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To ignore the Big Issue seller

(59 Posts)
Beeyump Mon 07-Oct-13 10:41:54

There is a guy that sells the Big Issue right outside the station I use to get to and from work. For ages, I felt guilty walking past him - usually very quickly as I was rushing to the office - but eventually bought one. Sounds ridiculous, but he held it too high for me to reach for ages, before eventually tapping me on the head with it and giving it to me. Ho ho!

Anyway, fair enough, but since then he expects me to buy one every Tuesday, yells out at me as I go past etc. so that I feel a bit conspicuous. When I have bought one again, he's all 'Heyy Beautiful...or are you gay?' and other rather random things.
In my paranoid, twitchy head, I now dread seeing him every morning and don't want to buy any more but feel flippin guilty. Honestly, I can make life such a trial for myself. Should I just keep my headphones in and ignore?

TEErickOrTEEreat Mon 07-Oct-13 14:52:09

"But you do need to understand that people who live on the streets have had the worst life chances -- they haven't been brought up in polite drawing rooms with Miss Manners."

Bullshit. Most of the world is one paycheck from homelessness. Even the ones who have been brought up in drawing rooms with Miss Manners.

Also, a lot of the BI sellers around here aren't actually homeless. They are just having trouble getting a 'regular' job, as so many are right now. BI is a way to give them a bit of income.

Oceansurf Mon 07-Oct-13 14:29:09

Just say you've already got one!

Problem solved.

KellyElly Mon 07-Oct-13 14:25:49

niminypiminy You're posts are some of the most fucking ridiculous things I've EVER read on MN and I've been on here for five years! Fucking nonsense.

OP, no-one has the right to make you feel intimidated or uncomfortable or act in a suggestive or inappropriate way no matter what their back story is. You need to completely block him out and ignore him.

Beeyump Mon 07-Oct-13 14:21:04

Well,niminy hasn't really helped with my guilt complex anyway grin

I do realise that I'm making this into a bigger deal than it need be.

pinkyredrose Mon 07-Oct-13 14:13:48

niminy is talking out of her arse.

Btw not all BI sellers are homeless. A lot live in hostels, shared accommodation, halfway houses etc.

MomentForLife Mon 07-Oct-13 13:41:33

Just smile and say no thank you. His behaviour sounds awkward but don't let it affect your daily routine.

Vivacia Mon 07-Oct-13 13:28:56

I don't want to buy a BI. I don't have to. I agree completely, so you just say, "no thank you". There's no need to try to confuse or humiliate the seller with, "I have mine delivered". When you write, "it takes them a minute to work that out" it sounds as though you think you're clever and have out-witted somebody who, let's face it, isn't in the easiest place as it is.

TheHeadlessLadyofCannock Mon 07-Oct-13 13:15:58

'Actually niminy I feel like you are dehumanising the homeless by making out they don't have the same ability as the rest of us to be respectful and not intimidating.'

I agree.

CeliaFate Mon 07-Oct-13 13:14:42

To follow your argument through, the richest people in the world should be the nicest. That's nonsense. I agree, being homeless and all the problems it brings may cause you to be unhappy and behave horribly to others.
But equally, it's about the character of the people selling it.
I do empathise with people worse off than me.
I do (self-righteously?!) give to charity via direct debit. Probably not enough though so I can't expect them to be decent to me. hmm

Beeyump Mon 07-Oct-13 13:14:27


Okayyy... I did say that I thought 'that could be me' re. addiction etc. (having had great life chances btw) I don't think the man should be making people feel uncomfortable with weird and slightly aggressive remarks, whatever his situation is.

niminypiminy Mon 07-Oct-13 13:11:12

It's an irregular verb -- you say pitying, I say empathising.

I don't think I ever said that BI sellers shouldn't behave well. I said that we need to stand in their shoes and remember that it is easy to be nice when your life is nice.

