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To find this very uncomfortable?

(81 Posts)
Oldisthenewblack Mon 01-Feb-16 15:31:12

I visit a local cafe regularly (almost every day!) and this has happened a few times now and it really annoys me, but I'm preparing to be flamed as a cold hearted, uncaring individual.

A man comes in and visits almost every table, placing a key ring and a note. The note says something to the effect of "I am deaf, I make these key rings, please buy one - £2.50".

Now, obviously I have no issue with this man attempting to sell his wares - good for him, in fact. But I come into this cafe to relax (spend ages on mumsnet...) and find this a bit off putting. He just speeds through, placing the items, and then a while later comes back and collects them. So, for a while they are just sitting there staring at me and I have no choice in the matter.

As I said, I am preparing for a flaming, but please don't think I'm hard hearted puts on hard hat. How would you feel - am I being unreasonable?

sooperdooper Mon 01-Feb-16 15:32:56

I've seen this in cafes too, some places don't allow it as customers don't like it! I just ignore tbh but you're not alone in finding it off putting

araiba Mon 01-Feb-16 15:34:39


i just leave where he put it or if i see him coming my way, a quick shake of the head suffices

BigginsforPope Mon 01-Feb-16 15:35:39

You could always move it out of your line of sight and then it may annoy you less. I do think it is off putting though and I would think twice about using a cafe that allows this to happen.

PurpleDaisies Mon 01-Feb-16 15:36:24

Did you raise it with the cafe owner? They don't have to allow him to do this.

ZiggyFartdust Mon 01-Feb-16 15:37:14

So, for a while they are just sitting there staring at me and I have no choice in the matter

Oh you poor thing, a keyring sitting on your table for a few minutes! That must be a horrific experience for you. How do you manage to keep forcing yourself to go back there?

paulapantsdown Mon 01-Feb-16 15:37:22

These guys try this in Greece and Spain when we have been on holiday - there must be hundreds of deaf tat sellers all over Europe. If I were the cafe owner I would not let him in everyday to annoy my customers.

TitClash Mon 01-Feb-16 15:37:54

Shake your head no and dont worry about it. I dont buy dusters on my doorstep either.

Oldisthenewblack Mon 01-Feb-16 15:38:14

Thank you - I did wonder if it was just me. He speeds in so quickly, and it's such a busy cafe that I don't think the staff were aware of what was happening before he was gone. And then not long after he was back to collect them all.

I feel it puts customers in an awkward position - we are sitting ducks. I was in here the other day when a man came in and went from table to table asking everyone to buy him something to eat. That made me feel particularly dreadful. If I had had something on me I would have offered it to him, but what if he'd refused it??

BitchSlapBingBunny Mon 01-Feb-16 15:39:51

Not had it in a cafe yet but the tissues on a train pee me off.

I just move it to one side and ignore.

cjt110 Mon 01-Feb-16 15:52:46

If you go in daily, and have refused to buy a few times, then it seems bit perstery to keep putting one on your table. I would feel uncomfortable and guilt tripped into buying one. Its like "tin rattlers" I have no problem with them but it's like a guilt ploy.

Playing devils advocate - How do you even know if he is deaf?

I would ask the cafe if they know he does this, if they do, then I'd find another cafe as they are effectively letting him use their customers as his target audience.

pocketsaviour Mon 01-Feb-16 16:00:06

If I had had something on me I would have offered it to him, but what if he'd refused it??

Then you would have eaten it yourself, surely? hmm

Hmm, I don't know OP. You're perfectly entitled not to buy from him, and to be annoyed at the 3-second disturbance of your latte enjoyment. Personally I'd rather see someone like this trying to earn money than sitting outside with a sign saying "Please feed me" or just on their arse at home claiming JSA. At least he's got overpriced goods to sell instead of just asking for a handout?

I do get really annoyed, myself, with those car wash guys that both Tesco and Sainsburys seem to have allowed to colonise their car parks. "Car wash madam? Car wash? Car wash madam?" NO I DO NOT WANT A FUCKING CAR WASH, STOP FOLLOWING ME! I am perfectly capable of approaching you with your 12 separate brightly-coloured car wash trolleys if I do!

Oldisthenewblack Mon 01-Feb-16 16:01:26

cjt110 - Yes, that is a question in itself, whether the seller is really deaf.

If I feel harassed or guilt tripped, I always refuse on principle.

It's actually a chain coffee shop, but very close to where I live and familiar for me, so I do in there a lot. I may mention it to the staff at some point if it happens again. I don't want to give the impression that it happens all the time, but it is rather off putting when it does.

It's quite a relief to know it's not only me. I'm not totally hard hearted and give to charity anyway, just on my terms. I really can't be giving every time I'm asked. There's a Big Issue seller that always sets up camp outside the entrance too, and I can't be buying that all the time.

PosieReturningParker Mon 01-Feb-16 16:02:05

I would ignore it.

I find the tills where you get asked if you want to donate to charity much much worse.

Oldisthenewblack Mon 01-Feb-16 16:04:15

pocketsaviour - Yes, of course I would have eaten it myself, as planned. My point was - I was happy to give him something I had on my, but was not able to purchase anything specifically FOR him. I would have felt then that he wasn't truly hungry and embarrassed about offering something homemade.

Oldisthenewblack Mon 01-Feb-16 16:04:59

And anyway the point is moot as I didn't have anything to offer.

Oldisthenewblack Mon 01-Feb-16 16:05:47

Posie - yes, that gets my goat. I always say "NO" in a loud voice. Yes, that's the kind of person I am.

MrsDeVere Mon 01-Feb-16 16:10:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PouletDePrintemps Mon 01-Feb-16 16:12:03

If I feel harassed or guilt tripped, I always refuse on principle.


And I don't feel bad about it.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Mon 01-Feb-16 16:14:40

I have a lot of youngish men knocking on my door with a holdall of dusters etc claiming to have just left the army and can I help them get back on their feet? I wonder if they are all ex soldiers? Never rude to them though. They must be pretty desperate to do this as the 'deaf' guy maybe. Once you are in a place of poverty it is an enormous battle to pull yourself out of it.

PouletDePrintemps Mon 01-Feb-16 16:14:45

I thought that MrsDeVere

The message "I'm deaf, I make keyrings, please buy one" doesn't actually offer any information about his financial situation.

He could have a full time job and just make keyrings as a hobby.

Helenluvsrob Mon 01-Feb-16 16:16:56

Have " no thank you" written on a card and just hold it up next time?

dontrunwithscissors Mon 01-Feb-16 16:20:05

Personally, I wouldn't like it & I wouldn't allow it if I owned the business. YANBU.

LovelyFriend Mon 01-Feb-16 16:20:56

I've not seen this for years, but yes it's as old as the hills. I've never seen any hassle with them though though.

It seems the people who do this always claim to be deaf! I wonder if its a scam (to avoid talking) or are deaf people advised it a good way to make money? Often they are plastic keyrings rather than hand crafted ones.

I certainly prefer it to the women who get in your face and shove weeds wrapped in tinfoil in your hands before you know what's happening and then wail for money. Very aggressive.

IndridCold Mon 01-Feb-16 16:29:19

I think a lot of these things are a scam, they rely on people feeling guilty to get money.

Sadly, I think that in some cases the people going around doing the begging collecting are being scammed as well, and only get a tiny proportion of the money they manage to raise.

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