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Old 05-08-07, 02:36 PM   #1
Brent L
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Hi, I'm deaf. Let's be friends, I love you. Give me money.

Alrighty, so I went to lunch with my mom and dad today at Athens, a Greek restaurant. While it's not the most fancy place in the world, it's certainly not fast food, and it's higher up on the chain than places like Applebee's. It's a place with lower lighting, candles, and a typical spot here in town where people from businesses go to for a quiet and peaceful lunch.

Anyway, while we were eating I noticed a strange guy walking around in a baseball cap. I didn't think much of it and just ignored him. A few minutes later, the guy finally makes his way to our table, doesn't say a single word, and simply tosses the following down on our table:



Now I didn't see what it was to start with. It landed in front of my dad, so he was looking at it. About 30 seconds or a minute went by, and the odd thing was that the guy was still standing at our table. We tried to just ignore him, but he simply wasn't going to go away. My dad finally gave him a buck, and then he went on his way. I still didn't know what it was, so I finally grabbed it to take a look, and I instantly started laughing about the entire situation. Maybe that was rude of me, I'm not sure if the guy saw me or not, but I just couldn't help myself. Here was this guy, walking around and placing one of those little cards on each and every table, refusing to walk away on his own until people finally broke down and gave him money.

Have you guys ever seen anything like this? I can see it on any random street, but a guy walking around in a somewhat fancy restaurant?

My first thought was that it was totally a grifter, just playing on everyone's emotions in order to get some sympathy cash out of the people eating in this place. Then a part of me felt sorry for the guy, thinking that if he is deaf that's pretty sad. Then my sense once again took hold, and I decided that even if the guy was deaf, he's still a sort of grifter. Can't deaf people get work as well? I mean, it's not like the guy was blind, and there's any number of things that he could do for a living instead giving away little cards with a pin stuck on it in hopes of receive "donations".

Deaf or not, I found the entire thing totally rude, and pretty funny since it was just so unusual. I'm a sympathetic guy, but come on. No matter if the guy really was deaf or not, there's still no excuse for this. What would you guys do in a situation like that?
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Last edited by BrentLumkin; 05-08-07 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 05-08-07, 02:39 PM   #2
NORML54601
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I'd do something like this, just like I am now:

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Old 05-08-07, 02:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrentLumkin
Alrighty, so I went to lunch with my mom and dad today at Athen's, a Greek restaurant.
Is Athen the head chef at that location, or is it one of those deals where there are a bunch of Athen's restaurants all over the place, and Athen himself never shows his face?

das
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Old 05-08-07, 02:40 PM   #4
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Your dad should have pretended to be blind.
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Old 05-08-07, 02:42 PM   #5
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I've seen this a number of times, always in a restaurant. I just shake my head and hand the thing back to him.

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Old 05-08-07, 02:42 PM   #6
The Edit King
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrentLumkin
Deaf or not, I found the entire thing totally rude, and pretty funny since it was just so unusual. I'm a sympathetic guy, but come on. No matter if the guy really was deaf or not, there's still no excuse for this. What would you guys do in a situation like that?
I kinda feel the same way, however...

That happens sometimes when Treesa and I grab a bite at a Mall or whatnot, and we might smile at the guy (or gal), but we just leave it there and continue eating, and the guy (or gal) will come back, pick it up and be on his (or her) way.

-Paul

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Old 05-08-07, 02:42 PM   #7
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People do that on the trains here. It is illegal and I once flagged down a police officer to get rid of the guy. I think he got arrested.
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Old 05-08-07, 02:42 PM   #8
Brent L
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Quote:
Originally Posted by das Monkey
Is Athen the head chef at that location, or is it one of those deals where there are a bunch of Athen's restaurants all over the place, and Athen himself never shows his face?

das
Touche.
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Old 05-08-07, 02:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrentLumkin
Douche.
Fixed.

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Old 05-08-07, 02:45 PM   #10
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I have a whole stack of those cards, only instead of 'deaf' it says 'short'.
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Old 05-08-07, 02:46 PM   #11
Brent L
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I just told a friend of mine about this and she said that she saw the same guy in the local Target yesterday.

