Autumn

Autumn

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Hey Man

Late this afternoon the bell rang. I looked out, sighed and went ahead and released the lock. A scruffy urban camper walked inside with his gear which consisted of four or five brown plastic grocery bags.

Without preamble I get this, "Hey hey hey, hey man the word is you be buy coins and stuff, you know like these here collectable coins and hey hey hey, hey man, the word is you pay good. Hey man, check it out."

He reaches over and offers a desk plaque. Its two thick pieces of clear plastic with a fake wood backing which sandwiched two uncirculated coins, a single 1971 Eisenhower dollar and a penny. The sign read John Tunney and was from a local small bank.

I glanced at the piece and asked, "What's your price?"  Always, always, make them reveal their price. Big smile, then, "Hey hey hey, hey man, listen here. That's a real silver coin. A dollar man, hey hey, how's about twenty dollars?"

Me, "No."

"Hey hey hey, hey man what the hells wrong with you? This is silver man, pure silver. They quit making these here silver coins in 1975. Don't you know nothing man...I mean hey hey hey, hey man the word is you a good  man that pays good money, hey hey come on man."

It's important to understand I felt sorry for the fella. He lives a hard life. I'm sure his nest was in the park just across the street from my shop. Hand to mouth existence. Life is indeed difficult for this man even under the best of conditions. Yet, I am a business man. On pure silver I pay twenty percent of spot. Ninety percent currency I pay half of melt value. Fair. If you do not like my offer, it's simple, take your property and walk. 

I took my cell and flipped it around and as he tried to read I explained the difference in silver content of U. S. currency. I pointed to the screen and said, "See, it contains forty percent silver and at current spot its melt value is just a bit over seven dollars. The penny is worth a penny. My offer is four dollars and you can keep the penny."

He took a quick step back and as before, "Hey hey hey, hey man this is bullsh*t and you're ripping me off man, hey hey, hey man, come on give me my twenty dollars."

As most of my friends will testify I'm a very patient and semi-quiet man. It takes a lot to tick me off. I also believe I'm a fair person willing to give most a break. I offer straight deals. It was the words, ripoff and my money, which set my meter to zero. I came around and put my face very close to his and said, "Get out."

I said it very calmly. Did not raise my voice nor hands.

He lowered his head and mumbled, "Sorry man, hey hey hey, hey man, really I'm sorry. It's just I need cash man."

I backed off. Reached in my pocket and peeled off four dollars and placed the cash and his coins back into his hands. I remained silent and pointed at the door.

He left.

There but for the grace of our Lord..... 


Stephen

24 comments:

  1. You are a very kind and understanding man, Stephen...

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    1. Nope, not me...I'm mean, spit mud and snort fire. Really. Thanks, Sweetheart.

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  2. What Chickenmom said. I'd like to think that I would have handled it the same way; I don't tolerate the entitlement mentality very well, these days.

    "...give me my twenty dollars." Indeed.

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    1. They do try my soul at times....thanks, my friend.

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  3. I have to remember that phrase every day because it is indeed true, but one of my many shortcomings is a lack of empathy for the less fortunate. The Good Lord will certainly make me pay for that some day. Until then, keep your chin up but keep your head down! Stay safe.

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  4. I don't know if I would have been so generous. You have my admiration.

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    1. Just part of doing business. Nothing special on my part. Thanks, Muddy.

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  5. Stephen,
    That was very nice of you.
    Linda

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  6. You did good. I wouldn't have gave him nothing but a finger pointing to the exit.

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    1. Kelly, truth be known, most of the time so do I...it's just sometimes they get to me. Thanks, Sweet Lady.

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  7. Your last sentence says it all.......

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    1. Yes, indeed. Thank you, my friend.

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  8. Is that pic of the guy himself? Saw that and thought Damn, they let Manson out of Corcoran. Hoodah thunkit?

    There but for the Grace of God, indeed.

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    1. No, Bob, it's a stock photo off Google. Thanks, my friend.

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  9. dear sweet one, you did good. you are a true gentleman, sir.

    your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Sometimes I don't feel like a gentleman...but thanks, Sweet One.

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  10. Handled it better than I would have... Just sayin...

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    1. Thanks, my friend. I'm sure we've both swam in the same waters.

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  11. You done good. Folks like him are hard to deal with because they so often mentally ill. Pity and firmness (and self-protection) often have to go hand in hand.

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    1. After thirty years you think I'd know when not to open the door....thanks, my friend.

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  12. Sure you don't have ancestors in Samaria?

    Good on ya for doing a good thing, but be sure to watch out for someone who decides to bite the hand that feeds him.

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    1. Daddy, it's possible...I am somewhat fossilized. Thanks, my friend.

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