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Monday, July 20, 2009

Why Do I Let These Things Get To Me?

This scenario has happened to me twice now and I wonder to myself why I let the situation itself get to me? The first time was up in Oxford, NC a few months back. I was at a local fast food parking lot heading for my car when I was approached by a guy in his upper 50s or so. He was driving a beat up old truck and asked if I had any money so he could get home to Virginia because he was almost out of gas. I didn't have any money and said I couldn't help. He drove off with out a word and for a moment it dawned on me that I could have offered to fill up his gas tank at the gas station across the street. I actually felt terrible that I could have helped someone and failed to think fast enough for a solution. I really felt bad and the situation haunted me for some reason.

Then yesterday while geocaching a couple of guys in their young 40s drove up to me in another beat up truck. The one guy gave a similar story that they ran out of cash and needed some money to make it about an hour or so from where we were in Rocky Mount, NC. I again did not have any cash but offered to do the fill up at the gas station about 500 feet behind us. They did not say a word and drove up the road. I was surprised that they did not turn around to go to the station but just kept up driving. What the heck? I actually went to the station for about 10 minutes thinking they would just turn around and come back- nothing?

So long story short am I fool hardy enough to believe that people needed help and I failed to do the right thing or are there just a host of drive by begging going on and that is the latest ploy?

I don't want to give up on people because there ARE people out there that get into situations they need help but then again there are those who wish to make a quick buck. I will continue to wait for those in need but also keep an eye out for the others as well. Lessons learned.

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Erika Jean said...

I honestly believe it is a scam. people who NEED help - are generally to embarrassed to ask anyway.

I have been in the SAME situations with people asking me the same thing - so has my sister, and its either they are out of gas and need money - or their car needs some part and they don't have enough money for it. The fact that it happens SO often makes me think it is JUST people looking for easy money.

Erika Jean said...

PS. Never pull your wallet out for someone asking for money - it makes it a lot easier to grab.

Richard Lillis said...

At least you gave him the opportunity to get the gas he said he needed; driving off and turning down a free tank of gas just lets you know he didn't really need gas.

turtleexpress said...

This happens more times than you think. This is very common at rest stops as well. They have learned that they are more likely to get money randomly asking than to wait at a corner and beg. Think about it, if they have a good enough story, they can get hundreds of dollars a day all at the expense of someone who cares.