art and news… and clipboards January 26th, 2012
Yesterday I went over to see Jill’s new apartment in Crystal
Shitty City. As I was getting off the metro, I was bombarded by this guy with a clipboard — you know the ones that are always getting you to donate to some sort of cause. I really can’t stand those people, and let me tell you why. I used to work above a Whole Foods and I pretty much ate there daily for about 6 years, so I’ve seen these people day in, and day out and they’re usually really pushy. The entrances to Whole Foods are like prime-o real estate for people trying to get money for causes. Maybe it is the sort of liberal-minded health food types that they are targeting there, and I’ve no doubt they’re right on with that, but lets not get into stereotypes. I know plenty of conservatives who shop at Whole Foods, too. Everyone loves delcious sushi and a salad bar. Undebatable. But while we’re on it, why do you never see those people outside of Giants??
Anyways, over the course of 6 years, I definitely stopped to talk to many of these people and learn more about their different causes. Save the Whales! support Solar Energy! Donate to Cancer! etc etc! Seriously, many of these are great causes. I am happy that people care about things, and let me clarify, it’s not the signature-collectors that bother me. If you need my signature and can explain why in 3 sentances or less, great, I will likely sign your paper. But what I can’t stand is being hit with fake, perky smiles, pens and clipboards in my face, and stupid ice-breaker questions (as in yesterday “Hello there, excuse me, can you tell me two things that everyone has?!”), when all you want is money. Especially not during my commute or my lunch break. My brain is on hiatus during these few spare moments.
In addition, I know these people are going to talk/make faces about me behind my back later. I can’t imagine that you stand on a street corner all day, trying to be friendly to people, and at the end of the day you feel really great about humanity or general personal kindness (see also: DC is rude). So yeah, I have no doubt that you must be making a srunched-up-sour face at me after I brush you off and pass by. But let me get to my point. I have plenty of causes that I find important, things that have affected my life, or my family directly, that I am happy to support or learn about. These are things that I have read about in my free time, taken an effort to truly learn about, and happiy give either my time or my money to without anyone seeking me out to do so.
So when you come rushing up to me on the street asking for my time and my money, I’m not going to drop everything and suddenly act like I give a hoot about whatever you are quickly pitching to me. I’m certainly not going to pledge money to something I just heard about 2 seconds ago and have had no time to look into. How do I know how legitimate you are? I once talked to a guy who wanted a minimum pledge of $20 to support a Solar Energy campaign. I asked him what percentage of my donation would go directly to the cause. He didn’t know the answer. I asked him if he was getting paid to do what he was doing. He tried the good old diversion tactic, and tried to focus my question back to the cause. As it turns out, I finally got it out of him that he was a paid position. So, did he really care about Solar Energy? Maybe. (hopefully). But he was also making his rent money, and possibly a commission, too? I wish I had asked that. And while I realize that this is certainly not true of all those clipboard people, it sure does make me skeptical.
So, if you were wondering, my answer to yesterdays question, “can you tell me two things that everyone has?” – I answered “A heart and a brain.” The guy liked my answer and told me so. I kinda wish I heard his actual answer after that, but I missed the rest of his speil, because Jill picked up her cell phone at that moment to give me directions to her place, as I had no idea where anything is in Crystal City. So yes, if you’re following along, I had my phone legitimately up to my ear the whole time I was walking by, and he *still* approached me to ask his weird ice-breaker question. I think they must teach you that in Clipboard Training School.
What they should really teach you, though:
2.) Lose the cheesy pick-up lines. If you can’t come up to me, in a normal indoor voice, and ask, “Hey, are you interested in hearing about XYZ…” and act like a human being instead of a desperate person in a loud bar, then I don’t wish to speak to you already. Even if your cause is for the unicorns.
3.) If I say no or act uninterested, just walk away. Do not, under any circumstances, yell things at my back like “OH OK, I guess you DON’T care about CANCER then.” I have had this happen. It makes everyone within a 50 foot radius feel embarrassed and makes you like a toddler. Also do not say, “Have a nice day” unless you mean it sincerely. I can hear that angsty, sarcastic teenager in your voice when you don’t mean it.
4.) Try to not touch me with your clipboard.
Whoa, how did I get on that tangent? I sat down to write about art and newspapers as in the accompanying photo, and then I had to amend the title of this post just now. The point is, I walked by these paintings and newspaper boxes, then Jill and I had dinner and then went to see My Week With Marilyn. It was a great movie, I thought, and hard to even tell it was Michelle Williams the whole time and not Marilyn herself. We did not opt to get the AMC-movie-voucher-swipey-rewards card, even though it was offered multiple times on our way in. I guess we’ll never reap tons of benefits and popcorn at the future date of our next trip to the movie theater… Annnd maybe that what all this is. I’m just tired of gimmicks and pitches, and hence the tangent above. Can’t I just get off the metro like a normal person, go to grocery with my own thoughts, or see a movie without having all these sideshows? Do I have to spend the moments of these normally pleasureable activities wondering if I’m a jerk for not donating to the cause or if I’m a bad, irresonsible person for not caring about saving that future dollar? There’s always something else.
And yes, lady, thank you for thinking of it, we will certainly do the next size popcorn for a dollar more.
tags: artwork, virginia
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