21 December 2005

Daily Harrassment in Garema Place

| blingblingbears
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Now I’m sure I have seen this topic mentioned on RA previously (and of course I could not find the link), but the next time a stranger holding a folder comes up to me in Garema Place saying “How are you, can I just ask you one question?” I am going to deck them. Ususally I just say “no thanks” or “you already asked me one question” but I am just so fed up with how bad it is getting!

When I am walking through Garema Place is it just me? Do I have some invisible sign on my forehead stating “please bother me during my short and precious lunch break or when I am tired and just want to get to my car to go home and veg after a long stressful day at work”? Or is there just a never ending supply of idiots who like to bother people for their “good cause”.

Please don’t think that I am against any charities or the save the rainforests, etc type of appeals. I actually donate very generously every year to a number of charities. But seriously, is there not a better way of making people aware of a particular issue? Put a poster/billboard up. Set up a stall and let people who have the time and are in the mood for it come to you. Organise a fun and appealing fundraising event. Talk to the media.

Just walking through Garema Place you will see the general public walking in zigzags to avoid being harrased and when they do get cornered, just walk around the person to get away. The last few weeks have even seen them emerge out to carparks and the interchange to harass people! This is ridiculous! I really think that I will have to start wearing a t-shirt that says “leave me alone, i dont care and i dont want to answer your one stupid question” everytime I go out in public!

Anyone else have any good deterrent suggestions?

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midnitecalla9:11 pm 02 Jan 06

Was in Newcastle recently and was approached by a person “chugging” for a dive school.

i told him i had a perforated ear drum, worked like a charm!

My best experience was trying to use up some film in my camera. I told the whoever they were, possibly amnesty, guys they could talk to me if I could take their photo. Got some nice pics too.

Absent Diane11:40 am 23 Dec 05

I too like religious debate with morons

Absent Diane10:42 am 23 Dec 05

I had a funny one with some guys pushing paintballng where they asked me if I had played paintball before… in response I stopped smiled appreciatevly said yes I have thanks for asking and walked off…… reliving that in my head had me entertained for hours….

I have found in the past if you stop and talk with them (if you have time) can be quite entertaining. I used this line on a JW once “I don’t care about your message although you seem like a nice enough person so I’ll have a chat.” gets them completely off guard and they have to talk about something else. They are not good at talking about other stuff so you can play with them.


I alternate between stony stare, and pleasant smile ‘sorry not today’. Either works – but the key is to KEEP WALKING – don’t even break stride.
But why should we have to perfect these techniques just to go out and buy a sandwich?

Next time approached by a junkie, a chugger, an random weirdo wanting to sell ‘smile’ stickers or mythical art – make eye contact with them first and start patting your pockets and look slightly confused – ask them if they might have any change for parking. Seems to work well for me, and the look of dissapointment you get is worth the effort.

dragcity_cowgirl3:41 pm 22 Dec 05

BTW the Salvos are not so benign…their zero tolerance drug policy as espoused by sometime advisor to Prime Minister Mr Garrison and Chief PoohBah Watters causes more harm than it prevents [IMHO]

dragcity_cowgirl3:34 pm 22 Dec 05

I guess my responses are:

(1)Emanate the don’t come near me vibe…I’m working on a prototype “death ray stare” and it will cost you more in doctors bills than it is worth.

(2)Plain ignoring

(3)[If I am in a communicative mood] …”I didn’t come out to be annoyed by you”

(4)[Should the annoyer have a religious agenda] …”I don’t give a flying f***k about religious presecution in [insert relevant country]”

But there is one issue I have a problem with … how to dispense with begging from a certain purveyor of “photocopy art” orf dragons and other mythical products of his imagination that ranges from wheedling needling pathetic begging through to agggressive demands that they need so much by midnight and it is your duty to ensure he has that for whatever purpose he has synthesised for the day…if you have a permanent solution for that one for me I’ll buy ya a Guinness @ the Phoenix [where said panhandler is banned]

Samuel Gordon-Stewart12:41 pm 22 Dec 05

My money is on the space goat.

Outside Coles in Manuka is also notorious for this type of thing. I just say “NO” and keep walking.

Nice one Daffyd.

Bodhi – fair call, but a girl I work with tried that. The guy wouldn’t let her leave and eventually trotted out “well I guess you’re just not a good person then!”. Chugger scumbag.

She was pretty upset, and sadly no amount of convincing could get her to complain to the Red Cross.

How about screaming at the top of your lungs “Why are you asking me for money, for I’m the only gay in the village”, and prance off.

Take a dozen tennis balls and your bat: chuggers are great for target practice, for the on-drive. If they catch it, only then donate $2…

Not to mention swinging your cricket bat menacingly, hey Thumper?!

I’m just back from GP, not a chugger in sight. And no-one worth harrassing, either. Therefore: get in and out of there before 10.00a.m. and life is sweet. Or fully sick, whichever you prefer.

Keep walking, politely say “no thank you” and go on your way….how hard is it to be nice to people and still retain your will?

These people are just doing a job like you and I, they dont deserve to be threatened or ridiculed, they are still people.
If saying no doesnt get them to leave you alone, then just completely ignore them, they wont hassle you for long if you dont respond.

