There should be a rule about solicitors at store entrances. Unlike the woman pictured above, who seems to be legitimate, store patrons should not have deal with transients pleading for sympathy, wearing a homemade badge. I often question their authenticity. Quite frankly, I believe most of the front-door beggars are moonlighting; a so-called “second job” from their off ramp gig.
I cringe each time I walk up to the front door of my local Vons to find a card table with a coffee can on top. I know what’s coming; a determined person with a perpetual smile blurting out their pitch, often unintelligible, followed with a guilt-intended, “God bless you.”
I’ve tried talking with them, asking for more information but no one can produce as much as a brochure or website, legitimizing my suspicion that they are in fact pan handlers.
Some stores, however, discourage solicitors. Other establishments have all but banned them, including the Salvation Army and Girl Scouts. I think that's sad.
Rather than ignore the swindlers, I sometimes ask if they take Visa; that usually thwarts their effort and answers their question. And with a wink and a smile, I continue into the store.