Sunday, 24 July 2011

Chastising Chuggers

I work in central London, I choose to do this, like I choose to go out and get my lunch, or go for a walk, or nip to the shops in my lunch break. At no point in this do I walk along so desperate for social interaction that I want some professional irritant leaping in front of me with a fake smile and a sob story.

Chuggers are one of the worst things about living in any modern city. I can't even go out for lunch these days without some idiot in a left over Shell-suit trying to convince me that I could single handedly raise Africa out of poverty, cure cancer, save all the children, and populate a small aircraft carrier's worth of Air Ambulances.

At their best Chuggers are blatantly lying to you. They work on the assumption that people think they're volunteers doing it for charity, and that you're doing a good thing by signing up. Bollocks. All Chuggers are paid just like any other job, and pimped out as glorified contractors to the charities. They're not working for those charities, they've just been given that colour jacket for the day and a sob story to go along with it.

But here's the real kick, on average, the typical monthly donation to a charity via a Chugger will take approximately a whole year before you've even paid for the Chugger! That's an entire year of your donations and good will going to help precisely NO ONE. And I'm pretty damn sure that that's not what you signed up for.

The proof of this, straight from the horses mouth, is here here. My personal favourite is the line "Across the entire campaign, a charity can expect to break even (i.e. recoup the whole cost it spent on fundraising) in about 26-28 months." Do we really need a better reason to ban them than in excess of 2 years worth of helping nobody? If I donate a few hundred quid to charity I want to feel good about doing it. I don't want some clipboard warrior spending it all in Starbucks at the end of a hard days work pissing people off. I give money to help people, I do this reasonably regularly, I give none of this money so you can buy hair gel and fake tan. All this is before the spectacuarly arrogant statement that they genuinely believe that you're not entitled to walk down the street without someone stopping you. Apparently personal privacy and the right to go about your day without interruptions doesn't exist.

A friend of mine even had a Chugger for the Red Cross shout at her down the street "People will die because of you!" purely because she wanted to go about her business rather than waste her time talking to these filth.

So do yourself a favour, donating to charity is a great thing, so do it directly, don't give these professional irritants the time of day.

And if you are a Chugger, crying with outrage after managing to convince yourself that you're actually a worthwhile member of society? Here's an idea, why don't you go out and get a real job, then donate everything you earn over and above your Chugging wage to charity, and let's see how committed you really are to this. The charities will get a lot more money, waste a lot less, and for once you might be able to find out what it feels like to know that if you got hit by a bus, someone might actually stop and help you out for a change.

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