No Money, No Interest

| Sao Paulo, Brazil | Working | July 2, 2014

(On my way to work, I often meet a group of volunteers trying to get donations to a charity by talking to people on the street. I have already talked to one of them weeks before, and I was told I couldn’t help because I wasn’t 24 years-old yet. One of the volunteers stops me.)

Volunteer: “Hi, miss. Can I talk to you for a couple of minutes?”

Me: “I need to get to work soon.”

Volunteer: “It really is just a couple of minutes! I won’t keep you for long!”

Me: “I’m 23.”

Volunteer: “Okay, I don’t want to talk to you anymore.”

Haven’t Quite Reached The Manager

| AZ, USA | Working | June 6, 2014

(I am on a homeless outreach. Part of the work is passing out food, water, and clothing. The other part is to allow the homeless community to talk to us and generally show some humanity, since so often they are ignored by people. Later, during the outreach, a friend and I are taking to an elderly man about his life and beliefs for maybe five minutes. Most of our supplies we were handing out are gone, and Friend #1 and I are empty-handed. All is going well, until the director approaches us, asks the man to excuse us, and pulls us aside.)

Director: “It’s nice to try and talk to them, but don’t let them talk to you for very long! Some of them are crazy. You have to remember that stuff!”

(After she stalks off, I turn to my friend.)

Me: “Didn’t she tell us before we left to remember that everyone is human and not to shy away from conversation?”

Charity Begins At Home Furnishing

, | London, England, UK | Right | April 9, 2014

(As a charity shop, all items are donated to us. The staff are volunteers and so do not receive wages. The money made from sales goes to our cause; in this case, the care of the elderly in a local home. I approach a customer that has been looking at a sofa for some time.)

Me: “Can I help?”

Customer: “This sofa, isn’t it a bit expensive?”

(Customers sometimes try to haggle or cheat us, so I’m not surprised so far.)

Me: “Well, even though the sofa has no signs of wear and looks to be new, it has been heavily discounted. It would be triple the price from any other shop.”

Customer: “Yeah, but this is a charity shop.”

Me: “Yes…”

Customer: “So I don’t see why you can’t just give it away.”

Me: “…”

Customer: “I rent out property, you see. I get more if the places are furnished, but if I have to buy the furniture…”

Me: “We can’t just give things away. We raise money for the charity, which cares for elderly people.”

Customer: “Yeah, but you get this stuff for free.”

Me: “… “

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Unhappy Holidays

| Canada | Right | December 24, 2013

(I’m sitting at my position, working for a well-known religious charity. I am collecting donations to fund their various charitable programs. A customer walks by.)

Customer: “Merry Christmas!”

Me: “Merry Christmas!”

Customer: “You aren’t allowed to say that!” *walks away*

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A Bona-Fido Idiot

| UK | Right | December 20, 2013

(I work for an animal charity. I am out in the local community promoting responsible dog ownership.)

Me: “So is your dog neutered then?”

Customer: “Sorry?”

Me: “Sorry, madam. Is your dog neutered?”

(The customer stares blankly.)

Colleague: “Madam, has your dog been castrated?”

(The customer continues to stare blankly.)

Me: “Has he been ‘done’?”

Customer: “Oh, yeah. He did have an operation on his ears a few weeks ago…”

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