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Friday, April 13, 2012

weekend reflection: Car wind screen cleaner





You can't see clearly the woman in the rear mirror. I had been wanting to do this post for a very long time. But it was very hard to take the photo, as I didn't want her to know. When I eventually took the photo last Saturday, the news article was published on Tuesday. A very timely thing.

I don't know if this happens in other places, in many of our busy road junctions, at busy times, men and women come without being asked, and they have a long brush and clean your windscreen. It is a symbolically clean as it is haphazardly done, ( 2 cars before the lights changed, because I actually stalked them today). Then they tap your window. Some people don't give them any money. The cleaners are always polite, and don't insist you give them money. I always give them, not because they clean well, but I appreciate their willingness to be out there, especially in the cold winter evening.

A friend from South Africa who lived during the Apartheid times, told me, to her, it is an automatic reflex to wind up her window when she sees someone with a stick approaching her. Other friends say they are a nuisance, and dirty the windscreen rather than clean it.

The trouble, is these people dress like riff raffs, smoke while cleaning. I like to give them some pocket money for being in the cold. Better than just begging.

However, not many people think like me. What do you think?

***I looked in the photo carefully, she was bending down, she could have dropped her water bottle of detergent. She could have been drunk. I actually had told her, that on my way over, the man at the other side of the road had cleaned my window. She proceeded to clean my front window and said she and the man was competing. Before I could find some small change, the lights had changed, and I had to drive off without giving her any money. But not after I managed to take the photo.)***


Drunks terrorise suburban shoppers
MICHAEL FOX
Last updated 05:00 10/04/2012

Mt Albert residents fed up with "menacing" transients who they say are scaring people have vowed to rid the suburb of the problem.

Community leaders are urging residents and business owners to bombard authorities with complaints while they also putt pressure on police to do more.

Locals say the vagrants have been driven out of the central city and were congregating at the Mt Albert shops where they were drinking, begging, busking, "hustling locals", cleaning windscreens at intersections and sniffing glue in public.

"These people are quite intimidating," Albert-Eden local board spokeswoman Pauline Anderson says.

Sometimes in groups as big as 12, they were scrimping together enough money to buy booze then drinking it in public.

"Then of course during the day it progressively gets worse because they get more high and more drunk to the point where they're dodging traffic and just being a menace and people in Mt Albert are crossing the street to avoid them," she said.

Police could take several hours to respond to calls which often had to be made several times but she said police patrols had increased lately at the board's request. Anderson said they wanted people to be more proactive.

"There is a little bit of apathy which I believe is a big part of the problem, that people think that because they call and then police take the details and then nothing appears to happen then people stop calling and that is the worst thing that you can do."

The council ran a campaign with business owners about four months ago outlining the options available and providing phone numbers to call to report the issues.

If all the incidents were reported they would have the statistics to back up their complaints, Anderson said.

"All we can do is encourage people to keep on at the police, to keep ringing, reporting everything they see, every incident."

The aim was to try to draw people back to the shopping centre because "the more we go there, the residents, the less these people will feel comfortable going there".

"It's not about we don't want them in Mt Albert, we just want them to behave in a socially acceptable way and it's up to us to show them that really, it's unacceptable what they're doing. We don't want them in our faces doing what they do."

http://weekendreflection.blogspot.com

3 comments:

Ginny said...

Yes, we have these people here. And you are right, at least they are trying to work for their money. Just the other day, Phil gave $10.00 to a man on the side of the highway with a big sign...the police ran him off and Phil felt sorry. He will give to anyone who has to stand out in the heat or cold to get money.

Al said...

I remember that when I lived in New York and Washington DC. But around here everybody owns guns so it's not a problem!

ancient one said...

Not in my hometown, but the nearby college town people are begging everywhere. The police tell everyone not to give them money, tell them there are agencies in town that will help them. I've been suckered a couple of times. If they tell a good enough story, I'm guilty of giving money. No one works for it!