A Charitable Response To Harassment

, , , , , | Working | July 31, 2020

I’m doing a little shopping in the city with my mom since we have a little time to kill before an appointment. We’re chatting a little and not really paying attention to our surroundings until someone all but jumps in front of us.

Guy: “Hi! My name is [Guy] and I’m from [Charity Organisation]! Do you have a few minutes?”

Mom is a bit startled and wary but still willing to listen.

Mom: “Well, we’ve got a little time to spare, I guess…”

Guy: “Great! Could I have your name, please?”

Mom: “It’s [Mom].”

He writes that down. During the whole discussion, he uses the informal variant of “you,”which in German is mainly used for friends and family but not strangers.

Guy: “So, [Mom], as I said, I’m from [Charity] and we—”

Mom: *Cutting him off* “Before you start, maybe you can save your breath. I know what [Charity] does, but I’m not interested in giving money to some stranger that stopped me in the streets.”

The guy smiles, but it starts to seem a little forced and condescending.

Guy: “[Mom], why don’t you just listen and let me talk?”

He then launches into an extensive spiel about his charity and what they do. During his last sentences, he almost pushes an empty form into my hands.

Guy: “So, now, if you just enter your information and sign here—”

Mom: “Wait a minute. I just told you I won’t give away any cash and that includes not signing any membership application. If you have some flyers or pamphlets, I’d happily take them with me so I could make a donation via money transfer, but I’m not comfortable giving my bank account information to someone I don’t even know.”

Guy: “No, I don’t have any pamphlets. I told you I’m [Guy], so we’re not strangers anymore, right? Now, just fill in your information and sign here, please. Why wouldn’t you want to?”

Mom: “For one, it’s my decision how I spend my money. And besides that, I’ve had bad experiences with a scammer that pressured me into signing a contract when I was younger.”

Guy: “Well, we’re no scammers; we are [Charity]!” *Points to his name badge* “[Mom], it’s really not difficult. You could be really making a difference with your donations!”

Mom: *Getting really fed up* “Look, I’ve repeatedly told you I won’t be signing this. You say you are with [Charity], but anyone could print a badge like yours and claim that.”

The guy tries to speak up again but she raises her hand to stop him.

Mom: “Besides, we’ve got an appointment and need to go now so we’ll be there on time.”

He tried to keep us for a little longer but we left. On our way back, we made sure to take a different route just to avoid running into him again. It’s not like my mom or I don’t want to donate money for a good cause, but if an organisation doesn’t offer pamphlets or accept one-time donations via money transfer, they can’t really expect people to sign a membership form just because someone on the street pushes it at them.

1 Thumbs
306