change please!

Today, as the clouds have cleared (on behalf of that bastard wind (and I’m not even that close to Clayton)) and the sun is shining (clearly misleading me in terms of the temperature and therefore my layering skills), I have come to two realisations.

Firstly, I may possibly have been working at Coles for too long, and secondly, I must give off the illusion that I have lots of money and am either very generous and/or can be scared into giving people money/my time.

How so?

This afternoon, I am standing in a packed tram stop (it’s not even Flinders Street) because some tram has had some kind of breakdown. I stare blankly across the road, hands stuffed in pockets, the wind blowing my hair (and wrecking the fringe) about the place. Suddenly out of the corner of my eye I notice an approaching figure. Turning slightly, I am faced with an apparently poor lady wearing a beanie (I don’t know why I am mentioning the beanie – it wasn’t even one of those cute animal ones people are wearing on their heads). She is in my face. Really. Personal space!

Pulling out a headphone, and taking a step back she shoves her hand up to my eye level and shows me a few ten and five cent coins. ‘Can I have some change?’ she enquires.

Normal person first thought: ‘oh this woman is clearly poor and begging for money so she can buy something to eat/drink/smoke, I shall consider whether I can and will donate to her small change fund. Oh, decisions!’

Amanda thought: ‘change for what? I don’t have a 50cent coin to change your money for. I’m not at work, I can’t open the register’.

‘Eh, what?’ I ask back, clearly still entertaining above thought.

‘Change, to eat’ she states back, even motioning an eating gesture. ‘Oh, I’m sorry no’, I tell her.

Turning around she approaches a second person, without luck. And then she wanders away.

She approached two people at said packed tram stop – me, and a man eating a sausage roll.

Now comes my question – why me? (I don’t care about why the man was approached). I am not entirely sure of her logic.

I am going home from uni, in a giant jacket. I know I look tired and considering I failed to do my hair this morning I possibly do not give off the ‘with-it’ or immaculately groomed impression. I thought this look would mean I actually look like a poor uni student. Ok, maybe not as poor as her, but still, a poor uni student.

Maybe if she thought if she got in my face (she was kinda scary-looking) she could intimidate me into giving her money? Maybe when she realised I didn’t even understand what she meant, the eating gesturing would result in me feeling sorry for her and therefore give her some change? Maybe if she had been wearing one of those animal beanies on her head she would have had more luck?

I’m not sure. I also attract those people who hang around waiting to accost you outside Gloria Jeans or train stations wanting to chat about Oxfam or Fitness First, (or if I am with a white person, those Asian night clubs/phone deal things – not racist, strangely accurate) and feel rude when I walk away/end up taking their leaflet thingo.

Hmmm. Thinking about it though, my first thought could be perfectly plausible… and it comes on the back of half-asleep middle-of-the-night Amanda fumbling around and reaching out to grab a receipt and freaking out about not being able to reach it.

…and on that note, tomorrow morning I am going to work to greet the old people on pension day!


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May 2011
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