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What is $1.80 Worth to You?

Money - Black and White Money

Money – Black and White Money (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

About a month ago as I headed into a coffee shop  – my regular Tuesday/Thursday wait spot while my daughter takes a class nearby, a man approached me asking for $1.80 to be exact. Right away he informed me he needed the money to ride the PACE bus. I asked him several questions before I handed over the money.

In retrospect I was  being a jerk. I had $1.80 and it wasn’t going to inconvenience me to part with it.  He wasn’t just begging like the typical person asking, “Can you spare some change?” or “Can you help the homeless?”. He was specific and didn’t follow the normal protocol and I was suspicious.  His carefully rehearsed voice that told a story of needing to take the bus (why?) to see his therapist in the suburbs (why?) to get a new prescription for his medicine. It was then that I backed off on the questions and handed over the money with a smile.

Later I saw him across the street exiting a fast food place  with a cup in his hand. At first I was a bit irritated. Had I just been taken advantage of? Had he just used my money to buy coffee? Did he ask another person for money? Then I told myself to let it go. It was a dollar  frigging’ eighty cents.


2 thoughts on “What is $1.80 Worth to You?

  1. OMG, this reminds me of something that happened to me probably 20 years ago. I was on Clark Street near Diversey, and some kids approached me asking for $1.25, which was exact change for the CTA at the time. I didn’t have cash on me, so I gave them a token. Their disappointment was obvious but they took it.

    A block later I saw them getting into a cab, so I went up to them and politely asked for my token back. They looked as busted as they were and handed it to me. The friend who was with me was thoroughly entertained.

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