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Old 05-08-07, 02:47 PM   #12
matome
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Quote:
Originally Posted by namodnaB
Your dad should have pretended to be blind.
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Old 05-08-07, 02:47 PM   #13
Ranger
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Yeah, there was another thread on this. I had it happen once in a store parking lot a few years ago. Dunno how these things can be common. Could there actually be a legit charity organization pushing stuff like this? I doubt it.
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Old 05-08-07, 02:49 PM   #14
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One time, I had breakfast with a deaf friend from Arizona, the waiter came to us and offered $1 for alphabet card. I told him that if I have the alphabet card, I would give it to him for free.

I would recommend NOT donate to anything like that, it's fucking stupid.
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Old 05-08-07, 02:59 PM   #15
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That happened to me once at a restaurant, while eating lunch in the outdoor cafe. The guy put it on the table, and I brushed it off to the ground without even looking at it. Then I gave him the maloika stare. He picked it up and walked away. Fuck him.
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Old 05-08-07, 02:59 PM   #16
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I have seen this a couple of times too. Not since I was younger though. It was when we were on vacation. Never saw it happen in Texas and quite frankly forgot all about it until now.
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Old 05-08-07, 03:04 PM   #17
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Yeah, I came across this kind of thing once before. Can't recall where. He was trying to sell pens. I didn't buy one.

On further thought, it was probably in a restaurant, a fast food one. I can't believe that a more formal place that has more control over who's inside would allow this. It could really annoy patrons who aren't expecting to be hit up for a "donation."

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Old 05-08-07, 03:06 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger
Could there actually be a legit charity organization pushing stuff like this? I doubt it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by McHawkson
One time, I had breakfast with a deaf friend from Arizona, the waiter came to us and offered $1 for alphabet card.


Here's the Link.

"You've probably seen them. They lurk in malls, airports, parks and busy city streets, holding a stack of small white leaflets. The leaflets usually show the ASL alphabet together with a plea for money. You've spotted that rare but distinctive creature - the Deaf Peddler.

The last time deaf peddlers were in the news in a big way, it was because a Mexican gang had forced a group of deaf people to work for them in 1997 as peddlers. The New York Times did a story on it, and it became national news.

But there have been, and continue to be, deaf peddlers who do it themselves for their own reasons. One even wrote a book about it: Deaf Peddler: Confessions of an Inside Man. The book is the story of a deaf man with a graduate degree in computer science who made money as a peddler for 11 years.

Deaf peddlers have long been seen with fear, loathing and resentment by most in the deaf and hard of hearing community. Fear that hearing people will see all other deaf people as peddlers; loathing of the way deaf peddlers manipulate the kindness of others for personal gain; and resentment towards able-bodied deaf peddlers who appear perfectly capable of working.

Despite the stigma associated with seeking handouts, deaf peddlers continue to pop up for a simple reason - it pays. It's not unusual for a deaf peddler to make a good deal more than someone working a minimum wage job. Deaf peddlers often defend the practice a form of self employment. Critics call it a scam. Plenty of people can say they know a scam when they see one, but what's the key difference between honest work and a scam?

In a word - value.

Honest work is an exchange of value. One person has a product, a service, special ability, knowledge, or simply the time and energy to do useful work. All of these things have value, and they are traded for something else of value - usually money.

There are many types of scams, but they all share one thing in common - they take something of value and give little or nothing in return.

The deaf peddler usually pretends to offer value by distributing a leaflet printed with a manual alphabet, or some other cheap trinket. Is it valuable? It might be, for some. The pretense continues by asking people to donate what they wish, rather than asking for a set price. This allows anyone to decide for themselves the value of the leaflet or trinket.

But it doesn't stop there. The deaf peddler always includes something else - a declaration of identity. "I am deaf".

If the leaflet has real value, why is it necessary to say this? If the deaf peddler does not identify himself as deaf, would he collect as much money? Probably not. Hearing peddlers who pretend to be deaf clearly understand this.

