What an odd experience - I had something to eat for dinner at a Le Pain Quotidian prior to going to a birthday part in Manhattan and as I was leaving a wizened old woman in a head scarf begged me to buy her one of the pre-packaged salads which were on display in a glass case near the door. Well I had been paid and was feeling flush and really, how could you turn down the request for a salad if you can at all afford it?
Well a young woman immediately got into my face and said "you don't have to do that, this happens all the time." And I said "that's OK I want to - who are you?" And she said "the manager of this restaurant." So the manager of the Le Pain Quotidian was actively discouraging me from spending money in her restaurant, to prevent me from buying a salad for this pathetic creature.
And I said: "well what do you think she's going to do, re-sell the salad on the black market and then use it to buy drugs?"
I mean Jesus Christ.
Now it's true this salad woman was a little presumptuous - she also insisted I give her the change left from the purchase. But you know, chances are if you are reduced to begging strangers to buy you food, you probably don't have a lot of social capital in the first place. And you know what, I don't care if she did sell the salad on the black market and use it to buy drugs - she needed something good to happen to her, whatever it was.
And everybody knows that salads put women into a good mood: