So, what would you do?

Last night I was transferring from one bus to another on my way home, and I heard this dude talking on the pay phones there. Before I knew it, he was begging to borrow my phone. Went from a lover’s spat on the pay phone to telling me his mother was dying in the space of a minute, I shit you not. I begged off by telling him that I was having trouble with it, but this was the second time this week that this happened. I don’t particularly like to do that, but I am just wary of complete strangers asking for that —especially when I could see my bus approaching. (Having some dude run off with my phone and missing the bus trying to get it back would be a hell of a thing to deal with.) It’s like, “Why yes, I will certainly let you borrow my brand-new smartphone. Pardon my slow movements. I am still smarting from my fall off the turnip truck.”

Would you have let a random stranger on the street borrow your phone if he approached you with a sob story? Sometimes I think getting a cheap burner flip phone wouldn’t be a half-bad idea, because hey, you never know, they might actually be telling the truth for once….



5 Responses to “So, what would you do?”

  1. That Guy Says:

    Heck no.

  2. 3boxesofbs Says:

    Not only would I not let him; I would make sure he stayed a safe distance away. I have absolutely no problem telling others I simply don’t let people use my cell. No excuses, no explanations.

    Offer an alternative; “I’ll buy you a bus fare.”I’ll send a text message for you” – Dollars to donuts he’ll backpedal or try something else.

    One of the things I’ve taught myself to do in these type situations is NOT look down. Look them in the eye; look at their features. People with bad intentions really don’t like that.

  3. southtexaspistolero Says:

    Not only would I not let him; I would make sure he stayed a safe distance away.

    Yeah, that’s what I usually do. I could quite literally see my bus at the stop before that one as he was asking me to use the phone. I told him the call didn’t go through. Like I said, I hate to do that, but I don’t have the time or the energy to deal with that sort of thing. That burner flip phone isn’t that expensive. I don’t see why folks like that couldn’t just get one if they needed to make a call that badly.

  4. AndyN Says:

    I’d forgotten that pay phones still exist. If it happens again, offer him a quarter to make his call on the pay phone.

  5. Greg Tag Says:

    I’d suggest it was a set-up for a mugging, and not about phone at all. The story that changed from what you overheard to what he told you would be an indication.

    It is common to ask for change, or a cigarette or something similar, either to soften up or distract the planned victim. A look in the eye and a firm refusal, all the while making sure your dominant hand is free and readily available, and you are beyond an easy striking distance is the way to deal with this approach.


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