I'm getting sick of people asking me for money.
No, I'm not talking about the government, bill collectors, or the "evil" corporations flogging their Chinese-made wares, I'm talking about the bums downtown.
I can always tell when the Social Assistance cheques are out - the bums have cigarettes.
So, for a few days each month, I can walk around downtown relatively undisturbed.
But then, mere days later, the same faces keep coming up to me;
"Can ya spare a smoke?" or "Got any spare change?"
Today was no different.
As soon as I got off my bus on Isabel at Sargent, a gaggle of vagrants came up to me wanting cigarettes. "Sorry, I don't smoke," I replied politely. "Well, fuck you!" came the reply.
Which put me in a foul mood by the time I got to work. As I'm normally in a foul mood at work, nobody noticed.
So, after an insanely busy (but good & productive!) day - nine hours of constantly ringing phones - I was exhausted, and more than happy to see five o'clock roll around.
No sooner do I get off my bus and walk a block east...
"Hey buddy, do you got any change?"
(sound of CJ snapping)
"Buddy, I just worked my ASS off for nine straight fucking hours! Why the fuck should I support you because you won't get up off of yours?"
Wisely, he walked away without saying anything.
I felt a tad guilty, as I am well aware some people are truly in need.
Guilty, that is, until I saw the same guy an hour later carrying a half-empty mickey in one hand, and a cigarette in the other.
Sometimes, we unfairly stereotype the indigent and homeless. Sometimes those stereotypes are bang on.