I don’t know what it’s like in your neck of the woods, but it seems like we have a lot of signature gatherers in Seattle, particularly in the downtowny touristy areas, but also in most of the neighborhood pedestrian centers too. They’re usually easily spotted, with their ubiquitous clipboards and slightly-too-chipper demeanor, but sometimes there’s just no avoiding them, and one must get to one’s bus stop while trying to avoid the pitch.
The real problem is that I agree with many of these causes, and feel like a monster for turning a blind eye to their fervent foot-soldiers– Doctors Without Borders seems like they do a lot of good work! But you’re a guy with a piece of paper in a sheet protector on the corner, and I’m not sure your t-shirt really makes you a credible representative of the organization. And what exactly am I signing up for anyway? I prefer to do my charitable giving in either the old-fashioned way (office visits), or the new-fashioned way (verified online portals). As for the political initiatives, it seems like those could benefit from a more comprehensive presentation too. In almost all of these cases, I’d just prefer a handbill or something, prompting me to do more research on my own.
I really feel for these folks, though– I can’t imagine it’s an easy job to be the pedestrian equivalent of a telemarketer. Considering the number of times I’ve been lectured at by customers at prior jobs, seemingly under the assumption that I was the corporate president who also happened to be operating the cash register, I can’t imagine what sort of wacko advice these folks receive. Well, I can imagine: it’s probably weird, unwarranted personal attacks, political screeds, and uncreative profanities. But hopefully they’re actually getting paid for their efforts– even bummer jobs should at least have a paycheck involved. Heck, maybe, just maybe they’re paid really well– like oil company money or something. Living in the brave new world of Super PACs and Koch Brother Shenanigans, who knows what sort of dark money is surging through America’s political veins! They could all be Reptiloids spreading chemtrails for the Illuminati, tricking us into signing up for the one-world government! They’re just the advance scouts– before we know it, this place will be lousy with Moon Nazis!