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Windscreen Cleaners, Northbourne Ave and the meaning of NO

By c-biz - 27 April 2009 79

I’m new to this RiotACT thing, but I just wanted to voice my frustration and see if anyone else out there is in the same boat? And if it happens again, what should I do?

For many months now there has been a resident window washer on the intersection between Northbourne Ave and Cooryong St/Barry Dr offering the usual windscreen clean for a monetary donation. Yesterday afternoon, I was driving down Northbourne Ave and stopped at the lights to turn right onto Cooryong St. There were 3 cars in front of me waiting to turn right, plus another two alongside me continuing north.

He worked his way down the line of stopped cars; the first three drivers had all declined and he respected that and moved on. Standing at the end of car in front he signalled to me – I politely said no. He came closer, still asking, and again I gestured ‘No thank you’. He came along side my car, by this time I’m shaking my head, saying NO very loudly, and waving my arms! He started to clean my window… It gets better… At the end of the clean, he then gestures for money. I gave him all I had which was about 70cents I found in the console of my car, to which the window cleaner complained that I was being cheap and hadn’t given him enough!! He then continued on to other stopped cars, some of which also said no and he left their cars untouched!

My anger and frustration got bigger as later that night as I was driving in the pouring rain, there was a big soapy residue mark right in front of the steering wheel on the windscreen and created a huge glare spot against the shine of the street lights! So not only did I pay for a clean I didnt want (I’d like to add I’d only washed my car on Friday…), I had to RE-CLEAN my windscreen (with a squidgy at the nearest petrol station because my car window wash function wasn’t enough!) to avoid having an accident!!

Also – this is the third time this has happened to me with this window washer at this intersection. What on earth do I have to do to tell the guy DONT CLEAN MY WINDSCREEN without being rude and abusive!?

What’s Your opinion?

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79 Responses to
Windscreen Cleaners, Northbourne Ave and the meaning of NO
el 12:45 pm 27 Apr 09

Do these guys ever wash the windscreens of men drivers, when they say no?

Yep. Same guy folks are whinging about here – Antill and Northbourne. Looked like drainwater mixed with cooking oil. Thankfully it proceeded to piss down with rain shortly after and wash the crap off.

The most effective approach I’ve seen was a larger guy getting out of his car ready to beat the absolute snot out of the squeegee man at the Melrose/Hindmarsh lights.

Genie 12:36 pm 27 Apr 09

OMG ! Someone beat me to it…

That damn windscreen washer at Northbourne and Antil St at Dickson absolutely shits me. It doesn’t matter how many times I say no, the bugger always washes my window. To the point THAT BADLY, that once he walks away I cannot even see out of the windscreen and have to put the washers on. Not just once, but everytime. I’m talking about a weekly basis here.
I have never paid him, and he even got abused the day I had literally just come out of the carwash and he insisted on still washing the window.

I think this guy needs to learn that no means no, and just coz I’m female doesn’t mean I’m going to have any sympathy for it and hand over some money.

deye 12:19 pm 27 Apr 09

blub said :

Do these guys ever wash the windscreens of men drivers, when they say no?

yes, I gave him a dirty look, kept the window up and drove off when the light changed.

Goods 12:07 pm 27 Apr 09

While on my way to a site inspection (for my tax paying job), at the same intersection but heading South on Northbourne, the washer was pressing the pedestrian crossing button. This increases his “opening hours” as the light controller waits for a non existent slow walking pedestrian to cross. Sitting at that red light for the additional and pointless time gave me a great opportunity to think and decide that I hate this guy very much.

Deckard 12:04 pm 27 Apr 09

It happened to me once. I said no, he went and did it anyway saying it keeps him busy and walked away without asking for any money.

That was quite a long time ago so he may have moved on.

Swaggie 11:32 am 27 Apr 09

Julz idea works – tried it myself in the past and gets you a dirty look but that’s all

blub 11:19 am 27 Apr 09

Do these guys ever wash the windscreens of men drivers, when they say no? Or do they only do this to women drivers?
I ask because I’ve never seen them do it to men, and only women – and only particularly attractive women too.

It’s interesting about the rudeness though, it’s as thought the newer breed of window-washers has this higher expectation and if you don’t meet it they get rude.

fabforty 11:11 am 27 Apr 09

He still washed your windscreen when you said “no” because, as we have just learnt, most people still pay him anyway (including myself in my younger days). So why would he stop ? This is how he has learnt that he can intimidate money out of people.

If you say no thanks – mean it ! Keep your windows wound up and stick to your guns. Its crap, though, that we should have to be made to feel this way.

I like Julz idea, though.

I think each person who is intimidated by that man should report it to the police. If they get enough reports, he will be moved on.

As Mimiboo points out, the ACT still makes allowances in its road rules to allow window washers. I’m sure they will only re-think it when someone is hurt or worse.

Pommy bastard 11:10 am 27 Apr 09

We are anticipating that these people do not claim benefits, any evidence?

Bundybear 10:58 am 27 Apr 09

Had precisely the same scenario at Northbourne and Antill some years ago, he decided to do me a favour and give me a freebie after a very clear refusal of his service. I was driving to Melbourne and had cleaned the windscreen thoroughly in preparation. I ended up buying a squeegee and some windscreen cleaner in Gundagai in order to remove the oiley smears directly blocking my view after it started to rain. Now I will never let any of them near my car, where previously I had often given them a dollar or two for their enterprise, not too fussed about the clean.

I haven’t tried it but julz solution looks promising. Mostly they take my very clear no as no, if not I make it louder and clearer. Probably not as effective if you aren’t a hairy boofhead.

Mimiboo 10:51 am 27 Apr 09

On three occasions, I’ve gestured no to the same window washer and he still goes ahead and washes it. The first time I paid, the 2nd & 3rd I didn’t (plus he did a crap job at it), hoping that he’ll get the message that no means no. And yes, I’m all for people not sitting at home doing nothing and getting out there doing work, but it’s a dangerous job (the no. of times those window washers have nearly been run over is many) and most states have banned them for good reason – why can’t ACT do the same?

julz 10:40 am 27 Apr 09

The same thing happens to me occasionally. Simple solution – turn your windscreen wipers on when he starts to clean.

gun street girl 10:39 am 27 Apr 09

johnboy said :

And I suspect some of them get more aggressive with women as well.

I would agree.

johnboy 10:33 am 27 Apr 09

And I suspect some of them get more aggressive with women as well.

lumnock 10:23 am 27 Apr 09

People are probably going to reply “maybe if you didn’t pay him…..” but I see where you’re coming from here. I appreciate the fact that they are out there in the cold trying to earn some money instead of breaking into my house or bludging off the dole, but if you are clearly indicating that you don’t want your windscreen washed then they should still respect that and move on.

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