This morning when I went to Dunkin Donuts to get my usual highly caloric but quite delicious iced coffee, there was a slightly raggedy man outside asking people who were going in whether they could “spare a large coffee.” At first I just said “no” because I wasn’t really listening to his request, assumed he was asking for money, and I 1. have a policy of not giving cash to people who are asking (though if they have some cute gimmick, I might violate my policy) and 2. am walking around with a grand total of $1 in cash on me.
But after I went in I thought better of it. He was asking for something specific, something that I don’t have an objection to, and something that I could easily get. So I made eye contact with him so that he could stop asking people, he smiled, and I started thinking (the line at Dunkin Donuts in the morning being quite long, though they have a great system to make it go quickly, and the folks there in the morning are friendly and wonderful)–should I get him food to go with the coffee?
My choices were 1. no, he didn’t ask, I don’t know what he would want, etc., 2. yes, get him a bagel which is something that I don’t have a problem buying and could eat myself if he didn’t want want, or 3. yes, get him a breakfast sandwich which is probably the most substantial thing I could get him, but I couldn’t eat it myself if he didn’t want it.
What would YOU have done?