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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?

specialsubject Mon 07-Oct-13 10:44:17

Yes, ignore. Yelling childish comments and sexually abusive remarks is not a good sales technique. Nor is the stupid clowning around.

you could tell him that if you want. Big Issue is also supposed to be a temporary arrangement, not a job for life.

Vivacia Mon 07-Oct-13 10:48:50

I don't think your reaction is paranoid, twitchy or irrational. I suspect he quite likes you, romantically or otherwise, but his behaviour is rude, disrespectful and harassing. Wearing earphones and blanking him is probably what I would do, or get my partner to meet me at the station.

nomorecrumbs Mon 07-Oct-13 10:50:42

I wish homeless people didn't have to ask for money in the street. I'd much rather there were boxes on the street we'd put random change in, and the money would go on food and clothes for them, rather than worrying about whether they would spend it on alcohol/drugs.

That's why I always give food to homeless people...I always ask if they want a sandwich or something.

kotinka Mon 07-Oct-13 10:51:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Beeyump Mon 07-Oct-13 10:51:33

Also, there's a coffee shop right behind him which I now feel I can't go into when I have a bit of extra time as I don't want brandish a take out coffee when I haven't bought a Big Issue from him...

phantomhairpuller Mon 07-Oct-13 11:01:12

You don't have to buy a big issue.

End of.

quoteunquote Mon 07-Oct-13 11:02:19

hmm Yes all big issue sellers should be banned, so no one feels uncomfortable.

Honestly he's just trying to sell his magazine, just say No thanks and get your coffee.

Beeyump Mon 07-Oct-13 11:03:44

Jings, I'm not saying they should be banned!
I think IABU for being so bothered by it all, but there we are.

ICameOnTheJitney Mon 07-Oct-13 11:04:12

qoute his behaviour is unacceptable. The Big Issue is a business and a brand...he's not acting in a way that's a good advert for them and he needs to be told.

OP call the local office and tell them, they'll tell him to behave.

TEErickOrTEEreat Mon 07-Oct-13 11:06:11

Just ignore him. If he's really bothering you, contact Big Issue and complain.

MrsNellyLovett Mon 07-Oct-13 11:13:58

He's a knob. Say 'no thanks', ignore any showing off, don't buy the magazine again, and don't let his presence determine whether you feel able to get a coffee.

MrsRajeshKoothrappali Mon 07-Oct-13 11:14:38

You should never feel guilty for not buying something.

You wouldn't walk past a shop, not buy anything and feel guilty.

Especially if he's being a knob and refusing to give you what you've paid for.

pinkyredrose Mon 07-Oct-13 11:17:59

I'd report him to the Big Issue. Their sellers aren't allowed to intimidate, harass or try the hard sell on people.

Beastofburden Mon 07-Oct-13 11:24:04

I would find that unsettling even if he were a beautifully presented succesful person trying to sell me organic caviar. It's not about the Big Issue.

People understand that people selling the BI may be struggling with various issues, and some of them may lie behind his behaviour. But he is meant to be learning from this how to behave normally, so he can go on to other things.

So give him the feedback by calling the office.

Beeyump Mon 07-Oct-13 11:40:25

Calling the office sounds like a good plan.
I have had addiction issues myself, (not that I'm saying all Big Issue vendors do) and so a bit of me thinks...that could easily be me. Although I think that more about people actually begging - I could be the one so desperate for a bit of money that I'd kneel on soggy cardboard among commuters feet... Anyway, that's projecting.

BrokenSunglasses Mon 07-Oct-13 11:43:00

Now that the big issue is so ridiculously expensive, YANBU.

I would say no thank you instead of ignoring so that he gets the message though.

squoosh Mon 07-Oct-13 12:07:39

Just because he's selling the Big Issue doesn't give him the right to act like a wanker.

Ignore him and buy your copy from someone else.

IvanaCake Mon 07-Oct-13 12:14:36

It does get awkward when you walk past the same person all the time. I do buy one every now and again but often use the "haven't got any cash on me, sorry" line, or pretend to be on the phone blush

Can you tell I'm not very good at saying no???

I'd report him.

I used to sell the Big Issue (many years ago) and we had a code of conduct, also a badge with a number on it so we could be identified if there was a complaint.

He is sexually harassing you and that is bang out of order.

TheHeadlessLadyofCannock Mon 07-Oct-13 12:20:04

Yep, tell the office about him.

But he may be behaving the way he is because he might have issues that mean he doesn't really realise what is appropriate behaviour and what isn't. I'd make it very clear to the office that you don't expect him to just be 'told off' but to be given, if appropriate, guidance/training on how to behave towards potential customers.

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 12:20:25

His sales pitch isn't working or you'd be buying the magazine.

I give where I can to what I want to - not the Big Issue.

I tell them I get it delivered - usually takes them a minute to work that one out.

niminypiminy Mon 07-Oct-13 12:26:12

How bad would it be for you to buy it? How much would it cost you to buy a copy? You can certainly phone the BI office if he's behaving like a jerk.

But perhaps you can also put yourself in his shoes for a minute. How would it make you feel towards other people if you had to stand there day after day trying to sell something that would tell other people that you are homeless and so poor that you have no other means of getting a living?

How would you like to stand there day after day with people walking past you with their eyes deliberately averted, so they can avoid having to buy what you have to sell?

How would you like to stand there with only the Big Issue between you and prostitution?

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 12:28:06

Oh ffs. Maybe if he wants to sell more he should stop behaving like an utter twat? He is making the OP feel very uncomfortable.

niminypiminy Mon 07-Oct-13 12:33:12

So BI sellers mustn't challenge the complacent attitudes of the general public at all? At all times they must be cheerful, grateful, polite and generally humble, because they have the priceless opportunity to stand on the streets in all weathers asking people to buy a magazine that will help the homeless?

FFS indeed. BI issue sellers should make us feel uncomfortable, because they are human beings in a really crap situation. If they don't make us feel uncomfortable there is something wrong with us -- and not with them.

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