Saturday, February 03, 2007


...just confuses me*

In York, as in most cities in the UK, there are people that stop you in the street to tell you about charities. Like most British people I avoid these people. I'm not really sure why I don't stop and talk to them, I just know it'll depress me somehow.

And yesterday I did talk to one and I was right with my original assumptions.

It was my own fault, I was distracted after buying some headache tablets that I really needed to take soon so didn't notice the girl coming up in front of me. Then when she said "Hello" I thought she was trying to chat me up as she looked rather cute. By the time I got close to her and noticed she wasn't that cute (too spotty around the chin) or actually just talking to me because I looked nice I couldn't get away.

She told me about the charity she was working for in her lovely Nor'n Irish accent**. (Instead of volunteering to pester people she was actually being paid to do this.) And the charity did sound useful, although her speech sounded a bit rehearsed and too prepared. Then she started asking me how much money I could give. After a really lame joke ("Surely you can give fifty quid a week?") she decided on the price of a beer a week.

Now I would have been happy to give two quid a week to that charity, but after I'd done some research into them, and I told Nor'n Irish Girl that. She didn't really accept that as an answer and asked me again for my name, address and bank details. I didn't want to give my details out to anyone in the street whether they worked for a charity or not.

Nor'n Irish Girl tried a different tack "But you don't mind giving your bank details to shops? Or on the internet?" That argument didn't really fly with me, as at least when I give my bank card to a shop I have to put my pin in and when I buy stuff online I check the company out thoroughly.

She tried again, "You'll get a welcome pack discussing what we do, and you'll get a phone call where you can cancel the direct debit". Considering she told me they were meant to be cutting down on admin costs I found a welcome pack a bit of a silly thing to have, but I kept that quiet.

In addition to that if I was to give to a charity I wouldn't want to have the money to go out of my bank account. I'd use Give As You Earn. With this the money come out of your gross salary so if you donate ten pounds a month it only results in you losing seven pounds out of your net salary, due to tax relief.

Eventually I managed, by having to get really, really mardy, into allowing her to let me go. But I could tell she wasn't happy about letting me go without getting my details. Perhaps she was interested in me for my looks? I reckon she would've got a cut of my donation though, chicks eh? Only interested in your money.

* The closest lyric that mentions Charity that I could find.

** I'm not joking about this. The Northern Irish accent is really wonderful to me. Probably only second to the proper Irish accent. Any country where you can't just say "Thanks" but have to say "Thanks a million" has to be great.

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