Chugger: A paid charity worker that encourages targets to give their bank account details to aid their given cause. (ie: Charity + Mugger = Chugger)
The Summer has arrived in Sligo, and young adults will be calling around to your house and stopping you on the street while fundraising for well known charity groups. This is why you shouldn’t give them the time of day, and why you shouldn’t give into their emotional blackmail and sales techniques.
Written by a bitter blogger who wasted his time going through the interview process for this job.
I, like many other students, have recently moved back to Sligo for the Summer holidays. If you are anything like myself, you have found yourself unemployed and on the hunt for work. I planned ahead while I was still living in Dublin, and searched through Jobs.ie to find some Summer work.
I submitted my CV left right and center for any job that was in the Sligo region. But the most promising one had the title “Team Leaders Required in Sligo” posted by Flawless Marketing.
I am a team leader, among the likes of Ernest Shackleton, George Patton and Wolverine, so why shouldn’t I apply for this position?
Plus, I have been working for a promo company in Dublin, handing out free samples and so on while in college, so it would suit me very well, since it was a marketing company. But I would later find out that ‘marketing’ meant ‘direct marketing’, and ‘direct marketing’ meant ‘being an annoying little shit’.
I threw in my CV and continued on with my day. Three weeks later I got a call from a strange Sligo based number. It was from said marking company, and I was short listed for an interview with them. I arranged a date and was told to dress smart, as I would expect.
When I got to the office, it felt like I was joining a higher class of the work force. It wasn’t a hard feat, since my last interviewer casually dropped the word ‘cunt‘ twice during the interview. The lobby was classy looking, with magazines on table printed by the parent company, ‘Appco‘.
I casually glanced through the magazine and noticed testimonials from chirpy looking student types, boasting about how much money they made, and the amount of branches Appco is setting up throughout Ireland.
I was called in for the interview, and met by an enthusiastic woman who made the interview very comfortable and easy, asking me questions, while talking of all the opportunities to make loads of money from hard work. Not to mention the liberal use of the word ‘advancement’.
She also made sure to tell me that the average employee with them makes €300 – €500 a week going door to door selling products. WOW! How come I know so many people who are slaving away in shops, bars and restaurants when ads for jobs with this type of pay are popping up all over Jobs.ie with “No experience required” in the title. It’s a dream come true!
But she did have to mention right in the middle of the interview that it would be 100% commission, which I’m sure she thought would give me the go-getter, team spirit attitude of an enterprising young go-getting go-getter!
But surely, if the average employee makes €300 – €500 a week, they must be selling something in high demand and of good use to the customer, like Eircom Phonewatch and Mormonism. But we would be selling something different.
We would be given the task of ‘fund raising’. Our jobs would be to go door to door, and on the streets, to raise money for well known charities like World Wildlife Foundation among others.
Unlike the church gate collection, or bag-packing for the local GAA team, we cannot accept mere hard cash. They need you to set up a direct debit account.
I was still slightly tempted by the prospect of making so much money a week, as if she was trying to pitch the job to me, as opposed to me selling myself like an interview should. But I couldn’t see myself becoming what I’ve always hated. When I ran into these chuggers a while back, I thought that they were doing volunteer work for charity, and had no idea that there was a business to be made out of it, as if they are selling cutlery, or Jesus.
To me the street ‘fund raisers’, or charity muggers, have always just been an annoyance in Dublin that I would brush off after being stuck in a conversation with one of them. But after going through an interview where the interviewer tempted me with the promise of up to €500 a week, before mentioning that we’d be doing it for charity. This can only result in two types of people being screwed:
The Salesman: Desperate for work, he has to manipulate sympathetic people into setting up a direct debit account for a cause he doesn’t truly believe in for commission.
The Victim: Thinking that these people are volunteers who are passionate about their cause, and could potentially get suckered into giving their bank account details.
If a chugger approaches you on the street, simply state that you are not interested. You will be wasting their time and your’s if you entertain them.
If a direct marketing job is offered to you on commission, there is a good chance you are going to get screwed over. And if you are a successful chugger, you are screwing other people over.
If you want to set up a direct debit account for a charity, do so without the pressure of some chirpy faced student. Their commission isn’t going to help young Kofi get an education.