Monday, August 15, 2011

Dear Red Cross

Today while I was walking to my hotel room in downtown San Francisco and thinking about how awesome it was going to be getting a glass of wine, I was stopped by a young girl and a young man wearing official Red Cross shit and a binder. The girl asked if I had a minute, and because day dreaming about wine put me in a good mood, I obliged her to lay out whatever bullshit spiel she was about to.

She stated that she was there (meaning "hanging out on the sidewalk where the hobos piss and sleep at night") to do public outreach for the Red Cross and asked me if I knew about the organization. I told her that I had, and at that point she started a rushed and canned presentation that was obviously written by a committee and had very specific points that were meant to tug at my heart strings about disasters and unlucky fuckers whose lives get ruined by "acts of god."

Being young and wishing to rush through her long winded spiel that she was obviously forced to memorize and repeat nearly verbatim over and over and over again, she brushed quickly over those moments. However, she did pause occasionally after asking specific questions that were meant for me to say "yes" to. And I did because I was partially paying attention.

Remember. There was wine to get to.

After a few of these questions and my suspicions growing like a young boy's genitals in the lingerie section of a department store, the young lady pulled out a form to get all my information and to sign me up for monthly donations to your organization.

When I told her that I couldn't do monthly donations right now, the young woman asked, "Why not?"

My suspicions turned to a female store clerk viewing a young man wandering around the lingerie section of a department store. And my disgust wasn't just because this stupid bitch was all up in my shit and dared question who she should truly be groveling before.

No. No.

My disgust came because at one time, I was a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

And I did the same FUCKING THING!

I stopped people on the streets who were most likely thinking about booze. I gave them a half truth about what I was REALLY doing there. I gave canned, heartless speeches that included occasional affirming questions. And then, when I really got to the point, that I wanted something from these unwitting rubes, and they objected in a simple and polite way, I asked, "why not?" putting the person on the defensive and causing their brain to try to find a nice way of saying, "NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS YOU TACTLESS DILDO!"

Now, I'm going to give your organization some free advice.


Seriously, fucking stop! Whoever sold you the lie that this kind of bullshit works is fucking wrong.

You may think that you are getting monthly donations for very little administrative costs, but you are ruining your reputation in the process.

With this kind of selling tactic and for every person that actually signs up, there are an unquantifiable but large number of people who think, "Wow. Fuck the Red Cross. I thought they were there to help people, but are they now just a scam? Are they that desperate, that they have to push a 'hard' sell on to people just to get money?"

You want to do public outreach? Great.

You want to do get monthly donations so you can help more people in times of disasters? Great.


I know that you are trying to help people.  But this isn't HELPING!

If you look closely, you'll see that it hasn't worked for the Mormons, and it won't work for you.

I walked away from your representative disgusted and angry and without even a brochure, because when I told her that I couldn't donate now, but I could in the future, she said that she wasn't allowed to give out anything, BUT she COULD take my information down so that YOU could call ME. And when I said no to that, she then asked again, "Why not?"

Fuck you, Red Cross.

That's why not.

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