23 February 2010

Intersection Windscreen Washers: Community Service or Intimidating Grifters?

| benita_449
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You know the ones: Intersection of Northbourne Avenue/Cooyong St/Barry Drive. Started as one and has multiplied to almost every corner of that intersection as well as in Dickson.

Here’s what most people would describe happens in this situation (ie. Chain of Events A):

1. Motorist pulls up at a red light.

2. Hard-done-by-windscreen-cleaner-guy lifts his cleaning wand to essentially offer a windscreen cleaning service while the motorist waits at the intersection.

3. Motorist accepts offer, gets windscreen cleaned, and perhaps offers some coinage as a token of appreciation.

4. Cleaner accepts token of appreciation. Repeat ad nauseam.

However, what I have noticed occurring in many situations is (ie. Chain of Events B):

1. Motorist pulls up at a red light.

2. Hard-done-by-windscreen-cleaner-guy lifts his cleaning wand to essentially offer a windscreen cleaning service while the motorist waits at the intersection.

3. Motorist refutes offer by waving hands and shaking head to signal ‘NO’.

4. Cleaner waves down the refusal and sets about cleaning windscreen anyway thereby ignoring the request of the vehicle operator to stay away from their property.

5. Motorist often feels intimidated as to what is happening, and perhaps not wanting to enter a confrontation: offers some coinage to the cleaner to prevent a scene from occurring.

6. Cleaner accepts. Repeat ad nauseam.

What bothers me the most, is that I’m happy enough to scream them away if they refuse my requests to NOT touch and potentially damage my property. And they most likely remember me and often don’t approach me again. But what really bothers me is when I watch the type of motorist around me falling into the trap. In most cases, I’ve seen the washers target women alone in their cars – often women of an Asian extraction. And in all those cases, the motorist has signalled a clear ‘No’, the washer has waved down their refusal, and the motorist frantically starts looking for something to hand over – all in an intimidating fashion.

I’ve made a complaint to the ACT Government on this issue (via Canberra Connect) and was told: “There’s nothing the Police can do about it, but you can make a complaint to ACT Fair Trading”. What the???

So does that mean that I can effectively:

(a) set up a stall on the side of a busy street,

(b) cause a potential traffic hazard,

(c) hock my wares in an intimidating fashion to passer-bys who are trapped and have no option but to wait out my barrage; then

(d) accept cash from them that is not taxed,

(e) contributes nothing to the community,

(f) doesn’t get reported as income tax;

(g) allowing me to then claim a full Centrelink dole payment for both myself and my defacto junkie wife with track marks all over her exposed skin,

and the only consequence is to have the ACT Fair Trading look into the matter?

Absolutely Pathetic. Up there with the most ridiculous response from a government I’ve ever heard alongside the standard: “We can’t investigate the matter until we receive a complaint from a member of the public.” WELL WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS IS YOU BRAIN-DAMAGED NIT-WIT!

Before I go-ahead and submit the complaint to ACT Fair Trading (what a joke) I’m keen to hear other RiotACT-ers intelligent contributions on the matter.

And before any regular RiotACT members try to pay-out on this post: No, this isn’t the most pressing issue in my life, but it is the most appropriate for this forum. And No, this isn’t the worst thing that has happened to me but it is something I can garner support to change. And Yes, I have better things to do with my life than harp on this issue – that’s why I spent just 4 minutes to write up this post.

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georgesgenitals1:33 am 05 Mar 10

These guys are a public nuisance, and the fact that they clearly target women makes them scum-bags in my opinion. I drive down northbourne regularly, give them a shake of the head when offered a clean, and they move on. They will, however, hassle my wife and clean the windscreen anyway when she shakes her head (and when driving the same car!). And I use the term ‘clean’ only for convenience.

Also, it’s very easy to point the finger and shout “snob”, but it’s people like this that step up and run this country, so perhaps a little less name calling would be nice.

far_northact7:50 pm 04 Mar 10

Mitsubishi – auto window wipers when water contacts the screen… awesome.

Aurelius said :

VG: Or Queensland, where a police sergeant threatened to charge me with jaywalking in 2007.

As for the Government or Police being unable to do anything about these parasites, I heard a good quote on the radio last night: “Can’t means wont”

So under the ACT Road Rules they are allowed to do this, there not stealing from people, possibly harassment but you don’t get any worse at Fyshwick Markets with all the people yelling out what fruit they have.

Aurelius, you seem to think that Police would just rather ignore the problem, http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/ have a look there, find where it points out that these people are breaking the law, if they are then so be it, if they aren’t then what the f#ck are Police going to do about it?

Remember their really all about what they can do criminally, not on a civil level…

Good luck.

VG: Or Queensland, where a police sergeant threatened to charge me with jaywalking in 2007.

As for the Government or Police being unable to do anything about these parasites, I heard a good quote on the radio last night: “Can’t means wont”

The problem as I see it is that when you say “No!” (and you should if you don’t want your car touched) some windscreen washers do try to intimidate you. That in my book is demanding money with menaces, or extortion. DO NOT GIVE THEM MONEY. I can’t believe that some posters have said they have given $5 or $10!?!

I don’t care if they try to intimidate me, they can go jump. If necessary I’d get out of the car and ram their squeegee up their rear end. No means NO!

I’ve just got a reasonably nice looking (second hand) car, if some twat scratched it after I specifically told him not to I would be VERY ANNOYED to say the least and who knows what I might be tempted to do – and when the dust had settled, I’d be the one in court just for trying to live my life without interference from people who prey on other people’s fear of them.

There are lots of reasons why they should not be allowed to do what they do, I’m not against them making a few bucks, but it’s the old story – a few stuff it up for the majority.

If they would use clean water, and something that wasn’t going to leave my car in a worse state than it was before they touched it I’d be happy to hand over a dollar or two, and if the times when I wouldn’t want my car touched were accepted we’d all be a lot better off.

eebee said :

If they’re on the intersection when the walking light is red isn’t that technically j-walking? So the police COULD do something, although they have better things to do, booking a few of them won’t stop them in the long run!

As an aside I was discussing this with my friend just on the weekend, and she said she once gave one $10 because he washed the window when she asked him not to!! Idiot 🙂

J-walking?

Stop getting your law enforcement info from American TV. Its called crossing against a red light in Australia

choconut

Get over it, there is more to life!

If they’re on the intersection when the walking light is red isn’t that technically j-walking? So the police COULD do something, although they have better things to do, booking a few of them won’t stop them in the long run!

As an aside I was discussing this with my friend just on the weekend, and she said she once gave one $10 because he washed the window when she asked him not to!! Idiot 🙂

astrojax said :

and niftydog’s nifty sums are, methinks, very optimistic – during the middle of the day the traffic is fairly quiet and they may go through several cycles without a coin – or may not be there at all…

Perhaps – who really knows? It’s not like my suggestions are completely out of the realm of possibility.

I often ride past the guy at Northbourne/Barry Dr, which is always busy, and he seems to be there all day unless it’s raining. I’ve even seen him having lunch on the median strip which is dutifully delivered by his partner!

