Was queuing for a taxi at Raffles City last night when this youth with a huge tattoo on his right arm approached me with a laminated letter, his wedding photo and a Neoprint picture of his wife and young kid. I was trying to sms Booze Queen and Iceman regarding the breakdown of the MRT trains on the east-west line so I didn’t pay much attention to the letter he was showing me.
He said he was an ex-offender and how difficult it is to get a job. He then went on to talk about this organisation (he didn’t give the name) that was helping ex-offenders get job. So I asked if he was soliciting donations for charity (the charity being the organisation to aid ex-offenders). He said he wasn’t. He said he was selling this thing (2 furry balls held together with a string) to earn money to feed his wife and young daughter.
I said “no” politely. He tried to sell the furry balls to me a couple more times… to which I kept saying, “Sorry, no”. Seeing his scary tattoo, I certainly didn’t want to piss him off and be the first person in Singapore to get slashed/bashed over furry balls.
What made me uncomfortable and totally unwilling to donate was this. How was his selling of furry balls (of which he said he earns 50% from each sale) not charity? His modus operandi was the same as how a lot of deaf/dumb people go around hawking furry soft toys to earn a living. If I were to make a purchase, it would have been out of being charitable.
Had he been raising funds for the Yellow Ribbon Campaign or something, I would have been more willing to donate. The impression I got however, was this was his job! His way of earning a living. I know it’s tough for an ex-offender to find a job. But there ARE companies that hire ex-offenders and surely a young man of 18-22 years old should find a proper job instead of going around hawking furry balls?
I have no conclusion to this post. No moral of the story, no bottom line. This is just a post to record my thoughts on the incident.