Yesterday the spouse and I were on a foot mission to stock up on bagels when a man approached us. Now, considering this 60-something was dressed to the nines (we're talking just short of wearing a tux), with comb trenches still fresh in his white hair, and skin that I'd kill for, I was surprised when he held out a styrofoam cup and asked us for money. For a Norwegian veteran. Thank god Ryan was with me because I was genuinely confused and speechless. He seemed like he was collecting for himself in which case it looked like he should be the one giving money to us (I mean, the guy practically had one of those fancy hankies coming out of his blazer's breast pocket).
So the appearance was one thing. The second, perhaps minor, thing is he had zero trace of an accent which is fine if he's collecting for a cause, but that brings me to my third point: if he was collecting for a cause, not only did he present it all wrong, but he had no sign or stand or pamphlet or just something more official. Not a styrofoam cup. An un-labeled styrofoam cup at that! Even handwriting on the styrofoam cup would have been better. My standard behavior for people approaching me for a cause is to ask for information such as a Web site about their organization so that I can inform myself on my time and avoid blind donations. But the thing is, if this guy was collecting for himself, I would have felt bad and potentially offended him by asking if he was collecting for an organization. So I remained silent the whole time.