In San Francisco the homeless are part of the community. The amount of people that are homeless here is something a midwesterner has to acclimate into. At first its heartbreaking, but then there are times its overwhelming.
Take, for instance, yesterday’s occurrence at the cart. I was sitting off to the side taking care of some paper work while Nats served a hot dog to a women and her dog when a tall man come up to the cart. I saw Nats tilt her head to the left and then say I’m sorry and shake her head side to side to say no. I couldn’t hear what was being said but I could see the man continue to talk while a new customer walked up to place an order. Nat’s attention was now on the new customer but the man did not walk away. As a matter of fact he was standing very close to Nats. I watched while the new customer ordered a bottle of water.
I could see the man turn his head and say something to the young lady who just ordered. At that point I stood up and walked over to the man.
Being born and raised on the south side of Chicago brings with it, at times, a bit of …. what’s another word for “don’t take no sh–” attitude. To me this man had stepped over the line by not taking “no” for an answer.
As I got closer to the cart I could hear the young lady say “no, I’m sorry”. The man did not let up. He was about to again ask for something from the young lady when I asked for his attention.
“Is there something I could help you with?” I said in a volume slightly louder than normal. He turned to me, not moving from his spot, and asked “yeah, could you give me something to eat or spare some money”? I said “No, I’m sorry.” He started to say something but at that point I didn’t want to hear it. He wasn’t taking no for an answer.
I told him he would have to leave. He mumbled something and turned to approach the women and her dog sitting at our bench eating her hot dog. As he began asking the women for something I moved in his path and told him “No, you can’t harass our customers. You have to leave.” He then started to say something to the fact that he was just looking for …..” I told him “If you don’t leave I’ll call the police.”
He came back with “I’m not doing anything wrong.” I said “You are harassing us! If you don’t leave I’ll call the police.”
He strolled off mumbling obscenities.
I give to homeless when I can but when someone doesn’t let up it gets very frustrating.