Friday, 21 May 2010


I hate charity street workers. I don't mean those people who give their time gladly and for no fee to collect money in tins. I mean those people who are paid eight quid or so an hour to harrass me in the street and make me feel guilty for not being able to donate to whatever cause they are supporting.

It's not that I don't support the causes. I just find them damn annoying. And here's a handy guide on how to annoy me if you are one. Not that you need it, because you've tried all these already . . .

  • Please always ensure you are in the path of wherever I need to be. It doesn't matter whether I'm heading for Argyle Street or Sauchiehall Street, you'll be there. Even in Byres Road, I can't escape you.
  • Also make sure your timing sucks. Best time to approach? When it is raining. Or when I'm running late and in a hurry to get somewhere.
  • Or when I'm in a bad mood. An OBVIOUS bad mood. Because I'm clearly going to be ESPECIALLY receptive to you then.
  • Assume that, even if I'm on my phone, I still want to talk to you. Even though I'm just PRETENDING to be on the phone to avoid you, it's still downright irritating.
  • Watch as I swerve to give your colleague a wide berth and then pounce on me. Y'know, since I clearly like you more than your colleague. Of course.
  • Chase me along the street. I don't really like telling people to "fuck off" when others can hear me, but this obsessive type of behaviour WILL drive me to it. Pinky swear.
  • Assume that because I came out of a posh shop, I am loaded and will OBVIOUSLY want to donate. Please note that the reason I was in the posh shop was because my sister works in there. I was there to see her, not buy clothes or a bag that cost 300 quid. The fact I am leaving the shop without any sort of purchase is evidence of that fact.
  • Approach me when I'm standing there waiting for someone. A captive audience who can't really escape. (I once told a guy who approached me in this manner fairly politely that I did not want to hear another word from him and could he please go away and leave me alone. He was so surprised that he complimented my necklace by accident.)
  • Get ANNOYED when I refuse to stop and talk. I don't actually WANT to hear your sales pitch.
  • Represent more than one charity on a regular basis. Even if I WAS interested in hearing more about the cause, even if I thought you were passionate about what you were talking about, once I see you talk the same way about another charity while wearing a different coloured charity bib, I start to doubt your integrity. (On top of the whole getting paid to do it thing, obviously)
  • Not accepting no for an answer is also a way to piss me off. It's one thing to be stubborn and strong-minded. Quite another to just be a bully.
To any people who might be reading who do these things to passers-by, I just want to say I'm sure you are perfectly nice people. I KNOW you are just trying to do your job, and that it's hard to get jobs in this day and age with the credit crunch and all, and I admire you for actually working and all that . . . But, and here's the important point, I SUFFER FROM PAVEMENT RAGE.

This is a serious illness.

It could result in violence. Towards you.

I'm trying to help you here.

Honest . . .


  1. I thought this was about charity street walkers... and I was like they do that for charity???

  2. they really annoy me too. What makes it worse is, as you say, the feeling of guilt. But I really don't want to be made to feel guilty when all I want to do is get home from work or lug my bags of shopping home.

  3. They drive me INSANE. I would much rather throw spare change into a tin for someone collecting quietly at a tube station than be HOUNDED by people as I walk down the road. If I'm swerving to avoid you, chances are I'm not interested! Ugh!

  4. Eww, Chuggers!! (Charity Muggers, just incase!) they sicken me with the amount of money they make, PLUS they get travel etc paid for! I was once semi-homeless and a guy from Shelter stopped me in Paisley and said "Want to help the homeless?" and I went mental at him cos Shelter had refused to help me. Not so fun!

  5. I always feel bad not giving when I happen to pass these people, but some will hunt you down, it's a bit much!!

  6. My flatmate S and I met in town one day on my lunchbreak and we sat in Argyle St, where a group of the charity muggers happened to congregate a few minutes later. We ate our lunch and listened to their team talk and watching as they each attempted to run up to people (literally) to engage them in conversation.

    Naturally we kept making comments loud enough for them to hear about how we'd either lie and say we didn't speak English, that we weren't legally responsible to have a bank account or sign a contract... or y'know... tell them that they actually make more money than we do.

    It's a tough job, targets and what-not but... no. Just, no.

  7. Tactic ......

    Both hands out in front of you at face level, fingers spread. Look directly into their eyes. Say "No thanks" in a meaningful but polite way.

    The gesture, look and words combined usually work.

    Shopping bags and having to be in one place waiting for a friend make it more difficult.

    And if you are too smiley, you are lost ..... doomed to half an hour's sales pitch on the charity of the day. Sadly, even through I try to look serious, I am a click too smiley. Not good for being serious with children either.

  8. The Greenpeace ones like to jump on you from behind poles, after you've just been blinded by sunglare.
    I hate those people. They're so forceful, yelling after you about the cause. Then everyone turns and looks and is all uppity at you for walking away from a cause like that, but secretly, they'd all do the same.

  9. I'm so glad I don't have to deal w/ these people. The ones who don't know how to take NO for an answer are THE WORST.

  10. Holy shit, thank you. I hate being hassled when I'm out minding my own business, running errands or whatever. They approach me I just say "No thanks". That should be enough right? But no. Some of them have to follow you and keep persuading. To those people I have started saying, "What part of no thanks don't you understand?" I'm the least rude person on Earth normally but you just have to get in there and tell them to eff off at a certain point. I'm at the stage now where I'm ready to just say it. "Look I said no, now fuck off."


You wanna leave me a comment? Come on, you know you want to really . . . ;)