When I was at University, there was a woman who cleaned the rooms in the dorm and another, who cleaned the cafeteria.
Both were ‘beggy’, always asking for something. If the one in the dorm, Odette, saw you had two bars of soap, she’d ask for one. If the one in the canteen, Linda, saw you with a few dollars, she’d beg one.
The girls didn’t complain. Some would smile, some would pretend they didn’t hear, a few would give the beggar what she wanted.
The two ‘beggars’ used to talk about the girls when they thought no one could hear them. If you didn’t see them together you’d never guess they knew each other, for their meetings were somewhat clandestine.
One of the girls, who used to give Linda a few dollars asked for a refill of her coffee, and Linda gave it to her. Then two days later, for no apparent reason, when the girl asked, Linda, in a loud voice, viciously told her that her ‘boss’ said she was not to give the coffee away.
The girl was upset by how Linda spoke.
After that, she didn’t even look at Linda. She ignored her, and if Linda came to beg, she walked away.
Odette had done the same kind of beg with a girl in the dorm. When the girl asked her a favour, in a loud and brawling voice, Odette made what may have been public service announcements why she could not do the favour, because, using the same excuse as Linda, her ‘boss’ told her not to.
After that, Linda and Odette no longer existed in the eyes of the girls. Everyone knew what had happened, those who heard Linda or Odette speak, or heard second hand.
If either had sense, they could have softly admitted the boss had threatened firing if they did. Although probably it was a lie. Just a way that Odette and Linda could feel in control, powerful.
Linda and Odette could call the girls ‘snobs’ but in reality, their loud mouths had cut their own throats.