Okay, you’re standing outside a train station representing your favourite charity/religious organisation, and you find yourself thinking “How can I get people to support my cause without pissing them off?”
Well, here are some guidelines for doing just that.
1) Don’t call your chosen victim “love”, ” sweetie”, “darlin’”. If you’re addressing someone like that, you’re probably a white middle aged male & your almost certainly addressing a female. As a female, who routinely catches public transport & has extensive experience with this sort of operation, I can tell you that addressing me as any of the above is a great way to put me on the defensive & discourage me from actually listening to you. It’s demeaning, patronising & infantilising.
2) Don’t stand right in front of the entrance to the station. Believe it or not, people usually congregate at public transport hubs because they have to go somewhere. If they’re walking towards the station with single minded determination, it’s because they have a train to catch. Trains do not wait for people.If you stop someone & they miss their train, it’s your fault & they will be pissed.
3) Don’t continue to pester someone once they’ve rebuffed you. If you say “How are you?” And they say “Good thanks” without stopping they are not interested. If you’re offering them a sample & they say “I’m right thanks” without stopping, they are not interested. If they say “I have a train to catch” they are not interested.
Unless they specifically say something like “I’m interested, tell me more” or “So what does your organisation do?” or “How can I support your work?” They. Are. Not. Interested.
Learn how to respect the body language & verbal responses which mean “no.”
4) DO NOT, I REPEAT DO FUCKING NOT, MOVE IN BETWEEN A PERSON & THE STATION GATES/TICKET BARRIERS. If you make them feel trapped or forced into a situation they will not be interested. If someone agrees to support your organisation because they think it’s the easiest way to get you off their back, this is essentially coercion.
Either way, the person is NOT going to respond favourably to your organisation in the future. They will probably bad mouth you on the internet & to their friends, and you will have a poor word of mouth reputation. You reap what you sow.
This has been a PSA by Prue the disgruntled commuter.