I find that carrying a radio emitting the sounds of talk radio keeps them away!

Sadly it also keeps away all other forms of human contact.

Hanging out in China with a japanese friend I was immensely impressed with his “blank face” and I can manage a poor imitation of it myself now.

A look of complete uninterest AND disdain does wonders.

In general these guys go for a look of open impressionability and always target the low hanging fruit.

So decent, and especially young, people get done over by the fuckers.

work on the blank face in the mirror and it will pay you back in spades.

Growling Ferret9:55 am 22 Dec 05

Best response to a chugger was a mate of mine many years ago, who when approached by a charity assclown, grabbed their stack of leaflets, threw them in the air, and started screaming and throwing a tantie rain-man style. The chugger had no idea what to do, where to look or how to react…

Villan, you thought you had it bad?
I’m 15 and they think i’m 20 or something..
Yet, they snobbed this old lady sitting near me in the interchange.

If I can’t get away with just ignoring them, I just tell them I’m not 18 (or 21 depending on the charity), even though it’s blatently obvious that I am. They get quite irritated 🙂

eh… dont look at them… they dont come near me..but if i do make eye contact with them…they mob me.

Scientologists are fun to fuck with though, i asked them if they actually believed that those thetan thingys are alien souls (i learnt this off south park).. they didnt really have an answer for that. and i tend to laugh really hard at them when they try to get me to do a stress test.

Hmm… i should actually ask them if i can buy one of their e-meters 🙂

Tell me about it. On Monday i went to civic for like the first time in my life. I got totally mobbed by those telemarkers while waiting for the bus. bloody bastards.

Or caught the footy, side stepped one, give a big mal stiff arm to the other, and keep going towards the merry go round …

Absent Diane4:53 pm 21 Dec 05

seepi you should have kicked the fucker on the roof…. and smiled and walked off….

Hate the fuckers. Like you bling, I’m not anti-charity, but why the fuck would I want to stop and take several minutes giving my bank details to some vague and random fucktard extolling the virtues of a cause I’ve never even heard of? Answer me that and you can have two bucks.

Surely there must be some feasible way to control these morons and their oxygen thieving “charities”. Any other suggestions that don’t involve physical violence or feasces?

No? – than keep the violent ones coming;

yeah – I actually avoid Garema place during lunchtime now. One day I was accosted by a guy that chucked a football towards me – as part of some real estate type selling thing. I think you’re meant to instinctively catch it, then they talk to you – I let it drop. then there are the festies wanting ‘a busfare home mate’ The falung Gong, the green left weekly, the battery hen people, the scientologists and any number or charities. If I talked to every one I would be a t lunch for two hours. Why do they all congregate in Civic competing for atention.

The thing I hate most about them is that they’re not just asking for cash anymore. No, no – they want your bank account details so they can arrange a regular, direct transfer. The odd $2 coin just isn’t good enough anymore.

The whole chugger thing is the result of “compassion fatigue”. Doorknocks and street stalls weren’t doing enough for the bottom line (large charities are run like for-profit commercial entities) so the called in the marketing people. The marketing people told ’em the best way to get Joe Public to cough up is to make ’em feel guilty AND uncomfortable (ie, attack in public places). They’ll reach for the wallet to make you go away.

The chuggers with the best records at getting punters to sign up, and thus the ones who the training/induction/whatever will be modelled on are probably the ones who are the best at, as Maelinar says, “making you feel like a piece of shit”.

Given that every good cause on the planet seems to be jumping on the chugger bandwagon, I’d say it’s only going to get worse. And the fuckers are like Mormons, but less entertaining to argue with.

That post would have been one of mine BBBears. I got hassles by a particularly laconic red cross collector today. Leaning on the scenery, not even holding a clipboard. She sounding so fundamentally disenheartened that I stopped to say no rather than say it walking.

blingblingbears2:56 pm 21 Dec 05

hehe “chuggers”??? i like that one

In England they call them “chuggers”. Charity muggers.

I just tell them to fcuk off and in some cases even ram them….especially if they a smelly feral greenies. They usually get the message!

Samuel Gordon-Stewart2:14 pm 21 Dec 05

I find that carrying a radio emitting the sounds of talk radio keeps them away!

The best deterrant is to wander around eating your own poo. Even the scientologitst;s haven’t got the guts to go near you

I was under the impression that if an individual/organisation wishes to conduct their ‘business’ in a public place that they must make application for the right to conduct in a public place by way of application to the City Rangers…next time you are harrassed ask the said organisation to see a copy of the form, otherwise its just considered straight out hawkering – which is not condoned and the Minister for Urban Services would probably like to put a stop to it.

bling2bears, what you have is called ‘compassion fatigue’. No manner of people want that precious dollar in your back pocket, and they are going to spend an insane amount of money that’s better directed towards the cause they’re promoting, towards making you feel like a piece of shit who’s less worthy of that dollar than some dude in Africa or something.

You are not alone, I certainly wouldn’t invest my dollar to a street hawker, there’s no telling which arm that dollar may end up in.

Unfortunately, there is no legal way of preventing them coming up to you and asking for money, remember however, there’s nothing preventing you from following them around for the rest of your lunchtime asking them for money either. (Not only does it look ludicrous, it gives me a laugh every time I think about it)

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