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Chuggers chuggers everywhere

By Barcham 12 November 2013 90

Chuggers

Rioter Harold sends us this image and this simple warning…

The chuggers have returned.

As someone who buys lunch in the city every day I can tell you that they never left, they’re usually just in Garema place near Games Capital instead of out here on the city walk.

Still worth noting, and worth getting ready for.

Prepare your headphones, sunglasses, and best “don’t you dare try that manipulative guilt-tripping harassment on me” looks people, the chuggers are out and about.

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Chuggers chuggers everywhere
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Pitchka 3:09 pm 15 Nov 13

Id like to see one chugger go to another chugger, and ask that they hand over their CC details.

SheepGroper 3:01 pm 15 Nov 13

Tim33 said :

Actually I’d like to ask one of those nice European Chugger women for a root and tell her straight up that I will sign up if I get said root. She wants something and so do I. It probably won’t work though.

If her grasp of Australian slang is weak you might just get a carrot.

JazzyJess 1:41 pm 15 Nov 13

I got bailed up three times by chuggers from different charities this morning in Garema Place.

Barcham 11:37 am 15 Nov 13

Let’s look at those two parts; “manipulating people’s better natures” and “personal financial gain” separately. I’ll take the latter first.

What is wrong (unethical) about charities using professional efficient and effective fundraisers?

Is it because in your eyes the “nobility of the cause” is somehow diminished by it? If so then isn’t that a very selfish way of looking at charity? Thinking of charity through the perspective of “how noble it is” has lead to some very suboptimal outcomes for the receivers of charity. The charity contracting the fundraisers, is responsible to its cause. Their duty is to act in the best interests of the cause, not to maximise the sense of righteous virtue amongst those involved. Charities are becoming more professional – this is a good thing.

No I mean the chuggers themselves are making a profit off manipulating people. These people make money off every subscription, and they resort to means I don’t think appropriate to get that money.

Of course charities need to make money, and should attempt to be as efficient as possible (within the bounds of ethics and laws).

In terms of your ideas that charity should not have to be noble, or that their nobility is defined solely by what they do for people, I disagree entirely. What logically produces the best solution for the most people isn’t always the right course of action. One could argue that if Unicef decided to murder the richest 1% of the population and distrubute their wealth amongst the poorest 50%, they would end up making more people happy than sad (a definition you put up previously to determine what is ethical), but I’d still call it unethical. Charity, like everything in life, needs to be done right.

I never said something can’t be “rude, illegal, sacrilegious, and unethical all at once”. But I am saying that manners and ethics are INDEPENDENT (not mutually exclusive as you are implying). What is your ethical argument?

Mine is that the greater good, enabled by the “chuggers” fundraising far outweighs the minor inconvenience that their actions cause to you and me.

If you agree that something can be rude and unethical, then stop telling people that this is not a question of ethics but manners. It can be both.

My argument is that “the greater good” is no reasonable excuse for anything, and is not a shortcut to calling a behaviour ethical. See my example above.

You want their activities banned or curtailed. Fine. But then you MUST take ownership of the extra children dying from preventable disease for lack of the vaccinations that otherwise would have been available; the heightened misery that families or individual feel in tragic circumstances for the lack of charity support services that might otherwise have been available to them; the extra children dying from malnutrition and lack of medicine.

But don’t worry – at least no one will make you feel a pang of guilt as you rush down the street to get your favourite coffee.

Appeal to emotion. This little rant doesn’t change the facts of the argument one piece and is just an attempt to make me feel bad, and you feel superior.

I thought you were all about logic?

zorro29 10:58 am 15 Nov 13

chewy14 said :

I honestly thought this would be one of (and possibly only) issue on which all rioters would agree about.

Chuggers should be locked up in stocks on City walk where we can laugh and throw things at them. I’d actually pay money to charity to be able to do it. Possible new marketing technique for them?

Too much to wish for….you know people just /have/ to be oppositional around here. The ones defending chugging should wear a sign saying “open to chuggers” and distract them all while we go about our days peacefully. 🙂

howeph 10:41 am 15 Nov 13

Barcham said :

Correct me if I’m wrong but that can be summarised to: “I think it’s unethical because I find it rude, socially awkward and annoying.”