Likewise, Northbourne/Antill St doesn’t exactly have tumbleweeds blowing through it.

Now that it’s been RiotACTed I’m half expecting there to be someone from the ATO standing on the opposite corner with a pair of binoculars and a calculator!

obversly Choconut is teaching his child to be a snob like his old man. I agree with coach, however it seems to me people are becaming too sensitive. If you say no and he washes the windscreen anyway you are under no obligation to pay him so whats the big deal.

Yes. What those dirty windscreen washers need to do is straighten up and get a proper job.

What are they going to do? Write some selection critera and get themselves a nice APS6 at DEEWR? What’s the CV going to say? “2006-10: sole proprietor of a car cleaning business with annual turnover exceeding 12 million billion dollars” (that’s how much windscreen washers earn – ask any armchair expert).

Uh huh. Even if they went for a job, would you employ them? Even if the scary dude from Northboure/Barry shaved his beard and cut his hair, he’d still look like a snaggle-toothed psycho.

Let’s not even get started on substance abuse problems, mental illness, or even just plain ol’ ability to relate to normal people.

Plenty of less deserving people are avoiding a whole lot more tax and causing a whole lot more social ill. I’d say a bit of tax-free windscreen washing isn’t a bad outcome myself.

I dislike the window washers for the simple fact that I always say no (and yes I am a female who is normally in my car alone) and they clean my windows anyway. When I refuse to pay (I’m sorry but why should I when I said no) they get quite angry.

I can recall one day after I had just exited the car wash in Dickson and was sitting at the lights.. My car would have been still wet from the wash, I said no to the window washer and he cleaned my window anyway. I refused to pay and after he walked back to the curb I noticed I couldn’t even see out my window and put the washers on. The guy saw this and started yelling abuse at me and threw his bottle of detergent at me.

Ride a scooter – then you have nothing to fear from the poor old window washers!!! And you can park anywhere for free and avoid Stanhope’s parking fees… Best of all you’ll emit less CO2 & other nasties.

And a pox on those blue collar workers for causing the GFC which melted institutions across the world, wiped out economies, and threatened to undermine western civilisation.

Bill said :

Choconut speaks for the elite professional middle class which, moe then any other class, is what holds western civilisation together, and I for one am with him 100%.

Yep, if TSHTF, it’s going to be the managers, lawyers, business consultants, and brokers who will restore order and feed society. I know that personally if I’m ever in a serious accident I’ll be wishing I had a executive officer by my side and listening for the purr of their Audi.

Choconut, thats right, acceptance and tolerance. That’s what makes people want to spend time with people like me but give you a whole bunch of excuses why they don’t want to go out with you and sit there while you winge about how you would have designed the restaurant better, the waiters aren’t quick enough, the food isn’t cooked to perfection etc etc. You may complain and get what you want but no one really likes people like that.

I hope you find your perfect world mate, i’m sure its out there. i’ll be over here having a laugh with my mates while you’re looking for it 🙂

Muttsybignuts10:44 pm 24 Feb 10

It is some blokes washing a windscreen. Get over it.
If choconut cops verbal abuse every day for months on end then I expect she gives a little more than a polite refusal. Cant wait until her son ends up on the junk and sucking d**k to fund the habit. At least he wont be cleaning windscreens!

Bill,

Paragraphs man. They help.

Bill – hear! hear!

Thanks for your support – it’s a timely, heart-warming reminder to me that some people out there share my same disgust and outrage at the ‘Westie’ (you’re a Sydney-sider, I take it?) culture that infects our society.

How anyone (half-intelligent or better) could think differently to us escapes me, quite honestly, because the middle classes are a majority; a majority that is being royally screwed by window-washers and their benefactors, and aided and abetted by all those who tolerate them.

Maybe I ought to post up a middle/professional class political manifesto as a separate forum and get The Revolution started. How ironic it would be, for The Revolution to start in Canberra, led by the “eloitists” that the common Westie so despises.

Now look here! The sort of ‘westie’ invective (that’s a big word, NeedHelp…go look it up in a dictionary, if you have one in the house under all the Daily Telegraphs!) that is being levelled at Choconut is simply egregious (another big word for all you westies out there to puzzle your rats-tailed heads over…) and must stop! He has very fair and reasonable points. Choconut speaks for the elite professional middle class which, moe then any other class, is what holds western civilisation together, and I for one am with him 100%. Let’s face it, the professional middle classes are being over taxed and under represented in politics and it is high time they had their own party to take back what is rightfully theirs. Let’s face it…the pollies have become populist to the point that they are simply too afraid to give what the lower, uneducated classes seriously need at this point in history: a serious kick up the backside. This is NOT a nanny state; no one owes you westies a living. If you spent as much time actually thinking about issues and really contributing to society as you do watching sport and idealising (and practising) ‘yobbo culture’, this country would be a lot better off. Besides, the more one travels to our near neighbours in the region and to other parts of the world, the more one realises the difference between us and them is that we have a strong and viable concept of public good…paying fair taxes and an ethos that is alien to many of you out there…taking responsibility for your own lives! And that is most strongly implanted and evidenced in my observation in the elite professional middle classes. So bug off, you foul westie boguns! Go back to your brain-deadening tabloid sports pages…your super plasma 48 inch screens, your inane commercial channels and bimbo tramped-stamped girlfriends, your Summernats car events…and leave people like Choconut alone.

Bill

kennardly – typical, if confused, attitude: anyone who doesn’t share the Aussie tolerance for mediocrity and battlerism ought to ‘go home’, ‘leave’ or ‘stay away’. That’s pretty much Pauline’s view, too, so I’m not about to follow her to the UK. But assuming this is the best retort you’ve got, it is poor because it reinforces all the things wrong with the widespread attitude in this country that we all ought to accept something wedon’t want and shouldn’t dare complain about it. We are the lucky country, if only because as a nation we’re a lot wealthier, healthy and peaceful than we deserve.

Look, ultimately this is not about writing off window-washers because of how much they earn or who they might be, Tonka. It’s certainly not about attacking people suffering from tough times or illness, Malteser. It’s about ridding our traffic lights of a safety hazard (for the washers not least of all) and a public nuisance (not least of all when they damage cars’ ducco or, against one’s clear request, “wash” a windscreen and make it dirtier than before). And that they – or to be precise here, some of them – pick on timid/female drivers makes it worse: sorry, but that makes someone “scum” in my book.

If they’re in need of work there is plenty of legitimate work out there. We have almost magically-low unemployment, and more-than-generous welfare to help out the truly disadvantaged or hard up.

I still say, let’s get the window-washers off the streets, for their sake as well as ours.

I have no issue with these guys. There are far more pressing issues in Canberra, the country and the world. I have no essay’s to pass on to the ‘riot-act’.

If you don’t want your window washed, then say no. It’s pretty easy really. Hell, a windscreen needs washing a lot of the time. A couple of coins is nothing. I am casting no judgment on any of these guys. I think it’s a fine service.

