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Want to talk about Polar Bears?

Let me tell you something, working downtown you encounter all kinds of people; bums, hot dogs, tough guys, gangsters, hipsters, super hot girls, and everything in between. Of all the folks I encounter downtown (especially the 16th Street mall) my least favorite has to be the people soliciting donations for various organizations. You know the ones holding clipboards, usually working in pairs and ALWAYS saying something annoying to get your attention; examples: “Hey you look pretty cool want to talk about polar bears?”, “Wow that is really a great striped shirt can I have minute of your time?”, and my personal favorite “Do you have a minute to make sure children don’t go hungry?” I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not taking a shot at these organizations or the important work they do. Everybody (I think) likes it when the children have food (Save the Children), the environment is clean (Greenpeace) and our citizens have equal rights (ACLU). It just makes me wonder how much money they actually raise while engaged in this type of fund-raising.

Now that we have established who the people are and what they are doing the next question is: What to do when approached? When I first moved here I decided to chat up this cute girl working for Greenpeace, which quickly resulted in her asking “How much can you contribute on a monthly basis for a year?” I told her I could not contribute anything at this time to which she said: “What if everyone said no?” Hmmm, good question not one I am prepared to answer though (can you say quantitative research?!?). I have also tried the straight up ignore the solicitor however they get pretty creative with their opening lines and sometimes this can be tough. My favorite tactic to dodge these solicitors is the fake phone call. This one is pretty self explanatory. Pull out your phone press any button and start talking. A buddy of mine perhaps had the best advice of all: “Look them directly in the eye and say not today”. Let me tell you this one works pretty damn well.

Suffice to say I must have looked cooler than I really was because I didn’t end up talking about polar bears that day. Moving forward I am only going to give these solicitors a chance if they make me laugh. Example: “Hey I am a dipshit with a clipboard and zero friends want to contribute some money?” If hear something along those lines I may just set up a small monthly draft out of my checking account. Until then I will continue to take fake phone calls and employ other methods to avoid the wrath of these solicitors.

DB Cooper

2 Comments to Want to talk about Polar Bears?

  1. B Lento's Gravatar B Lento
    03/18/2011 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    My usual response is, “Sorry, I’ve got beer to drink.” In fact, I use that for just about everything and it just so happens I’m always telling the truth; so my karma bucks go up for not lying!

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