Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Window washers at the intersections--pesky or dangerous?

‘Bugger,’ you mumble under your breath. You have just pulled up at the traffic lights and you are at the front of the line-up of cars. Before you have a chance to take a breath, a hooded figure appears in front of your car, and splashes some liquid on your windscreen. NO ask, no indication or any form of permission required---he just does it. Part of you is a bit mad at him. For a start, you don’t carry around coins very often. Most purchases you make these days are via the EFPOS card, so you search around the side panels on the door and hope that a renegade coin can be found. In the meantime the guy finishes the job and comes to your window. You blush, stumble for some words and he glares at you as if you are a ‘mean bastard,’ and moves to the next victim. OK-- that may be just one scenario, but it is one that many of you can relate to. Some of you ‘come prepared,’ because you have an affinity for these, mainly guys, who get off their butts and actually do something. You do not spend much time thinking about their circumstances; about whether they are on the ‘dole,’ or if they could be working at a ‘real job;’ no you just pay up as if you sort of ‘owe’ them some kindness. Not everyone thinks like that though. For some the process can be intimidating, especially if you are a woman, alone in the car. I know that there may be some sort of ‘code’ amongst the ‘window jockeys’ that they do not cause discomfort, but that is by no means the norm! For me, it depends on how I am feeling on the day, the manner in which they approach me and whether I actually have any coins. I am quite prepared to ignore them, indicate by using my wipers that I do not want attention, or not make eye contact with them I am quite random in my response. The Herald highlighted this situation again today and it seems that some of the young people are being taken to court for disobeying the law about providing this ‘service.’ The cleaners have hit back, unfortunately in a way that for some may be seen as ‘sticking the finger’ at the law and trying to intimidate the public by making claims that if they don’t do this ‘job,’ then they may resort to robbing people. I do not accept that justification for their plight. There are many other people out there who depend on some sort of benefit and they do not go and rob people—so pull back on that one guys! What I do have some sympathy for is the fact that for many, finding job is still difficult. Even though the unemployment figures are lower than they have been for quite some time that does not equate to everyone having a job and for others getting that job may be problematic because of other circumstances. So---try not to be too judgmental about those who are struggling to find work. OK, if the reason for not getting work is because of past ‘mistakes,’ then at some stage we have to get people back on track, in the workforce. Just because someone has been ‘inside’ for a while, should not bar them from employment later. After all a sentence should be over and done with once finished. Everyone comes out (Usually) at some stage and they have to be able to live a normal life, WE SHOULD NOT KEEP punishing them! So, next time you see the guys on the street, try to look at it from their ‘point of existence,’ but at the same time----GUYS----be very careful, about how you go about your ‘activity.’ Each time one of you cross the line, you make it more likely that the law will bust ya!