Incorrect. I’m saying that it’s unethical because it involves manipulating people’s better natures for personal financial gain.

Let’s look at those two parts; “manipulating people’s better natures” and “personal financial gain” separately. I’ll take the latter first.

What is wrong (unethical) about charities using professional efficient and effective fundraisers?

Is it because in your eyes the “nobility of the cause” is somehow diminished by it? If so then isn’t that a very selfish way of looking at charity? Thinking of charity through the perspective of “how noble it is” has lead to some very suboptimal outcomes for the receivers of charity. The charity contracting the fundraisers, is responsible to its cause. Their duty is to act in the best interests of the cause, not to maximise the sense of righteous virtue amongst those involved. Charities are becoming more professional – this is a good thing.

Perhaps it is the idea that someone is making a profit from charity? Get over it. Charities buy goods and services from companies every day of the week. Professional fundraising is just another such service. Perhaps you are concerned about excessive profits? Well I have no direct knowledge of the industry put it seems like a pretty simple business model, that would be easily replicated – I’d imagine that healthy competition in a free market should keep profits under control.

“[I]t’s unethical because it involves manipulating people’s better natures… ” This idea has already been dealt with:

howeph said :

zorro29 said :

The fact that the methods are coercive and badgering…

Marketing and advertising could be described as “coercive and badgering”. Is that unethical too?

I get that you don’t like having your “better natures manipulated”. If that was the sum total of what’s going on then I would agree with you. But the mild discomfort that we all collectively feel is so overwhelmingly outweighed by the potential misery averted through the “chuggers” raising of money for charity that your argument fails.

Barcham said :

Yes ethics is a standalone thing. Yes social etiquette/laws/religious beliefs are different things. However that in no way means that a break in rules of etiquette cannot also be unethical, in fact I’d argue that most social etiquette/laws/religious beliefs are based on ideas of ethics.

Something can be rude, illegal, sacrilegious, and unethical all at once. So stop trying to state something is manners INSTEAD of ethics. It can be both, and my position is that it is exactly that.

I never said something can’t be “rude, illegal, sacrilegious, and unethical all at once”. But I am saying that manners and ethics are INDEPENDENT (not mutually exclusive as you are implying). What is your ethical argument?

Mine is that the greater good, enabled by the “chuggers” fundraising far outweighs the minor inconvenience that their actions cause to you and me.

You want their activities banned or curtailed. Fine. But then you MUST take ownership of the extra children dying from preventable disease for lack of the vaccinations that otherwise would have been available; the heightened misery that families or individual feel in tragic circumstances for the lack of charity support services that might otherwise have been available to them; the extra children dying from malnutrition and lack of medicine.

But don’t worry – at least no one will make you feel a pang of guilt as you rush down the street to get your favourite coffee.

poetix 9:44 am 15 Nov 13

L_Observer said :

….

I have no particular persuasion towards any political party, but I recognize anserine comments when I see them.

I don’t.

Is an anserine comment one that is made of citrus and answers back?

milkman 6:48 am 15 Nov 13

Queen_of_the_Bun said :

I used to be a total mug for chuggers. I simply could not say no. It got to the point of being completely unaffordable and I had to cut some of the payments and HTFU.

Sorry Howeph, but I think it IS unethical of companies to build a business model based on making people feel guilty – for not wanting to make eye contact with a charming stranger because you know they are going to ask you for money, for being middle class in a first world country, for being able-bodied, etc – and using that guilt to gouge them for money.

I now just say to chuggers – “I’m sorry. I donate monthly to charities and NGOs that I have a long-standing relationship with” – but I don’t tell them that the relationship started with a chugger! – “please give me some information, I will read it tonight when I get home, and if I want to support this organisation, I will email them asking them how to set up a monthly payment and I will let them know that you were my introduction to their work.”

This usually works okay – we have a mutually respectful conversation and sometimes the charity does get me to sign up.