To the OP – Get over it. You’re not tackling important issues. What is clear, is that you are a whingeing idiot.

The only issues I have with them is there is too many of them on northbourne/antill lights and once I got stuck behind one of them at woolies while he was paying for some stuff with a lot of silver. The annoying self serve things help that now though 🙂

smack said :

The law regarding this is typical ACT.

The Australian road rules makes doing this an offence

See Australian road rules 236(4)c
236 Pedestrians not to cause a traffic hazard or obstruction
(4) A pedestrian must not stand on, or move onto, a road to:
(a) solicit contributions, employment or business from an occupant of a vehicle; or
(b) hitchhike; or
(c) display an advertisement; or
(d) sell or offer articles for sale; or
(e) wash or clean, or offer to wash or clean, the windscreen of a vehicle.

Yet here the ACT makes and exemption to this behaviour see Road Transport (Safety and Traffic
Management) Regulation 2000 section 22A

22A ARR r 236 (6)—hitchhiking, roadside commerce etc permitted
(1) For the Australian Road Rules, rule 236 (6)—
(a) a pedestrian may stand on, or move onto, a road to—
(i) solicit contributions, employment or business from an occupant of a vehicle; or
(ii) hitchhike; or
(iii) display an advertisement; or
(iv) sell or offer articles for sale; or
(v) wash or clean, or offer to clean, the windscreen of a vehicle; and
(b) a person in a vehicle may buy, or offer to buy, an article or service from a person standing on a road.

Can anyone tell me why we would make these exemptions when in other states they dont. I know that they brought this law in Surf life saver in QLD had to stop collecting donations. Yet we change the law to let these people do it here.

I was going to post the same. We are only jurisdiction with this but other states remove other rules, like Vic it’s not an offence when you do a u turn at lights, all other states it’s an offence unless the sign says you can do them i.e. Along Northbourne Ave.

It’s about time we had an Australian Road Rules not the half job we have now, with the ACT on the 2003 version, NSW on the 2008 and QLD on 2009. Road rules, registration and licence should all be the same.

But some further history to this – read this http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2006/10/13/1764579.htm and http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2005/10/14/1482355.htm
The ACT Govt was going remove the regulation but 5 years later nothing has happen. I guess one death was is not enough.

I had a view on a couple of these guys not based on knowing them, but rather my own perceptions… much like some of the above posts.

I never viewed them as scum or anything like that, but my views weren’t exactly positive.

This view changed when I helped feed the homeless one night and they were there. I got talking to these guys and without going into details I found out just how wrong I’d gotten things.

Maybe it’s not the same for all of the people who wash windows, but these two fellas had fallen on some pretty hard times and really had not much else in the way of options. They worked hard and did the best they could under the circumstances.

For all the people carrying on about them having heaps of money… I don’t know about that, but I do know they were glad to have a hot meal and get out of the cold for a little while.

I won’t go into depth about it, but it was reinforced that night (and the other similar nights that I’ve had since) that I should never, ever make judgements about other people.

I had it completely wrong and I still feel like s**t when I think about it. Yeah… i really had it wrong big time.

I’m not sticking up for them in any way shape or form… just relaying an experience that I had that was kinda related to the topic. I’m a pretty cynical person, but talking to these guys taught me to really think when forming opinions about other people.

Not everyone has had the opportunities, family life, education etc that i have had. These guys certainly hadn’t… and when things went sour for them, they didn’t have much by way of a safety net to help them out.

Save the flames… as I said I’m not defending them and I’m just relaying an experience I had and I don’t really care whether anyone gives a s**t or not.

I just wanted to present something else in light of some of the posts above.

I was and am really disgusted at people referring to other human beings as scum because they’ve got less money or a non-status job or for whatever reason.

That’s just s**t.

Choconut, forget the revolution, do the easy thing and just leave, we don’t want you. Follow Pauline to England and don’t come back. Oh hang on, you don’t like the people who design airports so you’ll have to hold on to your pride and take a boat. Assume you’ll take a first class cabin – try to avoid anyone in steerage because they may breath near you and interrupt the air flow to your lungs.

It’s a bit harsh to judge people on their profession and what they look like. Isn’t it? Or how they conduct themselves, in this case offering to wash a window? I know it’s cliche but don’t judge a book by its cover.

I know a man who looks, well, to be a honest he looks like a junkie. He dresses in old clothes and is very skinny. This is because he has a terminal illness. He’s insanely intelligent, caring, empathetic, talented and funny. He lives in a caravan and drives a crappy old car. He doesn’t have a lot of money but he worked hard his whole life, just unfortunate circumstances lead him to where he is today. And a love of cigarettes. He might be washing windows – it doesn’t mean he is scum. He doesn’t treat people badly.

I guess what i’m trying to say is you don’t know how people ended up doing what they are doing, just because they look a certain way or wash windows doesn’t mean they are scum. Come on. People judge my friend straight away because of how he looks. It drives me insane. But I know that I’d take a window washer over a couple of posters here, that’s for sure.

The seccond part of the quote is my comment.

NeedHelp – I hail from the part of society – a large part of it – that believes these window-washers are a pain-in-the-a***, that they should get proper (read: formal, tax-paying) jobs; that they should not harrass people at traffic lights and especially should not pick on the more timid/shy/non-confrontational members of society when they solicit money for their useless “service”. I doubt that’s the s-bend or the pool.

I belong to the part of society that is sick of government ignoring what people want – some great points above by ‘smack’ on how our ACT government is a master at this, including in this case of window-washing harrassers. I doubt that’s the s-bend or the pool, either.

I am from the part of society that is sick of paying too much tax to three layers of government for so little in return; sick of the whinging Aussie “battler” getting subsidised, supported or sympathised with, when most self-declared “battlers” are useless, unthinking, consumeristic parasites; and sick of the mentality in this country that puts up with mediocrity and abuse – whether from those in power or the underclass like window-washers – instead of saying ‘enough’. That’s why I talk about revolution – a middle-class and professional-class revolution is what we need. The middle- and professional classes aren’t from the s-bend – they’re what holds society together, builds the most wealth and opportunity in it, and most makes it work.

Cleo – this should answer your comment/question (it clearly was meant to be a question but you were obviously never taught enough English to know when to use a question mark). There’s plenty more to complain about than window-washers…but they’re a good start.

Great Post, The cops can do something about it as it is illegal to stay on the road for longer than it takes to cross it.

Pepmeup, you refer to the Australian Road Rules; rule 230(1)(a) and (b). Have a read of the link in my previous post #26, if you were a cop chasing this, you’d be laughed out of Court.

UrbanAdventure.org9:10 am 24 Feb 10

I used to quite like having those window washers wash my car windscreen back when I first arrived in Canberra. I used to drive around a fair bit and lived just by the corner of Barry Drive and Northbourne so it was convenient to get the windscreen washed there. I even once pulled on to the grass in the middle of Northbourne to get my car fully washed for $5. Cheaper and cleaner than a car wash.

