I'm Late for Work, Where's My Coffee Cup?
Update No. 2:
The panhandling guy I wrote about earlier, the one who conducted a mini-survey to see if he had previously panhandled from me… he has a job!
Well, sort of. Like I said, I always see him on the bus stop while going to work and not only wondered about his panhandling style, but also where he goes, since he panhandles until his bus comes (which is the same bus I ride), gets on (not sure if he pays with his panhandling proceeds) and rides downtown. I usually get off before him, so I was never sure where he goes or how far he rides the bus.
But Thursday I rode one stop further than I usually do. There’s a Lavazza coffee shop there and, having tired of giving my coffee money to Caribou and Starbucks, I decided to give my coinage to another faceless corporate entity for a change. Panhandlin’ Dude got off there as well and I didn’t really pay attention to where he could possibly be headed, just ducked into the coffee shop.
When I came out, I walked through the light rain and across the street to the building where I work. There’s a sort of open promenade around the building that provides shelter from the drops and as I’m walking through I glance to my right and there he is. The Panhandling guy is outside of my building. And he’s not just hanging out but actually panhandling. I see him stop a young woman and jiggle his beat-up coffee cup, the same one he carries around when I see him on the bus stop in the morning.
Which leads me to the question: Does this mean he has a job? I mean, if a guy gets up at a set time each day and every day and takes a specific bus to a specific location to ply his trade, that’s pretty much a job, right? Sure, he’s just hitting people up for loose change as he meanders around the Loop, but his diligence, his routine, that’s gotta count toward something resembling a job. Sure, any old vagabond can sit upright on a park bench, yawn a couple of times, reach down to the old coffee cup at his fee and be “at work”. But to set your alarm, wait for a specific bus and get off at the same destination every work day, that takes a special kind of dedication.
It’s that sort of can-do, go-getter spirit that has made American great!