KatoPotato Mon 07-Oct-13 13:06:05

I remember my friend telling me she was no longer buying the Big Issue because the seller didn't remember her and that she'd already got it.

FFS how entitled?

ubik Mon 07-Oct-13 13:02:09

I remember being in Oxford Street at about 3am and some bloke on a striped shirt and trousers, clearly hammered and probably more, walked past some poor homeless kid sat in a doorway and shouted "get a fucking job" in his face. Cunt.

CeliaFate Mon 07-Oct-13 12:59:32

Yes, I agree Killer. You're pitying the homeless niminy and making out that they lack the social skills accorded to the rest of us.

ubik Mon 07-Oct-13 12:58:53

op - Say hello, buy the mag if you want to but if not, just say 'no thankyou.' And walk on. It's a tiny thing, not worth worrying about.

KillerKoalaFace Mon 07-Oct-13 12:56:20

Actually niminy I feel like you are dehumanising the homeless by making out they don't have the same ability as the rest of us to be respectful and not intimidating.

I always buy the Big Issue when I can afford it and I was really friendly with one years ago that I saw every day and would buy an extra coffee for him. I was devastated when he died after an artery collapsed.

OP I agree that contacting the office is a good idea and just keep ignoring him until he leaves you alone.

Scarifying Mon 07-Oct-13 12:55:34

Don't be embarrassed, just smile and say no thanks.
Repeat when necessary.

It really is that simple

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 12:50:57

So? I give what I can, when I can. It is no business of yours whatsoever.

CeliaFate Mon 07-Oct-13 12:49:47

Nobody's saying it's ok to treat homeless people as if they weren't really people. But just because they're homeless doesn't give them the right to harass people in the street, particularly when they're trying to get people to buy something from them.
They are a representative of the Big Issue charity and should conduct themselves appropriately.

niminypiminy Mon 07-Oct-13 12:49:17

(And I always suspect when people say, self-righteously, that they give to other charities, or give food, that when you ask them how much and how often they actually give, the answer would turn out to be 'not much and not often'. Donations to charities are going down year on year, and the only group whose donations are staying stable rather than declining are the over 65's.)

Beastofburden Mon 07-Oct-13 12:49:07

That's why I said that phoning the BI line would be feedback that could help the guy move on, not a complaint, so I would do it.

Better than leaving him with his appalling behaviour and just avoiding him, so he never knows what he is doing wrong and can't address it.

niminypiminy Mon 07-Oct-13 12:46:01

No, but I did say, in my first post, if you have complaints about his behaviour, phone the BI -- as an organisation they encourage that. They have a strict code of conduct for BI sellers and they will stop people selling if they break it repeatedly.

But you do need to understand that people who live on the streets have had the worst life chances -- they haven't been brought up in polite drawing rooms with Miss Manners.

I'm always shocked at the number of people who think it's ok to treat homeless people as if they weren't really people.

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 12:45:01

Viv, why would it make me feel clever? I don't want to buy a BI. I don't have to. I get continual harassment from the same sellers every week and it pisses me off. Tbh I usually just ignore. The 'get it delivered' comment is reserved for the persistent and annoying sellers.

I give to other charities that I want to give to. I am not being guilted into buying a really crap magazine.

EverybodysStressyEyed Mon 07-Oct-13 12:43:29

I wonder if you are talking about the same station as the one near my work. My colleague bought a copy once and since then he has been harassing her when she walks past. Not banter but crude comments about her looks in an attempt to sell her another copy (unsuccessful unsurprisingly). She finds it really intimidating.

The person who sold it there before was a friendly chap and you could have a chat with him. I hope he has moved on to better things.

Beastofburden Mon 07-Oct-13 12:39:31

niminy By all means let BI sales staff make us uncomfortable about homelessness.

Allowing them to be total arses about sex is a different matter and sounds to me like classic middle class liberal guilt speaking.

Just because they are homeless does not mean that everything they do is about homelessness.

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