Monday, December 14, 2009


'Tis the season of giving...I know.

It seems more so at this time of year, that every check out line you go to asks if you want to donate a dollar or round up your total to benefit "fill-in-the-blank" charity.

I give faithfully every month to a non-profit that I'm involved in, Square Peg. On top of that, I give to several other charities through my work's charitable giving fund.

So when I'm asked that question, I don't really feel bad about saying, No thank you. I know I may come across as a scrooge but I don't really want to hold up the line and explain that I'm not a scrooge, I just give to other places. Normally, the cashier is very nice about it and I've never gotten the impression they thought any less of me...

...until this weekend.

I was shopping at one my favorite stores. So that this one idiotic employee doesn't ruin the image of the whole chain I won't tell you the name of this teeny-bopper store who's name is the same as a popular children's book spider web.

He was very nice and upbeat when he greeted me. He asked me if I wanted to add any accessories to my purchase because they were on sale. I politely said, "No thank you. Not this time." He was fine with that and continued being upbeat and positive.

Then came the question.

"Would you like to donate $1 to _____________________ charity?" While I know this charity does great things, I gave him my standard answer of "No thank you."

His tone IMMEDIATELY changed.

You would have thought I shot his dog, stole his ice cream cone, or told him there was no such thing as Santa! Literally, his facial expression changed, his voice dropped 15 octaves and the light in him was gone...

...all because I wouldn't give one more dollar to one more charity.

It infuriated me! Had I been bolder I would have said something to him. But I'm a chicken, so we continued with the transaction and he told me my total.

The next thing out his mouth was even more appalling.

"Would you like to round up your total?" he asked.

"For what?" I inquired.

"For [the afforementioned fill-in-the-blank charity]" he depressingly said.


"No thank you. I already give to other charities" I responded.

My blood pressure was boiling at this point and it had now become a matter of principal more than the money. Yes, I could have afforded the dollar. Yes, I could have afforded the 30 cents of rounding the total...but that's NOT the point!

That guy probably thought I was the rudest, stingiest, crabbiest person because I wouldn't donate to this very worthwhile charity. But what he doesn't know is that aside from donating money I also donate my time whenever I can.

What aggrevated me the most is that his level of service immediately changed when he ASSUMED that I'm president of the scrooge fan club.

What about you? Do you normally donate? Am I out of line? I just feel like you've got to draw a line somewhere.


Lauren Kelly said...

Seriously, that was WAY out of line for him, and for the record.... I haven't shopped at Charlotte Russe in forever, and that makes me not want to ever go back, ha!

mom said...

I don't mind saying "No Thank You" either because dad and I both give through work, church, Square Peg, Susan G. Komen, Diabetes Foundation and other organizations when the need arises. STAND YOUR GROUND!!!!!!! Wonder if HE gives or "rounds up"!

Jillian, Inc said...

The only charity I donate to with the extra $1 at a store is St. Judes. Otherwise, I say no. I've also had sales clerks who respond the very same way as the guy you encountered and I speak my mind to them about minding their own business...and ask him how much he donated and rounded up.

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