I was driving in California, through a Walmart parking lot. In the traffic island was a young man in his 30s, flanked by his wife and two kids. He was dressed in clean clothes. He held a sign:
“Need money for food and rent. I lost my job. Please help.”
His two young kids were sprawled in the grass, either sleeping or ashamed to show their faces.
I felt sympathetic, but as I passed, I said to my wife, “There was something missing from his sign. There was nothing about asking for work.”
An hour later I was across the border in Mexico. I saw an old guy standing by the side of the road, the Pacific Ocean behind him. He held a crudely-lettered sign:
We hired him today.
I wonder how the guy in the Walmart parking lot fared, and if he would have done better without the bid for sympathy, and instead held up a simple plea:
Of course, I have to add this:
The Mexican guy never showed up to work.