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Chuggers ! August 3, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery, Ireland & the Irish.

For those of you who are lucky enough not yet to have been accosted by clip-board wielding pushy types, the word “chugger” is a contraction of the words ‘charity’ and ‘mugger’. They are those young, hoppy, happy, clappy trendy types who stand on street corners and ask you for 5 minutes of your time.

Today I got chugged. And they didn’t seem to want to take no for an answer. Picture the scene – I am walking through town and it’s thronged with people enjoying what little is left of the summer sunshine.

50 yards away she spots me. Our eyes met only for a fleeting moment but despite me slowing down, looking away and (as a last straw) playing with my mobile phone, she had me. Almost jumping out into my path I had already begun to shake my head and say “Sorry ! I’m on my lunch” when she usurped me and echoed in words what had been going through my head “Oh you’re on your lunch – right – surely you could spare 5 minutes for charity ?” Not wanting to seem completely impolite and just ignore her, I slowed down and made up a paltry excuse about not having time and I was meeting someone and so on … but to no avail. I was caught.

So what does one do in that situation – I mean these people are paid to stand there and try to get as many people as possible to donate to their charity. But as I found out, they have some strict rules governing their conduct. Number one is they can’t ask you for money – they must try and get you to sign a direct debit form so that the money goes directly to the charity. Another one is they aren’t allowed to “rattle the tin” so to speak. And you can’t be made to feel bad for not doing it. They must also tell you they are being paid.

So instead of my chugger starting her automatic spiel about her charity, I landed a few questions on her doorstep and found out the above. When she was finished, I quite politely told her I wasn’t interested and having thanked me for my time, she walked away.

So my first chugger experience wasn’t altogether unpleasant …

Technorati tags : Irishblogs : Ireland



1. Jamie - January 1, 2007

Just searching on google and found your site. It was ranked fairly high on google to. Anyway just looking around to see why.

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