Thursday, November 15, 2012

Con Artist Or Just A Douchebag?

So either I was conned out of a couple of dollars today, or I donated to a real charity that I shouldn't have donated to anyway.  Whichever one it was, I feel bad now.

Anyway, it was at the Avalon Mall.  I was sitting in front of the bookstore at about quarter past ten, just waiting around and playing Doodle Jump on my iPod.  Next thing I know, some pushy Asian guy is shoving a laminated pamphlet into my hand talking about how there was a disaster in the Philippines last week, and how he's from there, and he goes to MUN here, and he's raising money for the children, blah blah blah.  And he was really pushy.  He didn't really introduce himself or try to start a conversation, it was just shoving a pamphlet at me, and then shoving a little black book into my hands and waving at it with a pen -- I dunno if I was supposed to sign it or if it was a pledge sheet or what.  I should have told him to piss off right then, because he was being really pushy and rude, so even if it was a real charity it was charity-by-guilt and I should have refused to donate anything on principle alone.   I didn't, though.  I'm bad at being immediately mean.  Give me a few minutes and I can be the meanest bitch in the world, but surprise me and the combination of Girls Are Nice Niceness and Canadians Are Nice Niceness take over.  I basically went "Uhhhh have some change and go away."  I had a few dollars in my pocket, and when I pull it out the guy said "It's okay, just donate whatever you have, you can donate all of that" and that's definitely when I should have refused to donate it, because who the hell says what I can and can't donate?  Unfortunately, I still hadn't started thinking at this point -- I have the worst reflexes in the world -- and so I keep the two-fifty I needed for the bus and gave him the two or three dollars left, mostly in quarters and dimes.  He thanks me and wanders off, and it isn't until after he's gone that I realize, "Wait, that was a really sketchy thing that just happened."

So I go to Google and look up "flood in the philippines" and the only articles that pop up are from August.  I immediately start feeling like a moron, because what kind of idiot lets a stranger talk them out of three dollars?  Granted, it's only pocket change, but still.  I've been kicking myself ever since -- I should have realized that the guy was ambushing me, I should have realized it was sketchy as fuck that I didn't hear of any disaster, I should have realized he was being way too pushy, I should have I should have I should have.  Anyway, I can't change anything by thinking about what I should have done.  Worst case scenario, some asshole has a handful of small change and the confidence to try scamming someone else (hopefully someone who is quicker on the draw than I am).  Best case scenario?  While my initial Googling didn't give me anything, a friend has linked me to a news article saying that there was, in fact, a flood in the Philippines last week, so it's possible that it really is just a pushy guy with a charity.  I still shouldn't have donated, because charity by guilt is a shitty way to get money and it's really rude to ambush a person to look for handouts, no matter the cause.  But at least it could actually be a real charity.  I'd rather the change I was conned out of actually go to saving people from floods or whatever instead of paying a jerk's bus fare.

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