Why should you make me feel guilty?

Goddamit, why do people think they have the right to make me feel guilty just because I don’t support the same charity as them?

I was just sitting here at my desk, minding my own business, reading the SDMB and a total stranger comes up to me and asks me to sponsor them to cut their hair off for charity.

I politely reply “no”.

She and a co-worker then launch into a tirade about how it’s a worthy charity, I should be more generous etc, making me feel unbelievably guilty.

Why should I feel guilty? Why do I feel guilty?

The funny thing is the charity she wants me to help is one for sick children. Two weeks ago I went into hospital for surgery to donate bone marrow to a 1 year old girl with cancer. I was told that I almost certainly saved her life.

Who the fuck does this woman she think she is?

You should have asked if you could do some of the cutting yourself. If you were feeling really bold, you could have asked if you’d be allowed to pick the body part where you’d be doing the clipping. :smiley:

I worked at a movie theater for a couple of summers and sometimes we’d have these cans to put out for this charity. The managers would always tell us to ask each person who had change from their transaction, “Would you like to help needy children?” or something like that. It just seemed so manipulative and guilt-inducing that I’d have felt guilty if I went through with it. I still had customers who’d donate, but because they wanted to, not because I guilted them into it.

Needless to say, I don’t like it when people use the guilt-trip method on me either.

Invite her down to the hospital to donate with you. Or to the Red Cross for Apherisis(donating red blood cells and hemoglobin. they filter them out of the blood and put the liquid back into you. it takes about 2 hours)

Say “C’mon, it’s for a good cause”.

Consider this option. It works for us.

Pick a favorite charity, and just tell soliciters that you donate strictly to that charity. Personalize it when possible. When people hit me up, I just say “Sorry, we give our donations to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, as that is the disease my daughter has”. It generally shuts them up, and if it doesn’t I just get louder, and say “Perhaps you didn’t hear me. My daughter has CF. We donate to the CFF to help them find a cure for her and others like her”. If they persist, I just look at them like they’re some strange species of insect, and they’ll generally go away.

We’ll occasionally donate to other worthy causes, but it’s by our own discretion, not guilt. CFF gets most of our spare cash.

Your cow-orker/charity problem reminds me of a long and rambling anecdote about the company I work for. Our corporate culture is one of “keep yourself to yourself”, which makes for a pretty impersonal workplace. If someone at work has a family tragedy, or finds himself or herself in some bad situation, we are not allowed to use email to make other co-workers aware. We better not be caught soliciting or accepting donations to help anybody out, or we face ‘disciplinary action’. Except for the one day a year when the HR bitches send around the forms to give to the United Fund – like the United Way, only more crappy and totally worthless. HR tries to guilt us into giving this one time a year, presumably for the privilege of not having to give again for a whole year. This organization gives money to a lot of efforts that I would not support and in fact am opposed to. Same for many of my colleagues (either that or we’re all just a bunch of selfish bastards). Anyway, we all just throw the forms away and laugh about it. If we give, we do so in our private lives only.

Of course these are the same cow-orkers who questioned why I would take a couple days off to help my best friends and their four little children sort themselves out after their house burned to the ground, and why I would give them my stuff when they had just lost everything they owned, so they may not do much giving at home. Anyway, I’d bet this is much like your own workplace.

Contrast with the new place I start working next week. New job has a corporate culture of community and actually seems to care about employees, and encourages employees to care about each other. There is a foundation supported through employee contributions (matched by money from the employer itself) set up to assist employees in need. Several employees have received Habitat for Humanity houses, and many employees have worked on these projects for nothing but the good feeling of helping each other out. This isn’t just a casserole-bringing-when-someone-dies kind of organization – it is a what-are-your-needs-and-how-can-we-meet-them kind. Paying rent, buying groceries, paying utilities for months can happen when there is a need. This organization received a full hour’s presentation during the new employee orientation – it is obviously an integral part of the culture and a very positive experience for both the employer and the employees. This is a place where I would want to give, and look forward to doing so, because it is presented in such a positive light. No guilt, just opportunity.

MrWhy, that is a phenomenal thing you did to donate bone marrow. That stranger and cow-orker ought to be strung up for suggesting you might be un-generous. If that sort of thing is not condoned by your employer, I bet you could get them into some trouble over soliciting you, even if it was for charity.

MrWhy, she sounds like the same kind of person who grills other people about why they aren’t having kids, why they live in that crappy neighbourhood, why are you driving that car, etc. ad nauseum. In other words, a busybody who likes to stick her nose in where it doesn’t belong. Best solution - just like Quagdop said, tell her to butt out in a polite way. You have your reasons for doing what you do, and they are none of her (or anyone else’s) business.
(Oh yeah, don’t feel guilty, feel sorry for her for not having any social skills.)

The term “cow-orker” just sounds dirty.
In a bestiality sort of way.
Fuck what they think. My wife and I pony up at the beginning and middle of the year for what we feel we can donate to charity. That’s it. If some neighborhood kid comes by for a pledge for an ice cream sundae eating contest for whoever (yes, there really was one), we might give, but certainly not from being guilted into it.
Refer once again to the first sentence of the paragraph.

If word starts spreading around that you are cheap/heartless, etc. then you might want to let it be known that you do give.