OPINION: Chuggers beware, we are on to you
HAVE you ever been in this situation?
You're at a shopping centre, or a mall, with a long list of things to get done and not enough time to fit it all in.
You're minding your own business when some hyperactive young person leaps in your way, wearing a 'Red Cross' or 'Doctors San Borders' t-shirt, thrusting their hand out or waving at you trying to get your attention.
Then come those dreaded 'open' questions such as 'Do you want to look ten years younger?' or my favourite 'Do you want to help starving children in Africa?', which of course, we all have to say 'yes' to.
You know these people. Some call them 'Charity Workers', some call them 'Fundraising Angels'.
I call them what they are. A pain in the butt.
The official term for these invaders of my private space is 'Chugger', made up from the words 'Charity Mugger'.
The truth is that often these 'marketing' companies offer free flights to people in return for them selling donations.
A recent investigation in the UK by the BBC discovered that the fees charged by these collection companies are so high that the charity pays more money to get your signature, than most people donate in the first year.
One staff member in the QT office said that when she sees these people she puts on her 'Resting B*tch Face' which says 'Don't mess with me…I'm a woman on a mission!' She showed us in the office and it was pretty scary. I actually dropped my VoVo into my tea from the fear.
Trust me, I've been married for 18 years so I know the terror that face puts into a bloke.
There's two ways to beat these Chuggers. One is to donate directly on the website of your chosen charity so you know that 100% of that money is going to the charity. The other is to play...
'Dazza's Chugger B Gone Game'
Next time you're in the shopping centre, all the family can play this fun, interactive game, so see who can get the most points when approached by a Chugger.
- 1 pt: Say 'Sorry, can't stop…there's a red spot special on underpants at the supermarket'
- 2 pts: Look at the chugger and say 'Me no speekee Eeenglish seen yore. Sorry. Sorry.'
- 3 pts: Say 'Oh my God…how are you? Long time no see, how's your mum?' Then run away.
- 4 pts: When they ask you a question cluck like a chicken while shifting from foot to foot, and don't stop. They'll think you're mad and give up…eventually.
- 5 pts: Keep reaching round to your bottom and say "I'm sorry I can't stop…I need to find a toilet cos I think I've just soiled myself. Can you come with me just in case? Please? You're a charity worker you must be a wonderful humanitarian."
Go for it, and make sure you post your score on your Facebook page so your friends can join the fun. See if you can beat my personal high score of 14 points in one afternoon.