86.I work for tips? Thank You For Your Service

28928751211.jpgDear Friends:

I am working this job on the docks and been killing myself building and moving china hutches and other huge pieces of furniture for the holiday. Today I am so sore that I can barely move. Funny things  happen in my life. This goes back to previous articles I have written about not dressing like a homeless bum and maintaining some sort of grooming and hygiene standard.

As I have a limited homeless wardrobe and living out of a backpack mainly consisting of oxford shirts, t shirts, and sort of dress casual cargo pants I have always been the best dressed dock worker to arrive at my job because of this and also I do have pride in my look. I never want to look homeless. It is hard for me to not look my best at all times, though at the end of a shift after dancing with crates all night I can look a little rumpled. The other day, they needed someone to work out front loading local purchases into customers trucks and cars from the showroom, so I was selected being the best dressed.

I was man handling solo a set of end tables out to a Cadillac Escallade for a gentleman and managed to get them in there very deftly when he pulled out a $5.00 bill and said “thank you”. I was floored for a second. I recovered my mental faculties and went back inside. A few more loads, and then it happened again, $2.00 for an end table in a Volvo. These people are tipping me for my service of carrying out furniture for them. Yes I need the money but still the point was not lost on me in my situation.

We are “tipping” our homeless veterans by driving by them on the streets or trying to run them and the rest of the homeless out of our towns. When they ask for help, we just ignore them, 0r think negatively. We do not think about what they provided, did or gave up for us at one time in the prime of their lives.

I wonder what the people tipping me would have thought if they knew they were tipping a “Homeless Veteran”, or if they would have shied away because of discomfort and not tipped me at all. Makes me want to get a big badge at times that says “Homeless Veteran” just to see what would happen.


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1 Response to “86.I work for tips? Thank You For Your Service”

  1. 1 Jeff
    December 5, 2007 at 7:10 pm

    Good to hear from you, Wanderingvet! You’re my first read in the morning and it has been a while since your last post. Glad to hear you’re keeping your hands busy and that your mind is still in tune to your homeless advocacy education issues. Sadly, I think the patrons at your company would react differently if they knew you were homeless. There is a negative stigma to the homeless that you illustrate well in your blog. There is fear. There is also ignorance to the real plight of the homeless individual. There is a perception of laziness and purposeful inaction. And there is an unwillingness by some of the public to partipate by monetary contribution to drug/drink. At least, that is what I hear around me. Keep educating us, Wanderingvet. And thank you, for you’ve indeed changed my own personal perception. Best, Jeff

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