Sunday, January 1, 2012

Second day on the new job

Canvassing is not for everyone. I realized that two days ago (my second day), when I showed up to work and found the other new hire had quit. She only worked one day. It's easy to feel discouraged when you spend 8 hours of your day hearing "no". I can't remember if I discussed this in the first post, but canvassing is much more different than retail than I had realized. When you work in retail, the customer is already in your storefront with an intention of making a purchase. The difference is similar to writing a cover letter for an advertised position and writing a cover letter asking for a company to create a position - you're starting from zero. This person on the street wants to just get to work, get their lunch, meet their friend, get to the next tourist spot. Some think they're being harassed and shout, others politely decline. And you keep that smile on your face because you live with the hope that someone in this city cares that a child will die tonight, and wants to do something about it.

So far the most frustrating experience for me is the apathy. I get all the way through my spiel about the urgency of the issue, yet I get the same "not today". We spend so much money on silly things yet we can't take even a dollar a day to help those who have nothing.

About a year or two ago I was in a relationship with a man who I felt spent his money on silly things. I meanwhile have to be careful with my money due to my low wages and high student loans. But when a friend of mine e-mailed me and told me about a boy she worked with in Zambia and how $400 USD was urgently needed for a surgical procedure, I sent some money to him. Not much, since I had about $40 in the bank at the time, but I sent $10. She raised $400 in a few hours just by asking her friends. I told my boyfriend at the time and he said, "$400? I spend that in just one weekend out!" But did he offer a donation?

Please, if you're not going to give to a canvasser, give somewhere. Donate to any cause you support, and donate on a regular basis. We don't go out and buy a fire truck and install fire hydrants every time there is a fire. We pay a little bit each month to ensure we have the protection of the fire department when we need it. Charitable organizations work the same way - they need to plan their income for the year so that they may determine how to best use their funds. Now I just need to convey this information better on the street.


  1. Thanks for clarifying in the end. your initial comment "And you keep that smile on your face because you live with the hope that someone in this city cares that a child will die tonight, and wants to do something about it. " made me want to comment. I think I mentioned in on facebook before, not signing up on the street does not mean I don't care, it means (and I assume I am not the only one) that too many scams have ruined our trust in canvassing. I donate via secure organisations and (hopefully)secure banking systems. So don't give up, even if people don't stop, maybe they remember you, go home and look up your organization and donate!

  2. Thanks for your comment. It's true there are many who can't afford the level of commitment this charity asks, and there are many others who are weary of scams. I just hope some of those out there will donate to something.