As a lifetime Baltimorean, homeowner, Baltimore Sun subscriber for more than 50 years and frequent letter writer, I would like to add my two cents to the squeegee topic, especially after reading so many “guest” opinion writers who seem to lean in favor of the squeegee workers — a point of view strongly aligned with The Baltimore Sun editorial board’s (”Conway and Light: Deadly squeegee encounter underscores need for better opportunities in Baltimore,” July 8).
Let’s say you are a single young woman or a post-middle-aged woman or a family of tourists coming to the attractions in the Inner Harbor or an elderly couple going to a medical appointment or just a guy coming home from a stressful day at work. You are in a line of slow-moving traffic and eventually reach a red light. If you are new to the area, you see a stranger — sometimes with a cohort — quickly approach your car, and five out of 10 times has already squirted your windshield. He proceeds to get that squeegee in motion with his hand out for a tip. Now, even if you wave him off, he will often keep on coming. This is when things get ugly and frightening. Often, the driver is surprised by all this, especially if new to the area. Some drivers hang back because they want to totally avoid the confrontation. Others may emphatically say no, and this may light the fuse.
Being aggressive is key for any salesman but the aggressiveness should be accompanied with being a smooth operator in order to close the deal. What I have seen is people kicking cars, cursing at drivers, spraying the window and not cleaning, reaching in and swinging at the driver, spitting on the car and drivers, scraping the side of the car with the squeegee — and all the while you are stuck in traffic and can’t move. Next thing you know you’re at the next corner and it’s déjà vu all over again. This time, you say that your window is clean, so “no thanks.” But this brings another round and another tense confrontation when all you are doing is driving through town.
And remember, you are the privileged ones and definitely not the victims.
— Roland Moskal, Baltimore
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