Charitably Litigious

, , , , | Right | April 27, 2020

As part of child awareness week, we are all given shifts doing collections outside of the store for a well-known children’s charity. As someone who knows how invasive some charity workers can be, I stick to just asking people if they want to donate. I am about an hour into my shift when I have an older couple approach the store.

Me: “Hey there! Would you like to make a donation to the [Charity] today?”

The couple blanks me and walks past me a couple of metres. The woman comes straight back to me and taps me on the shoulder.

Woman: “Excuse me! You do realise that what you just said to me is illegal!?”

Me: *surprised* “Pardon me?”

Woman: “What you just said. It is illegal to ask someone to donate to a charity and I could sue you!”

I am a little taken aback that this woman is threatening legal action, so I just respond honestly.

Me: “I’m sorry, but I am working for a charity. I wasn’t invasive or aggressive in asking.”

Woman: “Oh, I know, but I could sue you for it!”

The woman then wandered off into the store, trailing by her husband, happily gloating that she could sue me. Slightly panicked, I checked with my manager, who cleared up that as long as I did not shake the collection tin or be aggressive, I was completely fine. About ten minutes later, the woman came back out alone and threw a handful of change at me and stormed off. I can only guess her husband told her off and she went off in a huff!

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The Sign Only Provides Food For Thought

, , , | Right | March 4, 2020

(I work in a nonprofit agency that shares a building with a few other nonprofits. Our agency doesn’t give out food vouchers and never has. Despite this, we frequently get people asking us for them because we happen to be closest to the door. Directly next to our door is a sign that reads, “Food vouchers for the [Local Food Cupboard] are available at [Other Nonprofit #1] and [Other Nonprofit #2]. [OUR NONPROFIT] CANNOT GIVE REFERRALS.”)

Man: *looks in our doorway*

Me: “Can I help you?”

Man: “Yeah, I need an emergency food voucher.”

Me: “We don’t give those out here, but they can help you at [Other Nonprofit #1] across the lobby there.”

(I point.)

Man: *disbelieving* “I thought I got one here before.”

Me: “[Our Nonprofit] doesn’t actually help people directly; we only fund other agencies.”

Man: “Hmph.”

(He begins to walk away but catches sight of the sign next to our door.)

Man: *triumphantly* “‘Food vouchers…’ Ah, see, this is what I was talking about!”

(He finishes reading the sign.)

Man: *walking towards other nonprofit* “Well, you used to give food vouchers!”

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Do NOT Test A Mother

, , , , , | Working | March 3, 2020

(My local grocery store will often allow local charities to set up a booth outside to ask for donations. One day, I’m heading out and I see the charity is for the local children’s hospital, so I start to head over. Ahead of me, there is a woman with a full cart and three kids she is herding along. The guy at the booth steps forward towards her.)

Man: “Ma’am, do you have a minute to talk about donating?”

Woman: *trying to keep two of her kids from fighting* “Sorry, not now.”

Man: *scoffs* “Well, good evening, b****.”

(The woman was obviously shocked and ended up quickly hurrying away. As for me, I turned right around and headed into the store to find a manager to let them know what kind of attitude the charity they were helping was throwing around.)

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Will Not Miss Mister

, , , , | Right | October 18, 2019

(In France, as probably almost everywhere, non-profits hire students to stop people in the street to ask them for donations. It’s expected that they remain friendly and smiling, and people seem to take that as a “please abuse me” sign. Sure, they can be a bit annoying, but they never insist once you tell them you’re not interested. I have a rather old bike which tends to fall apart easily, needing me to stop for a minute or two to pick up the broken parts and put them back together. One day, I stop right next to a student working for an NPO and hear this exchange between the employee and an old guy.)

NPO Employee: “Hi! Do you have a minute?”

(Note that in French, using words such as, “sir,” “mister,” etc., would be weird in that sentence and setting.)

Old Guy: “If you want to talk to me, you’ll call me mister!”

NPO Employee: *hesitant* “Okay, and does mister have a minute?”

Old Guy: *with a smug smile* “No!”

(I don’t like it when a**holes seem to think they can bother whomever they want, just because they’re younger, or for whatever reason. I stand up from my improvised bike repair and walk up to the old guy. I’m a 20-ish female, but I’m 1.80m — 5’9” — and am very well-built, so I tower over him.)

Me: *in the sweetest voice I can muster* “Then why did mister feel the need to importune that underpaid student? Would mister deign explain it to someone who isn’t contractually obligated to smile and be polite to him, or would mister rather f*** off?”

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Proving Your BS Is Proverbial

, , , , , , | Friendly | February 22, 2019

(One of my coworkers enjoys carpentry as a hobby and a side hustle. He’s done several small to medium projects for our group home where we work and for several coworkers. Today he’s brought in a work in progress that looks like a sign for home decor, with some words starting to get painted on it.)

Me: “Why does it say, ‘PROVE BS?’”

Coworker: “That’s supposed to say, ‘PROVERBS.’ I’m missing my ‘R’ stencil.”

Me: “Ah, I guess that makes more sense than a sign telling us to prove our bulls*** or something.”

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