I was getting gas for my truck the other night. A pretty simple activity today with pay at the pump and fast passes, and something that is relatively solitary – many times happily so. As I was about half way done, a young boy, about 10 or 11 years old, approached my car. I did not see him until he was standing about 3 feet from me along side my truck. I was surprised, but looked at him, smiled and said hi. He said hi and then took a step closer – he could have been in my kids’ grade school class – clean clothes, hooded sweatshirt, sneakers.

The next moment shocked me……”can I have some money?….my dad lost his job and we need help….” at which point I looked up to see his dad at the door of his truck, about 30 feet away, in the next bank of pumps. Dad did not wave, or smile, or indicate anything, except that he was paying attention.

I said no, uncomfortably…… and he turned and walked away. The dad went back to getting gas. I got back in my truck, started it up….my mind was racing. I was shook up from the event, not sure if I should be or not. I went thru a whole range of emotions – from anger, shock, frustration, fear, distress, concern (for the boy and the dad) and frustration (at them and me).

•Once I got my wits about me I realized I could have given him my card, since we do recruiting…duh – if he really needed a job….
•Anger over the dad doing that to the kid – irrespective of the true issue….
•Distress over not helping them or seeing what I could do……
•A bizarre frustration that he did not start the conversation with please or say thank you at the end….
•Sadness over the situation, but also a tinge of anger wondering if the requests was a lie…..
Am I alone here – I still am not sure if I would react differently if this happened again, but not sure if or what I should consider. Would love some input.


Views: 72

Comment by Fran Hogan on December 14, 2009 at 11:48am
How sad for the boy. There's no way of knowing what the circumstances are with this family. What made the father stoop to such a low to put his son in that situation? Is he just a bad person or a man whose problems have overwhelmed him? Is there more family at home? A mother? More children? Has he given up trying to find a job in this terrible economy....or has he not tried? There is a lot unknown so it’s hard to judge his actions....but I would have gotten angry and reacted exactly as you did.

I would not have offered my card. I wouldn't have wanted that father to have my name. I wouldn't have given money because it may have been a scam. What could you really have done to help?
Comment by Shannon Russo on December 14, 2009 at 12:04pm
Thanks Fran - I am still unsure today. thanks for your input.
Comment by Shannon Russo on December 15, 2009 at 6:38pm
you are spot on, for such a little thing - still eating at me. thanks for the thoughts Maren, Shannon


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