I’ve just sent a charity collector packing. I am an uncontrollable ball of rollercoastering impatience, irritation, spitting rage and emotional brink-teetering. In short: I am a fucking angry woman.
If I was a fucking smartarse sitting on the outside watching my actions then I’d probably say something übercunty like “Someone’s got PMS!” and yes, they’d be right. But it’s not that simple.
PMS for me is like a chemical amplifier. Confrontational charity collectors fuck me off to high heaven on a regular basis. Seriously, who doesn’t want to scream “Fuck the fuck OFF, I am not giving my fucking direct debit details to a complete stranger with a fucking clipboard! YOU MUST TAKE ME FOR A COMPLETE FUCKING WOODENTOP. AND I FUCKING DESPISE DOGS.” and then throw the nearest object at them? In my case, probably my enormous handbag, the weight of which could floor a 15 stone man and have me up on charges of ABH. Under normal hormonal circumstances I would just gruffly saying “no thank you” in the most inconvenienced tone I could muster. Today I said:
“Can you not read?” And pointed to the sign on our door.
“I’m not selling anything, I just wanted to ask about this” came the reply from the man emblazoned from top to toe in the logo of a well known charity, pointing at the box of de-icer on our porch,
“I’m not stupid, Don’t talk shit.”
Door closes firmly. Daughter asks “who was that mummy?” I reply loud enough for Annoying Charity Bastard to hear “Just someone who thinks mummy is a fucking idiot darling”.
It’s not that I don’t believe in charity either. I am a firm and flag waving supporter of Give and MakeUp, collecting and regularly shipping boxes of essentials to victims of domestic violence. I have wholeheartedly supported my friends fundraising activities for charities such as Tommy’s, Vivi’s Venture and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust to the tune of several hundred pounds in the last couple of years. If you can then you should. My problem is that no-one should be pushed, forced, coerced or duped into handing over their hard-earned.
Many years ago when I was a mere marketing pup, I did a short stint at an agency who looked after the direct mail requirements for an incredibly well-known charity. I was appointed the manager for their account and when I wasn’t making excuses to hang out in the design studio and drink tea and sharpen pencils with the in-house typographer and illustrator (I know! That was old-school even then), I had to deal with taking briefs for this particular charities campaign creative requirements. It was big budget. Fucking huge, in fact. I genuinely could not believe that they had so much money to spend. So young, so naive…
So when it came to taking the creative brief, I was expecting to run riot with creative and do something really special. I was stunned to hear the words “make it look as cheap as possible”. I was even more stunned when I learned the cost of a cheap-looking creative execution. It was fucking spendy enough to make my principles itch and I soon left for pastures new and less turd-filled. There have been times when I’ve kicked myself for it (the salary was gooooood and I’d have ended up living in That London), but on balance I probably would have ended up like many of the ad agency workers I’ve made the acquaintance of over the years – cocaine dependent (the end result of bucks to big charities – salaries spent on gak by stressed out marketers), sleep-deprived and constantly fearing for my job in an uncertain industry. But on the upside, I’ve learnt without cost that questioning everything and by working on the fundamental principle that ‘trust isn’t bought, but earned’ you won’t end up being on the receiving end of an unnecessary direct debit.
So if chuggers make your shit itch and you want to kick the tv screen whenever there is an ‘appeal’ (because they’re not adverts, dontchknow? Grrrr…) and you are of a mind to make charitable donations that go to people not marketing departments, then do yourself and some very deserving people a favour and go to the following places:
Give and MakeUp – you can drop off donations for this amazing charity to me at Bovilles Art Shop, Maidenhead.