But some time later I brought a Mercedes Benz and was a bit concerned about the small nicks and scratches that I tended to get from the guys. So I asked them not to wash it. One day the guy on Northbourne and Barry Drive, the one with the scraggly beard ignored my requests and sure enough when I got home I noticed a huge scratch down the side of the bonnet where he had dragged his squeegee’s metal after I asked him to stop washing my car.

I drove back and politely pointed out the scratch. This was met with denials of him having ever seen my car, let alone washed it, but it was clear from the look on his face that he not only recognised the car, but he recognised me too.

So, there I was with a 45-50 centimetre scratch about 2 mm wide and right down to the undercoat on my car. It ended up being an issue when I sold that car. Not happy Jan! On the rare times that I drove past that intersection I have since requested that guy not wash my car. I have gotten the “It’s only water” stuff from him, and when I reminded the guy that he had scratched my car in the past he stood there calling me a liar and abused me. So yeah, I also avoid that intersection.

Also, they should not all be bundled in to the same bag and be judged together. I’ve only ever had problems with the one guy. The others have respected my request not to wash my car. I generally wash my car at the coin car wash now, so they pretty much can only add dirt to it. Also, thankfully it is almost impossible to wash the windscreen on my daily drive now days.

I’ve talked to the guys a few times while crossing Northbourne. They are not scum of the Earth, They are ordinary people like you and me. I respect that these guys have the right to work just as we do. Most of the time they are doing no harm, they are earning a basically honest living and doing something useful. I don’t know their circumstances. I’m not willing to judge them as druggies just because they happen to be washing cars. Unless you get out here and talk with them, get to know them, it does not seem right to make uninformed guesses about them.

I also agree with others here that come the revolution, these guys will be at the front of it.

Clown Killer8:43 am 24 Feb 10

There is no obligation to have insurance. Having next to no assets means they have nothing to protect.

Deano, lets assume for a minute that you’re not wrong on some of your other points (a long shot). Liability insurance has absolutely nothing to do with what assets these people have.

If they cause an accident, damage someone’s car, or someone was injured as a result of their activities then the people who have suffered that loss will have absolutely no recourse to recovery of costs or compensation – because as you say these operators have no assets to speak of.

Whilst your faith in the honesty of these people is to be commended as an outstanding exercise in naivety, here in the real world the likelihood that window-washers are maintaining a cash book and keeping records is so low as to be unquantifiable. It’s tax avoidance.

Workplace protection laws apply equally to owner operators, sole traders and employers.

Choconut said :

a raised index finger usually reminds them of their social standing (well down in society’s s-bend).

So which part of the s-bend do you hail from?

The swimming pool perhaps?

Oh how I love RiotActs armchair lawyers.

Choconut

Your son is thinking what a mean spirited twat you are, and hopes he never grows up like you,your son is watching how you conduct yourself, you bully, you are wasting your energy, is that the only thing you have to complain about, you poor b..tard!

Haha what a lovely topic. Most of the time when these guys come to me I’m always thinking “crap I got no change, now I’m going to look like an asshole”

My dislike for the window washers is grounded in their seeming ability to flout laws which apply to anyone else trying to make a living in the ACT (or Australia for that matter).[\quote]

Lets examine this a bit more:

“Ordinary, law abiding business people have accurate records of their income and expenses so they can pay income tax,”

All they need to record is the total cash received at the end of each day. A simple cashbook will suffice. Expense records are just the supermarket receipts for detergent. Just because you don’t see them filling out the cashbook on the side of the road doesn’t mean they aren’t doing it. If they were making anything like the money someone estimated earlier, unless they have buckets of coins lying around their squat they would have a lot of trouble hiding it from Centrelink and the ATO.

“they provide tax receipts to customers upon request”

No, there is no obligation to provide a receipt. Does your newsagent or takeaway provide receipts?

“they remit the goods and services tax that they have collected to the ATO.”

If they are below the $75,000 turnover threshold, there is no requirement to register for or collect GST.

“They conform with workplace saftey laws and regulations,”

This is a funny one. Workplace safety laws are about protecting employees and the general public. I can stand outside in the full sun in traffic all day without being required to have any sort of protection. However if I employ someone to stand outside all day in the full sun in traffic I have to provide them with sun protection, high visibility clothing, warning signs and traffic control.

“they operate under a registered business name,”

There is no requirement to have a registered business name unless they are displaying a name other than their own.

“they have liability insurance incase something goes wrong.”

There is no obligation to have insurance. Having next to no assets means they have nothing to protect.

Clown Killer said :

It’s irrelevant that they are a micro-business based on cleaning windscreens – any other micro-business would have to comply with the laws and regulations so why shouldn’t these people.

If they were breaking all of these laws (which they aren’t) then why do the authorities say there is nothing they can do to stop them, after all wouldn’t at least one of the bureaucrats responsible for enforcing them share the same degree of moral outrage as exhibited by some of the posters on here.

As discussed the ACT Road Transport regs allow for the window washing, and collecting money for it.

Official word is that this type of “business” is unregulated and therefore no registration, hawkers licence or similar is required.

ATO state we are a “self declaring” tax system and it’s up to the individual to declare income, and that there are “no plans” to target this type of activity for tax evasion.

The only current possible problem for window washers would be some kind of technicality through WorkCover.

Ryan said :

So Benita, I take it you thought up this one whilst sitting in traffic instead of on your packed out Route 6 bus?

refer: http://the-riotact.com/?p=18193

^^ Benita, quick someone found you out! To the complaint writing van!

Choconut, I think it’s cute you’re intimidated by a window-washer yet believe you’ll live to see the revolution. Nothing says survivor like an irrational fear of window-washers!

Golden-Alpine8:24 pm 23 Feb 10

Perhaps the Guardian Angels should watch over these intersections to ensure these guys play nice.

Clown Killer8:03 pm 23 Feb 10

My dislike for the window washers is grounded in their seeming ability to flout laws which apply to anyone else trying to make a living in the ACT (or Australia for that matter).

Ordinary, law abiding business people have accurate records of their income and expenses so they can pay income tax, they provide tax recipts to customers upon request and they remit the goods and services tax that they have collected to the ATO. They conform with workplace saftey laws and regulations, they operate under a registered business name, they have liability insurance incase something goes wrong.

It’s irrelevant that they are a micro-business based on cleaning windscreens – any other micro-business would have to comply with the laws and regulations so why shouldn’t these people.

The law regarding this is typical ACT.

The Australian road rules makes doing this an offence

See Australian road rules 236(4)c
236 Pedestrians not to cause a traffic hazard or obstruction
(4) A pedestrian must not stand on, or move onto, a road to:
(a) solicit contributions, employment or business from an occupant of a vehicle; or
(b) hitchhike; or
(c) display an advertisement; or
(d) sell or offer articles for sale; or
(e) wash or clean, or offer to wash or clean, the windscreen of a vehicle.

