There’s an art to avoiding street fundraisers
‘No the day, mate’
It’s a Friday morning, you’re hungover after spending a week’s wage in Jellybaby and have patched your lecture. All you’re after is a stress free journey down to the local shop for a chilled can of Irn Bru, before getting back to bed.
The last thing you want is a conversation, never mind one with a smiling, energetic optimist, with a disgusting fluorescent jacket, who’s skipped from the other side of the street and blocked your path. Bastards. You’re cornered, and you can’t be the idiot who embarrasses themselves by aggressively shouting down the fundraiser’s throat.
But they know how to handle every rejection in the book, so “too busy” or “no the day mate” won’t cut it. Apart from actually taking part in discussion and signing up, there appears to be no way out. Before you know it, some hipster dressed like a Teletubby has signed you up for a direct debit of a tenner a month to the RSPCA.
If that’s what you really wanted to do, then fair enough. But if it’s not, believe it or not there is a really simple exit strategy: you just have to be creative with your lies. Every day fundraisers hear the same excuses. You don’t have enough time, you’ve got to get back to work or you have a dentist appointment. If you do have the dentist to go to, don’t tell the fundraiser, it sounds like a shite lie. Even if your teeth look like they’ve been dipped in sulphuric acid, they will not believe you.
The trick is to make up either a hard hitting story – something which sounds like it could be true, but wouldn’t invite question – or a ridiculous one, which puts the fundraiser in an awkward situation. Depending on your sense of humour, you might want to go with a slightly funnier story, or a more devastating one. These are the best I heard when I was a fundraiser (so I know what I’m talking about):
• I’m away to get my monthly check up at the clinic
• My boyfriend just escaped from the hospital and I can’t find him
• I’m not in the mood, I just caught my dad shagging my girlfriend
• I’ve just been sacked
• I’m going to my gran’s funeral
• I’m trapped in a glass cage of emotion
The one which topped them all was a quote from Happy Gilmour, or at least I hope it was. I approached a guy and asked him how he was, and he looked at me with a straight face and replied, “I eat pieces of shit like you for breakfast” before striding briskly into the distance.
With an arsenal of lines, you’ll be half way down the street to a bottle of ginger in no time. But there are a few things you absolutely shouldn’t do if you don’t want to get involved in a chat.
As much as you might want to laugh at how ridiculous the fundraiser’s approach is, don’t do it. You will come across as friendly, up for a laugh or, in other words, a fundraiser’s wet dream. The same goes with spouting out your get away line, you’ll look like a bit suspicious if you mention something about your dying snake then snigger after it.
Hesitation is the biggest cause of collapse in any getaway. Don’t wonder if you want to talk, you know you don’t. So be confident in your apathy for communication, press on and don’t look back.
Don’t be self righteous
You might know the CEO of the charity makes over a million a year, you might also know 20 per cent of your potential monthly donation is going to paying his wages. You probably want to lay waste to the fundraiser by revealing the immorality of their employers and their “charity” is a blood sucking corporate machine, leaving them to doubt their whole ethos and drown in a cesspit of anguish and despair.
All that might be true, but for the love of god, please don’t preach. You’ll end up becoming entangled in a 20 minute long discussion, which will inevitably leave you convinced the CEO deserves a gigantic wage and in possession of a thank you pack for signing up. Don’t be the freak who insists on preaching any semi valid point, you’re going to lose.
If all else fails, tell yourself it’s all for a good cause, and wait until the end of the month when you have to make a painfully awkward cancellation call which will probably end up in you doubling your monthly donation.