It certainly works a lot better than my earlier tactic of getting the mobile phone out and pretending to take a call while walking past – very embarrassing when my phone started ringing when I was already at the “ahem, um, um” stage of my imaginary conversation.

Why explain yourself at all? These people don’t give a stuff if you donate elsewhere, they just need your details so they can get paid.

milkman 6:46 am 15 Nov 13

Tim33 said :

Pitchka said :

HannahMontana said :

A lot of them are young, attractive and have really exotic accents. My friend has already signed up to two charities because she thought two of the guys were cute! They may be really annoying but it works!

Actually I’d like to ask one of those nice European Chugger women for a root and tell her straight up that I will sign up if I get said root. She wants something and so do I. It probably won’t work though.

Ask her if she’d sleep with Shia LeBeouf if she was paid a million dollars. Then if she slaps you, explain that you’ve already established her line of business, and are now just negotiating the price.

Barcham 11:16 pm 14 Nov 13

L_Observer said :

Barcham’s claims that his “one sarcastic editorial comment about the Prime Minister does not harassment make”. Presumably his comment at #21 on the same article means that “I’m not picking on Tony because he’s a Liberal, I’m picking on him because he’s a horrible human being who is doing horrible things.” constitutes a second ‘sarcastic editorial comment’.
I have no particular persuasion towards any political party, but I recognize anserine comments when I see them.

You’re still confusing me making negative comments with harassment. If I followed Tony around saying mean things to him then sure, harassment. Saying something mean about him online is not harassment.

Also why do you keep talking about me like I’m not here?

Tim33 11:08 pm 14 Nov 13

Pitchka said :

HannahMontana said :

A lot of them are young, attractive and have really exotic accents. My friend has already signed up to two charities because she thought two of the guys were cute! They may be really annoying but it works!

Well in that case you could:
1) ask them for a root/
2) tell them to fark off, which is my preferred approach (i get laid enough).

Actually I’d like to ask one of those nice European Chugger women for a root and tell her straight up that I will sign up if I get said root. She wants something and so do I. It probably won’t work though.

Queen_of_the_Bun 9:34 pm 14 Nov 13

Barcham said :

Aeek said :

RedDogInCan said :

if it follows the rule that “one should do unto others as they would have done unto them”

By that measure, heterosexual sex is unethical.

And thus we’ve concluded that gay marriage is the only ethical option.

PROBLEM SOLVED!

+1.
You are very funny Barcham.

Queen_of_the_Bun 8:47 pm 14 Nov 13

I used to be a total mug for chuggers. I simply could not say no. It got to the point of being completely unaffordable and I had to cut some of the payments and HTFU.

Sorry Howeph, but I think it IS unethical of companies to build a business model based on making people feel guilty – for not wanting to make eye contact with a charming stranger because you know they are going to ask you for money, for being middle class in a first world country, for being able-bodied, etc – and using that guilt to gouge them for money.

I now just say to chuggers – “I’m sorry. I donate monthly to charities and NGOs that I have a long-standing relationship with” – but I don’t tell them that the relationship started with a chugger! – “please give me some information, I will read it tonight when I get home, and if I want to support this organisation, I will email them asking them how to set up a monthly payment and I will let them know that you were my introduction to their work.”

This usually works okay – we have a mutually respectful conversation and sometimes the charity does get me to sign up.

It certainly works a lot better than my earlier tactic of getting the mobile phone out and pretending to take a call while walking past – very embarrassing when my phone started ringing when I was already at the “ahem, um, um” stage of my imaginary conversation.

L_Observer 6:25 pm 14 Nov 13

Barcham’s claims that his “one sarcastic editorial comment about the Prime Minister does not harassment make”. Presumably his comment at #21 on the same article means that “I’m not picking on Tony because he’s a Liberal, I’m picking on him because he’s a horrible human being who is doing horrible things.” constitutes a second ‘sarcastic editorial comment’.
I have no particular persuasion towards any political party, but I recognize anserine comments when I see them.

Barcham 5:55 pm 14 Nov 13

Aeek said :

RedDogInCan said :

if it follows the rule that “one should do unto others as they would have done unto them”

By that measure, heterosexual sex is unethical.

