Dearest Helpless

Sometimes when I’m walking around on my way to university, someone asks me for directions. Which is fine, so long as I’m not in a hurry. Which I’m usually not, because these people are considerate enough not to bother people who are running with a clunky briefcase and in the middle of a phone call.

Most of these people are tourists. Because my university is in the city, there are a few landmarks around and some tourist attractions (Sydney Harbour Bridge, for instance). And they are often very polite when they ask.

I take a liking to these people because they have manners and they appear to be very friendly people.

Unlike some people. Asdfgh.

While I am most willing to help these people out if I can, and if I know where they’re headed and can give them information, some people aren’t so polite.

In Australia, it’s almost normal for people to come up to you in the street and ask for directions if they’re lost, or ask a question. And these people are complete strangers.

I’ve often had people come up to me and ask for money though – that’s a little rude. I come across a lot of homeless people in the city and they just sit there with a little bucket and hope that some nice person will put some extra change in it. They might have a sign asking for help. Usually these poor people sit in the same place each day. 😞

When people ask for money, you can tell if they’re just some loser out to scab some money for a free train ticket, or if they really just need a few cents. 👽

These strangers are just one side of it. The other side consists of friends and people you know. They ask you questions, don’t they? They ask you for help.

But what is absolutely rude is when they only talk to you when they need help. You might know this person very well in the beginning but after a while you start to notice their attitude.

I distinctly remember a boy in my grade in high school who had a habit of leaving things to the last minute. And the night before an assignment was due, he often asked me if he could see mine. At first I thought there was no harm in doing so, and maybe he genuinely was busy, but soon I realised he was just copying my work verbatim. And funnily enough, the only times he talked to me was when he wanted “help” with assignments. It was disgusting that someone could do such a thing after all the work I put into mine.

I don’t mind helping people. But if you’re going to be so rude about it, I’d rather you didn’t ask for it.

As Vicky said, I’m not a help line. I don’t mind people asking for help with their site, but don’t add me to MSN just to ask for help and then never talk to me again.

Sometimes I have people email me with their questions. They are polite and apologise for bothering me; they just have a small problem.

Some people, who are supposed to be my “friends”, only email me when they need help. (Usually with “OMG HELP PLZ” in the subject line.) And they go on and on about it. No “please”. No word of thanks.

Please have some manners and politeness, thank you.

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