There is only one reason to claim deaf identity when distributing these leaflets - to make more money by provoking the sympathies and generosity of gullible people. This tips the balance away from value toward manipulation - a scam.

And here we arrive at the heart of why deaf peddlers get no respect. They abuse and prostitute their own identity rather than offer something of real value, and damage public perception of all deaf people as they do it.

Gaining value demands time and energy. This can come through education, experience, practice and consistent focus. It's not easy. Most people earn a living working for someone else, renting out their knowledge and ability by the hour. Others hire people to work for them according to the market value of their skills. Either way, it's an exchange of value.

It is in the deaf community's interest to keep our value as high as possible. Easy money will always be tempting for some, but it comes with its own price tag in the form of self-respect. The deaf community understands this - and chooses value."
_____________

-Paul

Last edited by The Edit King; 05-08-07 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 05-08-07, 03:09 PM   #19
Brent L
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Wow.

Just...wow.

What made the card the guy I saw so funny was not only did it say that he's deaf and this was how he's making money, but it included "let's be friends" and "I love you" on the card as well. Just so over the top, it's ridiculous.
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Old 05-08-07, 03:09 PM   #20
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What's the charity that has those dumb little white canes (representing the blind) that they pin to people's lapels and then try to charge for? Lions? Moose lodge?

If there's anything I hate it's the "Easter Seals" or "curb painting" kind of campaign-- giving you something whether you want it or not and then trying to make you pay a donation afterwards. Never fails to get my goat.
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Old 05-08-07, 03:10 PM   #21
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Very bizarre. I've never heard of such a thing. Don't you have No Solicitation laws where you are?
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Old 05-08-07, 03:14 PM   #22
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Quote:
The leaflets usually show the ASL alphabet together with a plea for money.
The article shouldn't specific ASL, the sign language alphabet is same with all three American sign languages (ASL, SEE, PSE).
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Old 05-08-07, 03:20 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by grem458
Very bizarre. I've never heard of such a thing. Don't you have No Solicitation laws where you are?
Same here. I think the owners would just tell them to get the hell out around here.
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Old 05-08-07, 03:42 PM   #24
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I tend to disagree about 'SEE' being a language. It's English words and English grammar using English word order - only using your hands to "voice" them. If it's a language, then it's already got a name -- English. I feel similarly about 'PSE'. ASL is undoubtedly a language, no argument there. The "Sign Language Alphabet" was designed by Gallaudet, based on French SL, and is without a doubt the "ASL" alphabet. 'SEE' and 'PSE' are signing styles that use that alphabet. I have no issues with it being referred to as the "ASL" alphabet.

I had a deaf girlfriend, dated an interpreter for a long time, was marginally active in the deaf community, was a member of an ASL "singing" group, interpreted church services, taught ASL at the local Air Force Base, and was just a couple of field hours away from completing my Manual Communication degree before I moved from Ohio. I'm not deaf and can't speak for their community, but I think you can trust me on this one - the deaf pretty much univerally look down upon panhandlers peddling these ASL cards. Do not give them money.

One time I was approached at LAX. I looked at the card, looked at the panhandler, and started asking him (in ASL, of course) if he was really deaf and what kind of reaction he would expect to get if he were to hand the card to a deaf man who was a LOT bigger than him. I think he got the message - he apologized and took off running.
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Old 05-08-07, 03:53 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenbuzz
I tend to disagree about 'SEE' being a language. It's English words and English grammar using English word order - only using your hands to "voice" them. If it's a language, then it's already got a name -- English. I feel similarly about 'PSE'. ASL is undoubtedly a language, no argument there. The "Sign Language Alphabet" was designed by Gallaudet, based on French SL, and is without a doubt the "ASL" alphabet. 'SEE' and 'PSE' are signing styles that use that alphabet. I have no issues with it being referred to as the "ASL" alphabet.
SEE is still considered as language, but not very popular along deaf world. Actually, my first language was SEE, but learned ASL during my Jr. High school. Right now, I'm using PSE sign language.

Whenever, I get an interpreter, the interpreter would ask me "what kind of language you use? ASL, PSE, or SEE?"
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