Wednesday, 30 May 2012

(Day 62) Can I borrow you?

Wednesday 2nd May (Day 62)

Spare 35 minutes?

After the demonstrations we started fundraising at Marten Place where we started the working day.  Despite our hard work I don’t think any of us got any sign ups that afternoon.  Marten Place is full of business people who are too “professional” to stop and sign up to a charity on the street.  I just couldn’t stop anyone.  Towards the end of the day I started to experiment with different opening lines.

For example when I usually try and stop someone I say something typical like “hi, can I borrow you for 2 minutes?”  But after saying that to like the 800th person I thought I would say a random and unrealistic time rather than the standard 2 minutes. 

I approached one woman and said “hi, can I borrow you for 35 minutes?”  She said, “what, 35 minutes?!” with a bemused look on her face whilst she walked past.  It didn’t stop her but it was funny.  Asking for unrealistic amounts of time did actually make quite a few people laugh and it got their attention, but they still didn’t stop...

On reflection going up to a random woman and asking if I could borrow her for 35 minutes might seem a bit dodgy, but it really wasn’t like that.

My plan was I would ask for some random and unrealistic time like “hi, can I borrow you for 27 minutes?”

The person would be bemused and reply “no, sorry I haven’t got time”

I would then reply “ok, how about just 2 minutes then?” 

They would then feel compelled to stop because I have greatly reduced the amount of time I was asking for, I would then proceed to deliver an amazing pitch and sign them up on the spot.

This was my plan anyway...but it didn’t work.

The daily grind
Anyway that was yesterday and today was a new day.  Today there were no anti-mining rallies or games involving eating doughnuts off a piece of string, just solid fundraising from 10 till 6.

But today I wasn’t having much luck.  Yesterday I couldn’t stop anyone and it just felt like I was treading water all afternoon and the problem was today pretty much felt the same.

Both these days were a stark contrast from Monday when I got 2 sign ups and felt like I was on fire, and I am not doing anything differently since Monday.  If anything I am feeling more confident and outgoing.  I should be stopping more people than I did on Monday but it just wasn’t happening.

By the afternoon I was still on zero.  Alexis told me to keep going and it would happen but nothing did happen.  Actually something did happen, I got fired.  Laugh out loud.

Enough now

I wasn’t expecting this to happen so quickly.  I knew fundraising was very cut throat but it is only my 3rd day and I got 2 (or 1) sign ups on my first day.  But by 5 o’clock that evening I was on my way home.

Alexis was very nice about it, he said I was a very hard worker and I was good...but I didn’t have enough sign ups to stay.  He asked me what we should do and to be honest if I defended my position I probably could have been kept on for an extra day.

But I was done with fundraising.  It had gone from being fun and exciting to just feeling like a job.  I felt like I had taken everything I wanted from street fundraising.  Improved confidence in public speaking and other stuff.

I always knew this was going to be a temporary job, maybe a bit more temporary than I planned but still... it was fun whilst it lasted.  Now I look forward to my next job!

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