Monday, October 22, 2007

Telethon rant

Yesterday, the annual rotating charity telethon took place, with donations reaching an all-time high of 210 MNOK. This year, UNICEF and HIV-infected children got the donations, which is cool indeed.

What's not so cool, however, is the degree of PC-thuggery going into the "knockin' on your door and demanding cash" part of the telethon. Maybe it's just here in Trondheim, but it's very difficult to experience any joy of giving whatsoever when what meets you when you open the door is some impatient individual who not only expects you to give a donation, but also has definite expectations as to the minimum "acceptable" amount. It sure doesn't feel like giving to charity when you're met with that attitude. Rather, it feels like a personally collected tax. Especially when the people showing up act like they're collecting a debt way after the deadline. When you roll up to someone's door and ask for money, at least have the decency to know your role.

This year we missed the PC thugs because - ironically - we were out withdrawing cash to have on hand when they showed up, since we forgot to do that on Saturday. Weird - giving money to this telethon is so worked into the Norwegian behavioral pattern that I actually felt the need to explain our absence. Anyways - we probably just missed them, but when we came back, there was a curt and snide note on our door basically stating that since we had been absent when they came to collect, we should phone a provided phone number, thereby donating 175 NOK. Not even the slightest hint of "Please donate" or "We really appreciate your donation". Just - since you weren't here, call this number and donate 175 NOK. So apparently is donating mandatory, but you don't get a choice in determining the amount.

I do not react well to being bullied - or rather, when attempts are made to bully me. This is simply holier-than-thou, PC thuggery by people who probably don't contribute much to society on a regular basis, being that they feel the need to elevate themselves to the guardians of humanity.

I sincerely hope this is just a local phenomenon rather than an indication of how this is being conducted nationally.


Anders said...

I once sent an angry e-mail to UNICEF due to commercial spam. Even got a reply and an apology from the general secretary (the Norwegian one). Maybe not one of my finest moments, but you got to respect people and their wishes even if you have a good cause.

For what it's worth, the people that came on our door were very friendly and pleasant.

Wilhelm said...

We never met the "collectors" this year, but I'm glad to hear that the people knockin' on your door were cool. The causes are way too worthy for them to be tainted by some overly competitive people trying to raise the bar for their district.