If you ever spot a disheveled looking person eating ketchup from the sauce dispenser at your local eatery, don’t jump to conclusions and assume they are actually homeless.
A woman in West Yorkshire, United Kingdom, learned this lesson the hard way when she tried to help an unshaven man carrying around a rucksack on a cold winter morning.
Claire Varin, a mother of two, was buying breakfast at McDonald’s in Halifax town center when she noticed a scruffy-looking guy sitting at a nearby table with no food. Just like almost any other person would, she assumed the man was homeless and had no money to eat.
“To be honest, my imagination ran away with me, ‘Had this poor man been out on the streets all night? Was this the only food he would eat all day?’” she told The Daily Mail. “Maybe he had no money and was starving. I thought only desperation could lead someone to eat ketchup.”
In an attempt to start her day on a positive note, the 33-year-old ordered the man a meal. However, her act of kindness backfired when a member of staff brought over another meal and apologized to him for the wait just seconds after she placed the food down in front of him.
“I was mortified. I felt like I was going to die of embarrassment. I wanted a hole to open up underneath me,” Varin explained. “I didn’t stick around to see if he ate the food I bought him too, I just ran out of the shop as quickly as I could. God knows what he thought. He probably tells people about the time a crazy woman bought him a breakfast for no reason.”
Well, her hightailing out of the eatery must have given the not-homeless customer at least some idea as to what exactly happened. But Varin is so mortified, she is planning to avoid McDonald’s altogether.
“I really enjoy a McDonald's breakfast now and again, but I think I'll have to give that store a miss in the mornings in case I see that man again,” she added.
Maybe we should all learn something valuable from Varin’s experience and remember to pause and consider our actions, no matter how noble.