Chugging ‘ell

Published on 27 April 2004 in , ,

It’s been 17 months since I wrote about the bibbed brigade of direct debit nuisances and today I finally found out what the masses are aparantly calling them.

Thanks to the snappily titled ‘Can you spare five minutes for charity?’ I now know that people are describing these people as ‘charity muggers’. Or chuggers.

Funnily enough it’s not a name I’ve ever given them, preferring the far more accurate "annoying <insert swearword here>.

That might sound rather nasty, but when you get hassled by at least four of these people each day, at least four days a week and all in the space of a 10 minute walk to the tube station, and you begin to see them in a slightly different light. These are the people who make aggressive beggars look like polite, friendly individuals.

The people who deliberately stand in your way, shout chirpily at you and constantly verbally harass you as you walk along. Then there’s the people who deliberately move in front of you, forcing you to move. Or worse, the ones who step right into your path right at the last minute, waving their clipboard in your face. I even had one person decide to stand in front of me, arms open wide as if she was about to give me a hug. Can’t help but wonder what she’d have done if I had hugged her back. No doubt I’d have ended up in a police cell.

These are the people who give charity collection a bad name. Not only are they trying to get your bank details off you in the street (in the street for goodness sake! Come on! Would any sensible, sane person give out their bank details to a random stranger in the middle of central London?)

They’re almost always on commission – hence why they’re desperate to stop you and get that signature. But even worse are the companies who coordinate these nuisances. In many cases, the first six months of your direct debit will go absolutely no where near the charity in question.

And lo, if you even dare acknowledge them, you may even end up with the ones slagging you off as you walk past.

Whilst many will look away, or start fiddling with their phone whenever they go near, I adopt a different approach – the complete and utter blank. I’d much rather do that than ever, ever, EVER acknowledge their existence. They are a plague on my life, and simply saying ‘not today’ or ‘sorry’ helps legitimise them and their highly dubious activities. If nothing else, if everyone completely and utterly blanked them it will increase the staff turnover rapidly. You try doing a job where EVERYONE ignores you all day and see how much job satisfaction you get.

Unfortunately it’s hard to deal with people who decide to stand in front of you. So far they’ve been lucky in that I’ve always swerved off at the last minute, but woe betide any of them who do that to me on a bad day. I’m quite liable to simply walk right into them and knock them to the floor. Oh and they won’t get an apology.

Now some might think this as being a rather cruel approach to people trying to raise money for charity. Well hey, if the money was going to charity, maybe… But am sick to the back teeth of being harassed by them. They give charity a bad name.

And even better in the BBC News article, chief exec of the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, Sue Brumpton says she only knows of one person who has ever been fired for their tactics.

Well durrrrrr…. Hello Sue Stupid. If I’ve got a complaint, who on earth am I going to go to? And what am I going to say?

Am I going to know what their name is? Well funnily enough most of the scum with clipboards have their name badges firmly hidden behind a coat or bib. Am I going to know who they work for? Well of course not. And what on earth am I going to say to the charity? That someone in a group of five was annoying, aggressive and a nuisance?

Hey, it’s bloomin’ amazing that one person has been sacked.

These people are the lowest of the low in the charity world. And it’s time that people stopped putting up with this menace. These are nothing worse than the lowest of the low in salesman terms.

And I for one will not stand for them. The chuggers can chug off.