Yet here the ACT makes and exemption to this behaviour see Road Transport (Safety and Traffic
Management) Regulation 2000 section 22A

22A ARR r 236 (6)—hitchhiking, roadside commerce etc permitted
(1) For the Australian Road Rules, rule 236 (6)—
(a) a pedestrian may stand on, or move onto, a road to—
(i) solicit contributions, employment or business from an occupant of a vehicle; or
(ii) hitchhike; or
(iii) display an advertisement; or
(iv) sell or offer articles for sale; or
(v) wash or clean, or offer to clean, the windscreen of a vehicle; and
(b) a person in a vehicle may buy, or offer to buy, an article or service from a person standing on a road.

Can anyone tell me why we would make these exemptions when in other states they dont. I know that they brought this law in Surf life saver in QLD had to stop collecting donations. Yet we change the law to let these people do it here.

I left the house in a rush one morning after a particularly dirty dust storm/rainy night (one of those dust storms that went down in history – “I KNOW! My white car was COMPLETELY BROWN” type of storms) and was peering over my steering wheel at a very awkward angle most of the way to work because of course I had neglected to put water in my window washing receptacle thingy.

I was offered a window wash on Melrose Drive and declined due to the fact that I had nothing less than a 20 in my wallet. The ‘window wash operator’ informed that he did not care, it would be irresponsible of him to let me drive on in such a dangerous manner, and cleand my windscreen for free with a smile on his face.

I suspect it was because on that particular day, he was looking at pulling in a few grand.

I like the one at the Dickson lights. Looks like a surfer-dude with longish blonde locks and tanned skin. Been there for years. Very polite, and shows dedication by getting up off his bum and actually doing something, He respects it when I say no. I remember once I bought too much Maccas, so I gave him an unopened burger. He was very thankful.

Thumbs up for the washer dudes.

So Benita, I take it you thought up this one whilst sitting in traffic instead of on your packed out Route 6 bus?

refer: http://the-riotact.com/?p=18193

Coach – aw, I’m sowwy – actually, seriously, no offence, I just think it’s naive and quixotic to think that way. On the one hand, perhaps more people should…but on the other hand…come and join me here on the Dark Side, it’s really nice here, and you’ll find it’s much easier to hate scum than to search for some quasi-moralistic, metaphysical-intellectual justification to forgive it. Don’t bottle up your anti-window-washer instincts!

Deano – your list of irritating companies and their practices is a great one…but it doesn’t justify being nice to window-washers or allowing them to continue their leeching…it’s just a good set of other people/companies we ought to be tearing into on RiotACT for their conduct.

H1NG0 – it’s nothing to do with me taking the moral high ground at having a kid, it’s about me being responsible as a parent and keeping said kid away from scum that is rude and engaged in actions that will teach the kid poor manners, bad language, or how to act like a foul Bogan/Westie/Booner in general. Personally, I’m no fan of people who act as though they’re the first in the world to have had a child…please don’t put me in that basket…

Deano said :

maggie said :

One time, the guy became very abusive and kept pointing at me in an intimdating way.

Not…THE POINTING FINGER!!!!!

maggie said :

Why do we have to put up with this? Are there other business where people can just keep doing something against your wishes?

Lets see…

* At least 50% of everything the government does.
* QANTAS when they change the Frequent Flyer rules to your disadvantage.
* Telstra charging extra to pay your phone bill in person.
* Banks that charge fees for anything and everything.
* Microsoft that insists you buy a new version of Windows every time you buy a new computer.
* Film studios that insist you watch the trailers on a DVD before they will let you watch a movie.
* ACTEW that changes its rates so that you pay more even though you use less water and electricity.
* Mobile phone companies that expire your pre-paid credit just because you haven’t used it yet.
* Movie theatres that forbid you bringing in food or drink that wasn’t purchased at their overpriced candy bar.
* Developers who try to develop anything anywhere.
* Television stations that feel free to completely screw up a movie by editing it to fit the time slot.
* Manufacturers that only produce licensed clothing, shoes, bags, lunchboxes and drink bottles for kids and charge extra for the licensing fee.
* Petrol companies that raise prices in an instant but take forever to drop them back down.

Go Deano…..you made my afternoon with that post. I got a good belly laugh out of it. How very true.

maggie said :

One time, the guy became very abusive and kept pointing at me in an intimdating way.

Not…THE POINTING FINGER!!!!!

maggie said :

Why do we have to put up with this? Are there other business where people can just keep doing something against your wishes?

Lets see…

* At least 50% of everything the government does.
* QANTAS when they change the Frequent Flyer rules to your disadvantage.
* Telstra charging extra to pay your phone bill in person.
* Banks that charge fees for anything and everything.
* Microsoft that insists you buy a new version of Windows every time you buy a new computer.
* Film studios that insist you watch the trailers on a DVD before they will let you watch a movie.
* ACTEW that changes its rates so that you pay more even though you use less water and electricity.
* Mobile phone companies that expire your pre-paid credit just because you haven’t used it yet.
* Movie theatres that forbid you bringing in food or drink that wasn’t purchased at their overpriced candy bar.
* Developers who try to develop anything anywhere.
* Television stations that feel free to completely screw up a movie by editing it to fit the time slot.
* Manufacturers that only produce licensed clothing, shoes, bags, lunchboxes and drink bottles for kids and charge extra for the licensing fee.
* Petrol companies that raise prices in an instant but take forever to drop them back down.

Beautiful! I get my windsreen washed, and I get to choose how much I pay. Sometimes 20 cents, sometimes $5. He is happy, (money) I am happy (safer drive home).
Not sure why people are afraid to have the interaction, and have their windows cleaned.
I admire them for putting themselves out there. I couldn’t do it, could you?

Choconut said :

Attn: eyeLikeCarrots. PS – Coach, I agree with you that we make our own environment and can set our own mindset sometimes, but behaviour as unacceptable as the worst of that by the window-washers still ought to be answered, and should be stopped. You’ve obviously spent too much time reading the Dalai Lama.

Great powers of observation. Actually I’m reading the Dalai Lama and Deepak Chopra right now. Its not your views that worry me……..it’s the sentiment you put behind them eg…scum, excrement of society etc.

If we were to transpose that sentiment into our whole society, we would all be at war with each other permanently.

I will fight to defend your right to express your opinion. I would just love to see some tolerance with it, and some awareness that not all your opinions are right, given that they will change many times as you progress through your life.

So let me get this right Choconut, you think by squirting your windscreen washers and turning on your wipers you are teaching them manners?

I am against these windscreen washing bums as well but I hate people who think they can take the moral high ground because they have a kid even more.

The guy at the Antil/Northbourne intersection seems like a top bloke. He’s always out there and he’s gracious and kind and if you decline he doesn’t wash your window. More Australians need a work ethic like that guy.

