Chuggers: A licence to harass

In a Word . . . Chugger

 

Was at the supermarket checkout the other day. A charming young lady was collecting for some worthy local charity or other, there being only that kind.

Was strolling along oblivious near where I live the other day. A charming young man was collecting for a very worthy international development agency or other, there being only that kind.

Was walking up Dublin’s Grafton Street the other day, head low with many apologies, when a charming young lady peered from below to ask whether I would like to support her very worthy international charity or other, there being only that kind.

Have been scrolling down Facebook recently only to be accosted with ever more frequency by sundry appeals for money for this, that, and the other worthy cause, there being only that kind.

And all those earnest birthday appeals. You know the sort.

“My third cousin four times removed has a significant birthday coming up and I am raising (insert significant euro amount here) for protection of the lesser spotted sunny sloth now on the verge of extinction in inner Mongolia. Please give generously.”

It’s incessant. Impossible. Relentless. Inclement (without mercy).

They play on guilt with that don’t-be-such-a mean-bastard look.

Such beseeching, begging, imploring. All for others. Hah!

I ignore them. Every single one. No matter how young, charming, or worthy the cause, because I know and you know there is method at work here.

Chuggers, they call them, those on the streets waving their charms in your direction. They get commission. They are paid to solicit, and soliciting is what they do. Don’t be fooled.

It is extraordinary how they are allowed to continue this; that they are provided with a licence to harass, no matter how charmingly, and not least when most of the charities they solicit for are already well-funded from our taxes.

As for those overt virtue signallers raising “birthday present funds” on Facebook? Please, if you are feeling so generous, dig deep into your own pocket and give said hundreds of euro to the favoured charity and then let that third cousin four times removed know what you have done in their honour.

Better still, just buy them a present to mark the occasion.

We don’t have to know about it. Seriously!

Chugger, a combination of ‘charity’ and ‘mugger’ (one who attacks with intent to rob!)

inaword@irishtimes.com

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