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Intersection Windscreen Washers: Community Service or Intimidating Grifters?

By benita_449 21 February 2010 100

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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Intersection Windscreen Washers: Community Service or Intimidating Grifters?
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georgesgenitals 1:33 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_northact 7:50 pm 04 Mar 10

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

buzz819 4:36 pm 04 Mar 10

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.

Aurelius 4:05 pm 04 Mar 10

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”

DavoDavo 1:08 pm 02 Mar 10

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.

vg 10:14 am 02 Mar 10

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

cleo 12:11 am 02 Mar 10

choconut

Get over it, there is more to life!

eebee 3:57 pm 01 Mar 10

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 🙂

niftydog 12:37 pm 01 Mar 10

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!

Ema Chizit 2:41 pm 27 Feb 10

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.

Mr_Shab 9:11 pm 26 Feb 10

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.

Genie 10:58 am 26 Feb 10

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.

Scrumpox 10:04 pm 25 Feb 10

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.

Postalgeek 9:48 am 25 Feb 10

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.

Postalgeek 9:37 am 25 Feb 10

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.

kennardly 8:02 am 25 Feb 10

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 🙂

Muttsybignuts 10:44 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!

Thumper 9:30 pm 24 Feb 10

Bill,

Paragraphs man. They help.

Choconut 9:23 pm 24 Feb 10

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.

Bill 8:35 pm 24 Feb 10

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

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