Another Rant From A Grumpy Old Woman

Maybe it’s the result of a very wet August? Whatever is making me grumpy, I  hope it will soon blow over and I can return to my normal cheerful frame of mind. Meanwhile, you have the option of switching over NOW to something more positive.

I signed a petition a few months ago, can’t remember exactly what, but it was for or against something I feel quite strongly about. Probably to retain the ban on fox-hunting, or something to do with refugees. The reason why I’m not sure about which petition it was is that ever since then I have been inundated by e-mails begging me to join hundreds of others demanding that this or that body or government stop doing nasty things to people, animals and the environment. And I have added my name to a few of them, where I felt there was some point. These don’t include requests to Mugabe or his ilk to do anything different, I hasten to add, as that really is pointless.

With all of these good causes, backed by various important-sounding people, I have looked into the background and made my decision to sign a few of the petitions en connaissance de cause. What annoys me now is that as a result, my name and e-mail address have obviously gone onto someone’s list that has been brokered and I’m judged an easy target for any crackpot wanting to change anything. Plus I am getting e-mails that say: You signed this petition, how would you like to put your money where your mouth is and donate £5?

No, I wouldn’t. I take any petition I sign seriously, and might under certain unlikely circumstances be persuaded to stand out in the cold and rain holding a banner, or even join a march. My donations are a different matter entirely. I support a small number of excellent causes that are personally known to me, where I know that my money is actually being put to good purpose, and not to pay high executives’ salaries. I don’t need the emotional blackmail of heart-wrenching photographs and stories to extort more funds from me.

Perhaps I should start a petition myself to protect petitioners from being petitioned?


10 thoughts on “Another Rant From A Grumpy Old Woman

  1. God idea, Cat! I’ve had the same thing happen, many times over. Same thing happens with mail. As a letter carrier I observed that little old ladies, sitting home alone, with no one much to talk to, were prime targets for junk mail solitations. The sad thing is, these lonely folks really do open their mail so they are assaulted by images of starving dogs and kids and this plays into their hearts so they cough up a few precious pennies (when really, the probably have very few to spare) and are rewarded by exponentially expanding pile of junk mail. It infuriated me to see what was happening.
    To protect myself a little, I have 2 email accounts. When I’m exploring an organization that I’m not sure I want a lot of exposure to, or when ordering things or signing petitions, etc, I use my gmail account. This protects my personal/business account to some degree. Then every now and then I get fed up with all the pleas for attention and I start scrolling to the bottom and unsubscribing. But the process is like getting rid of stray cats on a farm. Just when you think you’ve rounded them all up and found homes for them, someone dumps off another litter and there you go again!

    • Herding stray cats – excellent analogy! here in the UK there was a tragic case a few months ago of a wonderfully kind old lady who killed herself because she was being inundated with requests for donations, so awareness has been raised here to some extent. Still it goes on – and yes, phone calls too.

  2. This is a good rant, Cat. I am glad, you wrote it. I feel also just as strongly about all these issues you raised. And I liked Linda’s comment about it!
    For me it is often quite difficult to decide what causes I absolutely ought to support with a donation. As soon as I make up my mind a certain cause should be supported and I give a small donation, it does not take long and I am asked for some more donations. The worst I find if they keep making phone calls. Why do they not understand that neither Peter nor I are willing to make a donation over the phone?

  3. It is interesting that I take up the ’causes’ of the environment, refugees, better rights for the suffering etc; yet I donate to medical charities – cancer, asthma, MS, heart foundation etc.
    It is almost as if I think my money is actually doing something whereas the others are causes I believe in, but sadly do it tough as actually make any progress.

  4. That is the downside of the internet. I find I look for a restaurant in a location for Sunday lunch, and the next thing all these restaurants adds and the rest of it start appearing on my FB feed. Everything you do and sign can be sold on to others seeking interested, buyers, signers, visitors and the rest, and on-line privacy seems harder and harder to secure

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