One Sunday I decided to take some time out to drive around downtown Houston and the surrounding area. On the way back to my hotel I stopped at a red light at one of the major intersections and suddenly there was this strange guy cleaning my windshield! I sat sort of stunned and irritated for a few seconds thinking “Who asked this guy to do this?” Since it was dirty I sat back and watched until he was finished, then gave him a buck and went on my way. However, by the time I got to my hotel I was irritated all over again. In fact, I almost felt violated! I would never touch anyone else’s… anything without asking. Then I got ticked at myself for relenting and even giving him money. What an idiot!
The following Sunday, coming back from Galveston, I ended up back at the same intersection. I saw the guy step off the curb and head in my direction and immediately I started giving him the wave-off while shaking my head NO. He then headed for the person to my right and got the same reaction. Next, he went to the car ahead and, even though he got the same wave-off, he started cleaning anyway. What’s up with that? “Excuse me while I do whatever I want with your vehicle…” NOT.
I was curious after all this. Was there any info on the web about these roadside squeegee slingers? Sure enough, there was. Matter of fact, some of them have been known to get violent with folk who give them the wave-off (or don’t pay) breaking windows and kicking dents into their cars. In some places they’ve made it illegal.
In the end, I don’t buy the argument that these folk are, at least, trying to make some money and if they weren’t doing this they may be committing crimes. (That sounds more like a justification a squeegee slinger would use.) It’s a safety issue for all involved, as well as, annoying to those of us who don’t care to have some strange person lunging themselves and a dirty squeegee at our vehicle.
But that’s just my humble opinion. What’s yours?