Attn: eyeLikeCarrots. [Sigh.] Here we go again – anyone who is intolerant of being solicited when minding his or her own business at a set of traffic lights, and then takes offence at having the car windshield dirtied up anyway by the window-washer, is generally intolerant, or an “eloitist” for looking down on scum who’s supposed only source of income is to supplement dole payments (that I and every other taxpayer fund) with window-washing (which I and every other driver are expected to fund, I take it). Well:

(a) I do not believe that I should have to deal with or even talk to such scum – and it should be assumed by them that a firm shake of the head, even a verbal “no”, means “no” (it does in other cases);
(b) What makes you think wondow-washing scum will be doing anything when the revolution comes, except for continuing to hassle female or timid drivers at red lights?
(c) H1NG0 – my kid doesn’t care – you’re right – but I do, and I don’t wnat him taught his manners by the excrement of society. He needs to learn that he’s above them, not of them; and finally
(d) Why do so many people say that window-washing is better than them robbing our houses??? Is that the choice here – that we either pay people to obey the law or they can steal from us? Maybe it’d be better if they did try to steal from us – then we could lock them away, for a very very long time.

PS – Coach, I agree with you that we make our own environment and can set our own mindset sometimes, but behaviour as unacceptable as the worst of that by the window-washers still ought to be answered, and should be stopped. You’ve obviously spent too much time reading the Dalai Lama.

Choconut said :

spinact – couldn’t agree witrh you less…innocent victims of window-washers, like myself, will not be put up against the wall….

I suspect it’s more to do with the particular way you worded your post

Great Post, The cops can do something about it as it is illegal to stay on the road for longer than it takes to cross it. Also workcover could fine any of them not wearing high vis huge amounts as well.

I agree if you say no and they still wash your car dont pay, I always feel so guilty when this happens.

niftydog, I have seen people pay the $5 and $10 for the service so your figures are very conservative.

Barry Drive/ Nth Bourne – one guy offered to clean the windshield and I declined. He then started scratching away at some bird droppings on the bonnet using the hard corner of the squeegee. I told him to stop and he said “I’m getting the bird s**t off man.. relax”.

Arrived at work and checked my newish car – about 50 inch-long scratches where the idiot had tried to clean.

I’d prefer to see windscreen guys gone. If the government can kick up such a fuss about Brodburger, how come these guys can stay?? Also, I watched one finish his beer and throw the empty bottle onto the Nthbourne median strip.

Actually, to add to that I just remembered a really lovely and kind thing that one of the Barry drive/northbourne guys did for me. A few years ago i was working in a dry cleaners and had to hand deliver things to the apartments above mcdonalds every second day. Some days when it was really hot and I was struggling with a big order he would help me carry every thing across the intersection and right up to the door.

Just wanted to add my feelings also as a young female.

I really don’t have a problem and have never felt unsafe because of a window washer. I actually have a lot of respect for those guys, at least they are out there working hard when others are not.

Regarding the washing when you have said no, I can understand that some times it may be annoying (window treatments or what not) but those times aside there is actually a reason that they will give you a freebie even if you say no mostly it is so that they look busy which is good for business in the next round of lights. Also in those circumstances most don’t expect any coin for it.

You should all be ashamed of yourselves. I’d be so embarrassed to have my name attached to such filth. YOU’RE THE SCUM that look down on people who choose to live a certain life style. It’s not like they’ve ever shot up in view of anyone waiting at lights. I’m surprised by you Canberrans…if we don’t have window washers at the intersections the only way to wash the window is to get off your shiney A$$es and do the hard work yourself. In fact let’s do that shall we…..from now on….fix your own cars, wash and vacumm the car yourselves…cook your own damn food cause us hard workers are sick and tired of hearing all the whinging and complaining that you TAX PAYERS carry on about. Wake up to yourselves and realise that what makes this little world spin is the diversity, that includes people that may not have been born with the silver spoon hanging out of their mouth.
No wonder people think Canberra is a HOLE to come and visit cause all you have far too much time on your hands. It’s time to get back to all the tax right offs, the paper work doesn’t disappear on it’s own.

anyone else concerned about the growing number of Choconut-type people out there? Tolerance people – not everything is going to go your way all the time.

Meh just drive a crappy car. Works for me 🙂

We wonder why we have such a stressed society, why people are unhappy, why our immune systems are not coping and we need an ever increasing array of drugs to combat the chemical imbalance in our bodies due to our emotional turmail.

When you stop and think about it……these people (the window washers) are in our life for 1 to 2 minutes at a time, yet what a huge proportion of people hand over control of their feelings and emotions to a total stranger standing on a street corner.

Multiply that stress by the number of things that are not perfect each day, and you get a scary amount of stress happening.

My opinion about the washers themselves does not matter, it is worth no more or less than any other persons……but I know the world is not perfect, and not everything goes how I want it to. Perfection only exists through our individual filters anyhow, so my idea of a perfect world is a disaster for someone else.

If you feel negative emotional energy as a result of a window washer, then stop and ask yourself if that is serving you and your life well. You can’t control the washer, but you can control the meaning you give to what he is doing, and the affect it has on you.

For what it’s worth, that’s the advice i give myself, and it works for me.

No offence Choconut but I doubt your kid gives a toss.

If they could just accept no for answer I wouldn’t mind them so much. Often the experience is that I politely nod my head and wave my hand to say no, then they still go ahead and do windscreen against my wishes as I am still saying no. One time, the guy became very abusive and kept pointing at me in an intimdating way. When with the family I avoid the intersections, just to avoid the confrontation.

Why do we have to put up with this? Are there other business where people can just keep doing something against your wishes?

eyeLikeCarrots1:51 pm 23 Feb 10

Choconut said :

I’ve found the best thing to do is ignore the window-washers or wave them away. Don’t even look at them: they’re beneath you. If they then start washing the window, I turn on the wipers…if they make any rude comments, which they usually do, a sneer and a raised index finger usually reminds them of their social standing (well down in society’s s-bend). Until the revolution comes and we can dispense with them in a slow and painful fashion, this is all we can do, alas…

Come the revolution, you’ll be standing up against the wall waiting for one of the following:

a – gullotine
b – stoning
c – red hot poker up the kyber

You’re part of the elitest bourgeoisie… the dirty window washers will be the ones holding the poker and grinning come the uprising.

spinact – couldn’t agree witrh you less…innocent victims of window-washers, like myself, will not be put up against the wall. Besides, there won’t be many people left to pull the trigger on me, once the revolution rids us of such nuisance-makers as window-washers, IT help desk staff, people who design airport terminals, self-declared “battlers”, etc.

For those who still need more on this, my wife (not online so I post this for her) has made some good points below:

“My (Caucasian woman’s) indications of “NO” are almost always ignored by windscreen washers at Barry Drive and Dickson. When I don’t pay, I am often insulted or rude gestures made in my direction…The only remotely successful solution has been to spray my car’s windscreen washing fluid and/or turn on the windscreen wipers as soon as it is clear my initial refusal was ignored. This reaction more often than not also results in insults or rude gestures, but at least it makes me feel better. Unfortunately, the windscreen washers don’t seem to remember me or my car and the scenario has repeated ad infinitum about once a month for the past several years.

