I hope he got the other pins back that he didn't sell before he had to leave?

I know, it is sad.

Lee said...

Sadly, I agree with the manager.
A man came around our tables trying to sell stickers once, saying he was deaf.
There are many other ways for those that are disabled to make money.
Where did he get the pins? Where did the other many get the stickers?
It's all too fishy.
And the manager could lose business if the man continued to make others uncomfortable.
It's sad, but it's true.

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