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10:45 a.m. - 2004-08-20
Charity Begins at Work
Charity Begins At Work.

Well, along with good things, (I'll think of some in a minute) August brings the kids back to school. Not that I have any kids. People in my office do, though. They have lots of them. They just started school THIS WEEK…and they're already trying to guilt-trip me into spending money on a bunch of overpriced crap that I don't need or want.

You see, since the US can't seem to adequately fund its public school system, they have to resort to prostituting children. Figuratively, that is. (Give them time.) I'm talking about fund-raisers. Those glossy little brochures full of shit you can buy at the Dollar Store which has been marked up to $17.00.

I wouldn't necessarily have a problem buying one or two things from a kid I knew (like my other best friend-running buddy's (BFRB2) nieces). But I have a REAL problem spending my paycheck on shit I don't want for kids I don't know to go on a trip somewhere or have nice stuff at school. I don't have nice stuff, and you all saw what happened the last time I took a trip. Therefore, I'm a little bitter and resentful about the whole thing. Plus, it's not just one person. It's 30 or 40. That's a week's pay just so people at work won't think you're a stingy bitch.

Well, I am one.

And it's bad enough when the people bringing it are your peers…but when it's your boss(es) … then you really feel obligated to sign in the little box. Sorry, but I think if you're the boss, you (a) don't expect your employees, who make way less money than you, to buy shit from your kids and (b) need to just write your kid's school a check and not make anyone buy icky wrapping paper, useless knickknacks, or various foods which taste like stale packing peanuts with cardboard coating. You know, my dad would NEVER take my fundraising stuff to work because he didn't want to make his employees feel obligated! I was the kid who usually just had 2 people buy stuff because there were 97 kids in my neighborhood.

While we're on the subject of throwing money away, let's also discuss the inevitable corporate charitable fund-raisers. United Way, disease-of-the-week club, ad infinitum. Call me crazy, but I think that charitable giving is a personal decision. If you believe in a cause, for whatever reason, you are free to spend your money as you choose in support of said cause. However, I don't like being peer-pressured into generosity….and neither does anyone else. They try to make you feel like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas if you don't want to donate money to charity…as in, "Come on, just donate $5 a week, so we can have 100% participation." Again….THIS IS MY PAYCHECK AND I WILL DO WHAT I WANT WITH IT. Plus, at this point in my life, I really don't have it to share. I'm still paying for college (both the credit card spending and the student loans), and I have other bills which must be paid so that I personally do not have to rely on the kindness of strangers for food and shelter.

Don't be bringing your little flyers to my office. It's a waste of precious natural resources….and your time.



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