I have had a few very busy and often ghastly months that have heavily kept me from my writing projects.
I got a job for a while, which I thought I’d do well at. It involved knocking on people’s doors requesting charity donations through direct debit contracts. The causes were certainly worthy but the high pressure emotional blackmail tactics of the agency serving the charities were very questionable. I soon realized how much and why the public hate chuggers – charity muggers, so much. We would knock at houses as late as 9pm. We were told to ignore signs in doors and windows saying no sales or charity callers. we were supposed to ignore anyone saying they have no money or already give to other charities and keep pitching a deal to them.
Though officially employed from 3.30pm to 9pm, the company had staff in from as early as noon, and travelling from work areas could take up to midnight. It was turning 24/7 with no extra income.
Sales, or as the company call them, donations, gain good bonuses, but poor sales gets the chugger fired. We were expected to get two sign-ups a day I got just two over sixteen shifts. I was called in to discuss this and I knew I was going to be fired. I was actually happy about it.
Though my ‘failed probation’ dismissal went smoothly (though the manager was an hour late starting it) I later got an angry letter saying I’d been in addition, aggressive and un-co-operative to managers and team leaders – something not discussed at all in my leaving hearing. I also had my severance pay docked for not returning equipment even though I returned everything in good working order before I left and the manager even signed for it though I was not given a copy of this.
I now claim welfare again with intense pressure to be seen actively looking for work 35 hours per week. It does however give me a chance to get back to what I love most (apart from the beer) – my writing.
It’s good to be home. Arthur Chappell
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