“Get a job, bum!” someone screamed from a passing car.

Jake carried six bags of crushed aluminum cans down a busy street.

He wasn’t walking very fast. The bags were heavy and tearing in several places.

“Get a job, bum!” someone screamed from a passing car. 

Jake kept his head down and continued walking. He didn’t want a confrontation.

Eventually, Jake reached the recycling center. The owner paid Jake a few bucks then told him to “piss off.”

Cash in hand, Jake strolled into a small diner nearby. The hostess looked uncomfortable. When Jake asked for a table for one, she mumbled “I’ll be right back,” and bolted for the kitchen. 

An older man in a hairnet and filthy apron emerged from the kitchen, wiping his hands clean on a greasy towel. “We can’t serve you,” the man said to Jake without blinking.

Jake left quietly, walking across the street to McDonalds. The staff eyed him suspiciously, but they let him buy an extra value meal.

His belly full, Jake walked a mile and a half to the public library to check his email.

A woman in her late 30s sat at the desk, staring intently at the computer screen in front of her. As Jake approached she glanced up quickly.

There was the briefest moment where their eyes locked but neither spoke.

“JAKE!!!” the woman yelled. “How have you been?!?!?! I haven’t seen you in weeks! I was getting worried!” 

Her smile was large… and genuine.

Jake smiled back. “I’m good, Raquel. I had some work in Springfield, but I’m back.”

They chatted for a few minutes before Jake made his way over to the computers.

Raquel was Jake’s favorite library staff member. 

She was one of the few people that treated him like a human being.

Jake was so grateful to Raquel, that he would do just about anything for her:

A few months ago, some teenagers made a mess and Jake cleaned it up because he didn’t think it was fair for Raquel to have to deal it.

Last year, Jake had come into the library after a few drinks. When Raquel asked him to leave, Jake apologized profusely and left immediately.

Once, when another patron yelled at Raquel, Jake stood in front of her until the police arrived.

Raquel’s coworkers couldn’t figure out why she never had any problems with Jake. They did.

Pennies in the Cup

Everyone wins when you treat people with dignity:


      • They feel more fully human.

      • You have fewer conflicts with them.

    The scientific reason behind this is called “Sentiment Override.” We explain it in on our training on conflict prevention, which you can watch for free if you sign up for our “Pennies in the Cup Challenge!”

    Pennies in the Cup Challenge

    In March, we are doing a “Pennies in the Cup” challenge. It is free to EVERYONE. Your organization does NOT have to be a paying member to join.

    Here’s how it works:



          • Step 2:  Watch (for free) our training from last month on how you can prevent conflict.


            • Step 3:  Do the daily challenges (and maybe even win prizes!).


              • Step 4:  Have less conflict at work for the rest of your career!!!

            Conflict prevention doesn’t work if you know what to do, but don’t do it. 

            The Challenge is designed to help you practice the strategies until they become habit.

            Have a great week!



            P.S. Throughout the Challenge we’ll be giving away seats for you and 4 friends to attend our live training on April 13 which will be Homeless De-Escalation 401: Managing your own emotions during conflict! So make sure you complete at least one task each day so you’ll have a chance to win 😊

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