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Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Thick Skin

I bumped into an acquaintance recently. I had an idea she was some sort of student but it seems she's now working as a fundraiser. “Oh no, not a chugger?” I ask and she denies it. She doesn't stand in the street with a clipboard accosting shoppers and trying to get them to sign up for a monthly direct debit – no, she turns up on your doorstep and does roughly the same thing.

Anyway, I asked if she enjoyed it and she said yes. How does she cope with the rejections? Well, she quite likes being told to b*gg*r off because it's short and she gets to move on to someone more receptive. She also tells me it's best for people if they do actually answer the door because otherwise she'll keep going back again and again.

I told her I had a “No cold callers” sign and she said they were instructed to ignore those! If challenged, her riposte is that it's not a “cold call” because she has a very warm heart! I told her that my sign also bans charity fundraisers. She had an answer to that, (of course she did) – it seems that her organisation is not actually a charity – it's one of those lobbying groups. (She did mention the name but I won't repeat it)

As someone who has spent most of my life volunteering/working for charities, it was interesting hearing from one of these fundraisers when “off duty”. She's young and visually attractive in a fairly wholesome sort of way but it's clear she's determined to raise funds regardless of how many people it annoys. A charity I used to be involved with had some trouble with "street fundraisers". Head Office decided they were a good idea and sent some along to our local High St. We took umbrage so HQ said they'd stop it but we wouldn't get any money from the efforts of chuggers in other towns. Since we were in fact a net contributor to national funds, we said we'd put up with that!

It is of course the stock in trade of some campaigning organisations to act in an annoying way to get their point across and they claim that their cause is so important, it's justified. Reminds me of some missionaries - they are not just trying to save the whales, or human lives - they want to save your immortal soul!

However, I am mean-spirited enough to decide to never ever support her organisation - or any other with annoying sales techniques.

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