I knew before he opened his mouth this was going to be nasty. He cut a line through the milling commuters looking for their platforms - making sure he was under my nose. It was his eyes that gave it away - this was going to be nasty. He had a point to make and he was going to make sure I heard him. Actually several hundred people heard him.
"You lot make me ill collecting - you're not doing any good and I for one will never give to you"
His words spat with venom got heads turning. Bemused commuters shot anxious looks of comfort as I withstood the onslaught, the barrage of vicious diatribe. As he runs for his train along Waterloo station- I wonder what it was The Salvation Army did wrong to him. Maybe bad connections in the past, perhaps pain for family members dealt with years gone by, perhaps he got a bad deal from a SA place in the past, perhaps he saw a perceived misuse of funds, perhaps he'd been given the sack, perhaps he'd had too much to drink. Whatever I didn't get chance to ask - he'd soon disappeared into the crowd. Gone.
I sigh...It's The Salvation Army annual appeal time - where we try to raise funds for our social ministry, I'm all togged up, cap and all - don't you just love it.
I'm still digesting the abuse when a gentle voice said "I always give to you guys...." I look round and a kind looking face is looking through his wallet. He carries on "It's 30 years since I needed you... I was at my lowest and you guys fed me ... made sure I had food ... helped me turn my life around" I feel the clunk of change hit the bottom of teh bucket and he too disappeared into the night.
It's annual appeal time, I'm all togged up, cap and all - don't you just love it!!