Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Which one are you again?

Abu Tulip writes:

Those of us who live here know that it's common for street-cleaners to knock on doors requesting payment during the holidays. Well, during this Christmas-time, four different men came to our door requesting money for cleaning our street—but only one of them actually does the work. Since they almost always work in the morning, when we are out, we rarely see them, so I’m not entirely sure which one is “our guy. They each look vaguely familiar, but perhaps I’ve seen them down the street. And they didn't really seem to come by looking for payment consistently until this year.

I’ve paid a couple guys, and narrowed “our guy” down to two possibilities, one of which I’ve not yet paid. These men work hard for very little, so they need everything they can get. Each have people back in Egypt depending on them as well. I am starting to think they go to neighborhoods outside their assigned area to “try their luck.” And not paying someone who is deserving would be wrong and give us a bad reputation.

Sure hope I pay the right guy!

What would you do?


Sharon M said...

I've always tried to keep dried goods on hand, and I would dole them out to women who would come begging on our street. Milk, tea, sugar, small things that would cost me about 5 JDs for a "care package". Can you give these instead of money to the other guys? I'm sure their families are suffering and the gesture would be appreciated. Just tell them you already paid the guy who cleans your street, but you know times are hard and you have something for his family, if he would like it.

abu 'n um tulip said...

Yes, we give those to people too. But these guys are Egyptian; their families aren't here and they need cash. I think I've got it figured out now, and they've stopped bugging me.