Window washers - a nuisance or harmless?
It's one of those topics that can illicit strong reactions and it has arisen again with the introduction of a new bill.
I was always in the anti-camp. They made me mad, coming up and squirting my windscreen without invitation, when I neither needed or wanted my windscreen washed.
Despite the anger I then felt guilty for not giving them money then resentful they made me feel that way.
While I have never been harassed by washers I can understand how others could feel more than discomfort but instead feel scared or intimidated.
Yet my view has softened in recent months, due to the window washer I pass several times a week near my home.
The first time I saw him I swore under my breath as I pulled up to the red light and readied myself to deter him with a stern head shake.
But as I stared straight ahead, he remained on the median strip.
Then and on every occasion since, I have never seen him approach a car without an invitation. To the point where I began to feel bad and wonder whether all that time out in the elements was worth his while. Heck, I even considered getting him to wash my windscreen - maybe it could do with a wash after all.
It is a concern that a dairy owner feels the practice is scaring off his customers and that's a sentiment that has been echoed by other business owners in the past. I have sympathy for them and understand their frustration.
It comes down to common sense. Absolutely let's crack down on the washers who are intimidating, harassing or making a nuisance of themselves. Slap them with a fine (though how they will pay it is another question) or whatever other sanctions are available.
But for those window washers who are courteous and simply offering a service to those that ask for it, maybe we should cut them some slack.
They are getting out there to try to earn an honest dollar or two and surely that's to be encouraged, not crushed.