Today I’ve been coin collecting at Tesco in Durham market place, and want to say a big thank you to Tesco for giving me a slot so quickly, and the generosity of their staff. I’ve had a really productive day, raising £147.75 in less than five hours (I had to leave for a bit to go to the dentist or I’d have put a full shift in), which is a fantastic boost to my fundraising total so far, I’ve almost doubled it in one day!
You might think it quite boring to stand in the doorway of a supermarket for so long, but I’ve actually had an interesting day. I love to people watch, and standing there with a big bucket that you’re trying to fill with the loose change in people’s pockets, purses, wallets and hands is the perfect people watching job to be doing. I am often baffled by what I witness when people watching, and often wonder what ever happened to common sense? Here are a few people who baffled me today:
Mr. “I Must Send This Text/E-mail/Tweet RIGHT NOW”
I’ll just set the scene first – the walkway from the tills to the exit doors is pretty narrow, no more than two people can walk alongside each other at one time, and this happened during the busy lunch hour rush. Mr. “I Must Send This Text/E-mail/Tweet RIGHT NOW” decides that just after he has paid for his shopping and is leaving the shop, he MUST send a message on his phone, so he stops dead right in the middle of the narrow exit, discarding the notion of sitting down on the bench two feet away from him. He doesn’t move for at least a minute until the message has been sent, creating chaos behind him as people struggle to get past. What confuses me further is that no one actually said “excuse me” and instead chose to struggle and say nothing!
Another similar situation in the same area, I watched a guy who had dropped something crouch down on to the floor and then stick his leg straight out behind him without even looking, and a poor elderly lady nearly fell straight over it! Seriously, do people like this create havoc everywhere they go, or I’m just been pessimistic?
Sadly I noticed this type of mentality in a few people throughout the day, suggesting that there are a number of people who just need to get a life, but there was one person in particular who stood out. A few times I noticed that as people were passing me they seemed to be bouncing change around in their hand or would pull their wallet out for no reason, whilst smirking my way, as if they were depriving me of a slice of cake at a birthday party. I didn’t think too much of it until late in the day when a young lad, maybe late teens or early 20’s, purposely stopped in front of me and told his friends he would catch up. He then proceeded to spend a good two or three minutes rooting around in his backpack, taking things out and putting them back in again, shooting glances at me all the while, only to eventually stand up and walk out whilst trying not to laugh. Thankfully, some of that rare female insight had held me back from expecting any contribution from him, so I did not give him the satisfaction of acting like I was expecting anything, or look disappointed when he left.
I did of course come across some lovely people who really demonstrated that there are still some kind souls out there
I really appreciated the “explainers” as they made sure that I didn’t feel invisible and that I was somebody to be avoided – which is sadly how many people acted (and no doubt how I have acted before when passing a collection tin and have no money!). These type of people included those who contributed and those who didn’t. Whether it was just to explain that they only had 5p on them, or that they only had lots of small coins in their purse, or that they didn’t have any change with them, or even that they already donate to the hospice, they all felt it necessary to interact with me and explain their situation. I feel that they have taught me a valuable lesson, and I will never again walk past a coin collector without acknowledging their presence!
I’m classing anyone who stopped to talk to me about the Hospice, or that I was collecting for charity, a “supporter” as I couldn’t really think of another term which summed them up. The supporters included at least three people who all volunteer or fundraise for the Hospice themselves so it was lovely to meet them and hear about what they do. I spoke with a number of people who have had experience with the work of the Hospice with their own family members, and it was great to hear their kind words of support and about their own experiences. I also met a man training a guide dog for the blind, who told me that having a dog with you really helps collections – he was once stood in the street with the dog and his can of pop and someone tried to put money in his can! If only I could train my cats up to come collecting with me and we could be on to a winner!
All in all it’s been a good day for fundraising and inspired me to arrange more coin collection days!