“None of this provides a good or polite example for my 3-year-old, who is often watching intently from the back seat. Nonetheless, given the situation is often unavoidable, I think that my reactions of not paying and/or using my wipers are better than teaching my son that windscreen watchers should be rewarded for disobeying mum’s polite request. Perhaps complaints on this basis should be sent to the Department of Community Services or the Department of Education.

I read somewhere a while ago that it is an unwritten rule of the squeegee guy that they can only walk forwards up the line of traffic. So if you don’t want your window washed, stop with a good distance between you and the car in front and as the squeegee guy comes along start to creep forwards. They won’t come back to you. Has always worked for me as a single young female in the car.

Pretty simple. No angst and no-one offended.

i want to know, where is the op’er’s evidence that this money never gets declared – do you work for ATO? you’re making an awful lot of assumptions

and niftydog’s nifty sums are, methinks, very optimistic – during the middle of the day the traffic is fairly quiet and they may go through several cycles without a coin – or may not be there at all…

and while they may look like down-and-outs, is that really evidence they may cause someone harm? there haven’t been any reports of ‘incidents’ with them, have there? so why is there an assumption that these folk are ‘scum’ – where’s your humanity, people? let it go…

luther_bendross12:46 pm 23 Feb 10

A quick use of the search tool on this site shows me we’ve visited this issue twice before, both times with a similar kind of outcome:

– At least they’re not breaking into houses;
– They’re just trying to get by, so give them a break;
– A great portion of female drivers do feel intimidated;
– Don’t pay for them if you don’t want their services.

I’m a male driver, and I pass through the Northbourne/Antill lights at least twice daily. I’ve got no dramas with the guy, he seems nice enough, but I do not agree with his methods, he leaves me alone but pesters my other half (enough that she’ll avoid the intersection and favour the longer route) and the light cycles at most of these intersections are interrupted deliberately by these guys. However I’ve found avoiding eye contact is my best weapon.

I’ve also had the guy at Northbourne/Barry say to me, after I thrice told him “No” that “F–k man, it’s just f–king water!”. Thankyou Captain Obvious. I wasn’t denying the chemical composition of your liquid, but I was declining your services. It’s the same as any other, ahem, job. I said no, so piss off.

Yep, this is annoying. You tell them not to wash your windscreen and they do it anyway. The one near Moosheads does this to me all the time. I normally detour onto London Circuit to avoid him.

Personally I’ve never had any cause to yell, fear for my saftey, or slow down in order to hide behind other cars. If I don’t want my windscreen washed I say “No thanks”, If my windscreen is filthy and I’ve got some spare coin, I’ll call them over, exchange a few polite words/a gold coin and I get on with my day.

Ditto.

By the way, a grifter is a confidence trickster. There’s no con here.

niftydog said :

Give them nothing! They’re doing better than many of us!

Just think about it for a second. Even underestimating the figures they are absolutely making a killing:

Lets assume 1 car per light cycle (say 3 mins?) & $1 per car. In 1 hour they’ve made $20. Stick at it for 8 hours, five days a week and that’s $800 every week $41,600 tax free per year!!!!!

God god you’re right! They’re earning money by working! How dare they!

niftydog said :

The reality is even worse – they probably average more than one car per cycle in peak hour, and possibly twice as much or more per car. They also do longer hours and weekends.

What?!?, you mean they earn more money by working harder! The humanity!

niftydog said :

Those of you out there who think you’re helping out a disadvantaged soul need to wake up to yourselves. You are most likely indirectly supporting the illegal drug trade.

They should be like those real workers who directly support the legal drug trade every Friday/Saturday night. Next thing we’ll find out is that they have widescreen plasma TVs and put money into superannuation. Don’t they realise their position as scum of society is to make us feel better about ourselves.

Have a look at Section 22A of the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management)
Regulation 2000 here. http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/sl/2000-10/current/pdf/2000-10.pdf it is legal for them to offer to clean windscreens.

Swaggie, Police can’t do anything unless some illegal behaviour outside of the offer to clean windscreens has ocurred. As far a taking money for their ‘service’ goes, perhaps the ATO would like to know the detais of their income. If they are junkies, it’s probably better they’re there offering to clean windows and not breaking into houses or robbing people to feed a habit which is fine with me.

indigoid said :

The washer guy at the Melrose/Hindmarsh intersection seems in much better shape, though I do worry about his complete disregard for skin cancer. A few times he has rather amusingly pretended to clean my motorcycle helmet visor 🙂

I was behind this guy at Westfield Woden Coles the other evening. I have always found it intriguing that he looks just like a normal guy earning some extra cash (as opposed to the northbourne guys who look like another species altogether). I was a little starstruck, he’s like a Woden celebrity! And yes, he was very sunburnt. Maybe next time I’ll give him some sunscreen as payment.

He pulled out a bunch of fresh notes so I’m guessing he’d just changed his silver and gold from the day’s work.

Personally I’ve never had any cause to yell, fear for my saftey, or slow down in order to hide behind other cars. If I don’t want my windscreen washed I say “No thanks”, If my windscreen is filthy and I’ve got some spare coin, I’ll call them over, exchange a few polite words/a gold coin and I get on with my day.

By the by, I heard a rumour a few years back that the fella at the Barry Drv/ Northbourne intersection had his dole knocked back on account of his every move being documented by the red light camera. I’m not sure if he pays tax, you could always ask him, he seems like a nice enough bloke.

I don’t mind the old guy at the Dickson lights. He’s out there rain, hail or shine. I see it as doing a community service (sometimes getting paid, sometimes not). I’ve chatted with him a couple of times – he’s alright and not pushy at all.

There are a few other guys along Northbourne who do pick out women drivers and *expect* money. I’ve had to yell to get them off my car a couple of times. This really annoys me too but I wouldn’t want to see the old guy moved on just because of the behaviour of those other more pushy blokes.

It’s simple really – DONT GIVE THEM ANY MONEY if you didn’t ask for the service.

Choconut said :

Finally! Someone has said what we’ve all (or most of us) have been thinking: that these window-washing scum are a nuisance to drivers, a road safety hazard, and generally a parasitic drain on decent society. I find it remarkable that the police are powerless here – imagine if I were to stand around at traffic lights for no reason, just chatting to or harrassing or soliciting drivers…I’d be moved on by policy in 5 minutes.

I’ve found the best thing to do is ignore the window-washers or wave them away. Don’t even look at them: they’re beneath you. If they then start washing the window, I turn on the wipers…if they make any rude comments, which they usually do, a sneer and a raised index finger usually reminds them of their social standing (well down in society’s s-bend). Until the revolution comes and we can dispense with them in a slow and painful fashion, this is all we can do, alas…

Choconut, when the revolution comes, you may find that you’re the one put up against the wall.

As a young woman driving alone in the car, I will have these same window washers come and clean my car despite my refusal. If I have my boyfriend in the car and we both refuse, they won’t touch my car.

What really grinds my gears is the fact that they will cycle around hitting the pedestrian crossing buttons to change the flow of traffic to their tune. This is incredibly frustrating during peak hour traffic – I waited through 3 cycles during peak hour traffic only to have one of the window washers clean my windscreen without my permission.

