I have never felt less like the Dalai Llama. In all honesty I had to stop my self from grabbing the UNICEF clipboard he was waving around to attract my attention and shoving it in a very, very uncharitable place!
I don't like my space being invaded, but it's even worse when it's for charity. What the F? Just because you have UNICEF on your jacket doesn't mean I'm going to give you my credit card number. Also it pisses me off that the person who says no ends up feeling bad about it all. Oh no I just turned down UNICEF - I'm going to hell and so on.
My first job in New Zealand was doing the door to door version of harassment charity. You know when someone knocks on your door and shows you pictures of starving orphans or whatever and tries to get your credit card number... that was me. It's still right up there as one of the worst jobs I've ever had in my life ever (even worse than dressing up as a bear for a children's theatre production of Noddy. The bear suit weighed over 10 kilograms (I was Mrs Tubby Bear so there had to be padding to make me suitably tubby) and was like one of those 1980's sweat to lose weight plastic jogging suits try dancing and singing the 'I'm a tubby bear' song in that! - I lost 5kgs doing that production! I wanted to rent the suit out to rich housewives as a get thin quick scheme...)
Anyway back to the story...
So the adverts for the charitable endeavour featured dollar signs (you know the one: 'make $$$') This is, of course, always a really bad sign. I now know that $$$ is code for 'who needs a soul anyway' or prostitution (which I have more respect for than ambush sales tactics).
The advert was something like "Save the world and make $$$. Get experience and work towards a promising career in sales and marketing."
This bore little resemblance to the actual job which was, in reality, 'knock on random people's doors and hassle them until they give you their credit card number or tell you to f&%k off"
They did training which involved teaching all the leaping out from behind things and forcing eye contact with annoying banter and arm flapping techniques that Mr Charity above used. For every person you convinced to sign up you got commission (I was having a 'ding unethical' moment but I was kind of in love with the idea of being struggling immigrant making good through the sweat of my brow and good old fashioned American family values - kind of like that mouse in "An American Tale" but not Jewish.... or in New York.... or a mouse.... )
Finishing my training I set out into the world with my fresh clipboard and a pocket full of dreams.
I lasted one day. I hated it so much. I hated bothering people at home. I hated that we couldn't actually take one off donations that people were willing to make. I hated it all. The final straw was going to the house of a very lovely man from England. He asked me if I was ok. I burst into tears and ended up sitting amongst his rose bushes being comforted by the poor guy. I quit the next day. The most hilarious thing is that I found out from someone who worked there that everyone had been told that I'd been fired (obviously they didn't want anyone to realise that quitting was actually an option).
So now when someone comes at me with a clip board and patter I truly want to smash them. Maybe it's bitterness - maybe it's not. I will, however, always give at least 5 bucks to anyone who is willing to dress up in an animal costume for charity - now that shows dedication. (trust me I know)
p.s. breaking news my flatmate has had a Weta on his sock for a couple of days. Both of us are too scared to touch it. I think it might be making a home there... I'm going to start a fund to help it bring its family over from the old country... I just need to get my clipboard
For those of you not from NZ this is a Weta
p.p.s. I wrote a song about the Weta... it is below