And thus we’ve concluded that gay marriage is the only ethical option.

PROBLEM SOLVED!

howeph 5:27 pm 14 Nov 13

I want to give a more expansive response later (maybe not today) but first I want to correct what looks like a misunderstanding:

Barcham said :

howeph said :

However I think the best approach is a utilitarian argument. The ethical action is the one that maximises overall “happiness”. Here we pit the minor inconvenience that we are collectively subjected to by “chuggers” against the real benefits that the money raised enables the charities to perform.

For me that calculus is a no brainer.

Please note I have constrained my analysis purely to the ethics of the activity. Arguments instead about its effectiveness, particularly in the longer term I think may have more merit.

You’re having your cake and eating it too. You only want to talk about the activity itself, but you bring in consequentialism and utilitarianism.

“I don’t want to talk about anything but this small thing, but when you look at the bigger picture it’s the best thing for the most amount of people.”

Pick one.

I should have written “Please note I have constrained my analysis purely to the ethics of the issue” instead of “activity”. So I meant to “pick” the big picture option, from an ethics perspective.

Sorry for the confusion.

Aeek 5:02 pm 14 Nov 13

RedDogInCan said :

if it follows the rule that “one should do unto others as they would have done unto them”

By that measure, heterosexual sex is unethical.

chewy14 4:55 pm 14 Nov 13

I honestly thought this would be one of (and possibly only) issue on which all rioters would agree about.

Chuggers should be locked up in stocks on City walk where we can laugh and throw things at them. I’d actually pay money to charity to be able to do it. Possible new marketing technique for them?

howeph 4:54 pm 14 Nov 13

RedDogInCan said :

howeph said :

Cool. So you are charged with demonstrating that it is unethical… Lets try and distil your argument from this post:

If Howeph had read a bit further down the Wikipedia page on ethics, they would have come to deontology, the approach to ethics that determines goodness or rightness from examining acts, or the rules and duties that the person doing the act strove to fulfill. In deontology, an act may be considered right even if the act produces a bad consequence, if it follows the rule that “one should do unto others as they would have done unto them”, and even if the person who does the act lacks virtue and had a bad intention in doing the act.

Yes I did read that, and even started to try and formulate Bachram’s argument into that form. But I a) didn’t feel it was right to start putting words into his mouth; and b) for brevity decided to delete it. Now I regret it.

RedDogInCan said :

Barcham’s argument is that chuggers act towards him in a way that he would not consider as an acceptable way for him to act towards others. From the deontology point of view, this is a valid argument.

The problem with deontology, or rule based ethics, is that the outcome seems to depends on what rules you choose to follow.

From Bachram’s post the rules he seems to be following is that of what’s socially polite. I can think of obvious extreme examples where following such rules are stupid and clearly unethical e.g. When exiting a burning plane after a crash you don’t say “After you. No, no after You” when deciding who jumps down the slide first whilst your fellow passengers are burning to death behind you. Hence why ethics is not about following social conventions.

You’ve nominated the single rule that “one should do unto others as they would have done unto them”. Well speaking for myself I would have the “chuggers” ask me for donations, just never aggressively. I think they provide a valuable service. This rule to me seems rather arbitary and subjective.

An alternative, and what would be my preferred rule, is the rule utilitarianism. But this just makes the deontological argument the same as my original simple utilitarian argument above.

This, compared to th

Barcham 4:41 pm 14 Nov 13

L_Observer said :

Hilarious comment from Barcham: “Harassment is wrong….”.
In the last week alone, this guy has submitted us to (weekly) naughty parking; told us “How much do you want to bet that by this time next year Tony (Abbott) will have downgraded Medicare so that it only covers the use of leeches and amputation?’; and headlined an article “Want to see a truck driver act like a jerk” and then gives the number of the plate.

The parking photos harass no one, one sarcastic editorial comment about the Prime Minister does not harassment make, and I did not release the plate number, the person who uploaded the video did. I merely reported it.

I probably shouldn’t have called him a jerk though to be fair.

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