Monday, 12 September 2011

It's that time again...


Uni elections. Ugh. No offense to people who care about this stuff, but I am at best apathetic towards politics. Even if I did care however, I'm sure I'd still find it annoying, because it gives people reasons to get in my face and start talking at me whether I want them to or not. Unfortunately, I do seem to have a face that suggests I am a very non-threatening person, so I get approached by strangers A LOT (see post on being a loony beacon for proof). Also unfortunately, I have a lot still to learn about how to be assertive. One year I got cornered by this guy in a stairwell very passionately preaching his particular party's policies until I finally did a little shriek and ran away. 

Not only do we have these people trying to get votes, but there's always many people around uni trying to get people to sign up for charities and such. Perhaps it's because they think uni students care about causes. However what they don't seem to remember is that many uni students do not actually have any money. Now, I am all for charities. I think they're very important and I'm happy to donate to my favourite ones on a regular basis, and I'm glad there are other people who do too. However I do not appreciate the tactics some use to essentially force non-assertive types into giving their money. I myself not that long ago got talked into signing a contract to have money taken from my account monthly, when all I wanted to do was walk past this person to the train station! Adding to this the fact that I don't actually like talking to people on the phone, and was not happily anticipating the guilt trip I'd get for trying to get out of it, I ended up giving money for 6 months! 

The problem is, although they're doing something that annoys me greatly, they're still people. I can't bring myself to be flat out rude to them. I think about how difficult I'd find it to be in their position and approach strangers and try to talk them into something (which I think is why I was a terrible sales assistant). Usually this means I resort to pretending I'm involved in a really engrossing conversation on the phone.

Do other people have this problem? What do you say/do to nicely get them to leave you alone?


  1. Last time we had uni elections my friends and I developed all sorts of alternative routes to the library just so we didn't get hassled!

    As for the charity folk, I tend to get approached a lot by them too - I used to pretend I wasn't old enough to sign anything, but now I tend to go for the phone trick. Or put my headphones in, although I did once get shouted at by a collector for a church charity for not responding when she tried to talk to me.

  2. I was just thinking about writing a post like this!

    What I do: I revert back to the 50's and hide behind my husband. Not really. Well, kind of. Figuratively.

    I tell them, "You know what, I would LOVE to [give money to slave monkeys who sew sweaters for the King of Iceland's 89 hairless chihuahuas], but the thing is, I need to talk to my husband first. Right now he makes most of our money and I feel bad signing up for this without talking to him."

    Voila!! They don't argue with that one at all. It's beautiful.

    But as for campaigners, I just lie and tell them I already voted. Heh.

  3. Oh dear Loz - I support a particular organisation monthly for this reason too! But now I use the phone trick (make sure your phone is on silent!) although I LOVE April's tactic and I might just give it ago!

  4. "My parole officer says I'm not allowed to vote..." Then wink. Freaks 'em out every time.

    Sucks though when my alma mater calls - cant be mean to them, since they actually gave me one of those nifty degrees ... I just tell them when my education kicks in and I start getting paid what I'm worth, I'll donate :)

  5. I become very occupied with one of my kids when I see people on the street wanting me to 'sign' up to something... lucky for me I have a very good 'look at me and die' face.


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