It is argued to me that at least they’re not breaking into my home and busying themselves with some sort of income. But they are becoming a disservice to their own safety and traffic flow at this rate and are scaring young women in their cars. It is harrassment and discrimination. It’s like the guy I remember targeting young women in Garema Place with the same sob story that his car was out of fuel and needed $5 to fill it up to get home. He targeted me twice while I was working in the city – particularly scary when you’re getting home from work in the winter after business hours.

I have to admit that I am starting to feel less and less safe in Canberra which is very sad. Even walking through Civic in the middle of the day I am noticing more homeless or unemployed people seeking spare change from people walking by minding their own business. It’s very sad for everyone involved – not sure if we can do anything about it, really.

Can’t say I’ve ever actually seen this “forced wash”. Seems to happen to everyone except me…

Turning on your wipers usually deters them but it depends if you want to be confrontational enough to do it. I’m quite positive the Cops COULD do something about it but ‘can’ and ‘will’ are two different words.

Hells_Bells7410:45 am 23 Feb 10

+ 1 Benita and prhhcd. Couldn’t have said it better myself. Not a fan of them. They used to ignore my negative response for years. Once I read the RiotAct back archives on the issue, it hasn’t happened to me since. I AM READY with my hand on the wipers! They must see it in my eyes now. I also try pulling up a little strategically placed or approach slower, go behind people etc.

Good luck with Fair to ‘sum’ trading.

The washer guy at the Northbourne/Barry intersection looks thinner every time I go past there. Another year or two and he will be a leaf floating in the breeze. Sad but self-inflicted and of decidedly limited future.

The washer guy at the Melrose/Hindmarsh intersection seems in much better shape, though I do worry about his complete disregard for skin cancer. A few times he has rather amusingly pretended to clean my motorcycle helmet visor 🙂

grump’s comment had me laughing out loud for some reason, and I mean really laughing, not just “LOLOLOLOL”

My partner hate’s ’em.

I don’t drive, so I’m rarely in a situation to observe them in action, but if I am in the car, isuch behaviour will generally be observed on the intersection of Melrose Drive and Hindmarsh Drive, some scruffy guy with a squeegee and some water, ambling around, ‘washing’ windscreens.

It’s generally ‘making a quid’ for someone; and it’s generally-speaking, hassle free. What’s a guy with a squeegee going to ‘do’ to anyone who doesn’t cough up? It isn’t without risks (intersections are dangerous places).

Think of it as evolution in action. (qv Darwin Awards)

I liked the provisos / warnings at the end of the Original Poster’s effort, but find their estimate of ‘four minutes’ to compose their thoughts to be laughable. Bravo for posting, I suppose.

grunge_hippy10:18 am 23 Feb 10

Call Ned. I’m sure he would love another thing to stick to stanhope. I’m sure WIN news would jump on the bandwagon too.

remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Finally! Someone has said what we’ve all (or most of us) have been thinking: that these window-washing scum are a nuisance to drivers, a road safety hazard, and generally a parasitic drain on decent society. I find it remarkable that the police are powerless here – imagine if I were to stand around at traffic lights for no reason, just chatting to or harrassing or soliciting drivers…I’d be moved on by policy in 5 minutes.

I’ve found the best thing to do is ignore the window-washers or wave them away. Don’t even look at them: they’re beneath you. If they then start washing the window, I turn on the wipers…if they make any rude comments, which they usually do, a sneer and a raised index finger usually reminds them of their social standing (well down in society’s s-bend). Until the revolution comes and we can dispense with them in a slow and painful fashion, this is all we can do, alas…

If I wave them away but they elect to clean anyway I don’t pay. Wouldn’t scream them off my car, because I’m not that precious, and my windscreen is usually filthy anyway (so I sometimes accept and pay).

The only thing that gets to me is when traffic gets held up because they start cleaning too late in the light cycle.

Make your car a 25kV faraday cage….

Never had a problem with them. One guy in particular I respect for his work ethic, he’s out there all the time.

Better that then robbing houses for shot money.

Personally I admire their enterprise in getting of their backside and making an effort to support themselves. Yes, they probably don’t pay tax on their income or declare it to Centrelink but they aren’t wasting their life or breaking into houses either. Good luck to them.

As for finding them intimidating, get real. You’re inside a mobile metal box, surrounded by witnesses and they are armed with nothing more than a squeegee and a bucket of dirty water. Even if they wash your window after you decline their offer, you are not obliged to pay if you don’t want to.

People object to them because they represent a part of society that they like to pretend doesn’t exist.

Give them nothing! They’re doing better than many of us!

Just think about it for a second. Even underestimating the figures they are absolutely making a killing:

Lets assume 1 car per light cycle (say 3 mins?) & $1 per car.

In 1 hour they’ve made $20.
Stick at it for 8 hours, five days a week and that’s $800 every week
$41,600 tax free per year!!!!!

The reality is even worse – they probably average more than one car per cycle in peak hour, and possibly twice as much or more per car. They also do longer hours and weekends.

Those of you out there who think you’re helping out a disadvantaged soul need to wake up to yourselves. You are most likely indirectly supporting the illegal drug trade.

A few months ago i just had a crack in my windscreen replaced and was told not to get it wet for the next 24hrs. Later that afternoon i was approached in Civic by one of those people and i clearly said “No thanks” and he insisted so being the only car in that lane as he lent over my car to start washing i reversed backwards a bit. I know it was kinda wrong of me to do that but i just paid $100’s to get the crack fixed. So he just said to me “its just water” then went accross the road and started yelling obsene stuff at me. I never reported this however, i know what the police would just say.

Rawhide Kid No 29:50 am 23 Feb 10

One way to get them off the streets is point out every OH&S rule and regulation they’re breaching. Including no insurance. But then they might not care about Rules & Regulations. Its obliviously not against the law to do what they do. Otherwise the would be fined or something. But then I could be wrong.

You would have more luck securing one of the window washers a modeling career than getting “Fair Trading” to leave their office or make a decision.
Not until one of them is hit by a car will anything be done.(would he offer to clean up his own mess?)
I bet the window washers wouldn’t be allowed to operate on Pialligo Ave, in view of M.P’s or even POTUS !

I think if they are not doing this for money to get their drugs they would be robbing your house instead. Which one would you prefer?

Thank you Benita. I’ve been wanting to write about this issue for a while, but you did a much better job then I could have done. I have also complained to the ACT govt via Canb Connect and told there is nothing they can do. Ridiculous.
I find them extremely intimidating and intentionally avoid those intersections (e.g. Northbourne/Antill st). I would be glad to see them go.

any feral cyclists or pedestrians involved?

Doesn’t matter how long you spent writing up your post or how many disclaimers you put in, you WILL get paid out on this post. All complaint style posts do. So stand by for pay day.

I’ve never had a problem with the windscreen cleaners. They offer, I shake my head and they move onto the next car. Mind you I’m not a women of asian extraction.

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