Author Topic: Ignoring kids who are soliciting  (Read 5726 times)

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Adelaide

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Re: Ignoring kids who are soliciting
« Reply #30 on: December 09, 2013, 01:48:08 AM »
Could you not have smiled at the child and said, "No, thank you."?

The whole operation was rather poorly-run, as the kids would all run up to you at once. We're talking no fewer than four or five each time. A lot of times all I could hear was the bucket-shaking and all of them trying to talk over each other, so I didn't think it would be terribly constructive to say anything. They were all several inches shorter than me and I would have had to bend down to speak to them, as they were so close that I couldn't simply look them in the eye.

I'm not sure what you're looking for here. You said you felt weird ignoring the kids but felt you couldn't say "no thank you" because you couldn't make eye contact with them? Since they could talk they could likely hear. You don't remember the name of the charity so you can't call them and suggest that ambushing customers at escalators is unsafe, so be it. Perhaps dad was encouraging you to acknowledge the kids, which is frankly what you should have done.

Yes, the above was my mindset while I was actively being ambushed, but later when I had left I started to feel weird about it and decided to put the question to e-hell.

Raintree

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Re: Ignoring kids who are soliciting
« Reply #31 on: December 09, 2013, 03:29:20 AM »
"Really? How can you say no to that cute face? Wow."

"Quite easily, actually. I've had lots of practice."

AuntyEm

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Re: Ignoring kids who are soliciting
« Reply #32 on: December 09, 2013, 08:00:58 AM »
I think it is very poor judgment on the parent's part to let/ask their children to solicit money from strangers by begging.  It is the parent's job to raise money for whatever charity they support or their children's activities.  I consider this abuse and a bad example for the children.  I always say no thank you and would never support this kind of begging no matter the cause.

A booth with appropriate signage set up where people can approach to buy/give if they wish does not bother me as long as the people manning the booth are not haranguing people as they walk by.  When checking out, I don't mind getting a screen asking me if I want to give to a particular charity.  I can easily choose yes or no and continue the check out.  I don't want the salesperson asking me if I want to give and/or ringing a bell if I do.  It is not their business.

I've also noticed that the bell ringers for the SA seem to be a lot more aggressive--more like they are panhandling than asking people to give.  Are they getting a percent of the take?  I find this really off-putting.

I give to charities both during the year and at the holidays that I feel are deserving and wish to support.  Being bombarded walking down the street, trying to enter a place of business and again at the checkout is  making me resent all of them.

poundcake

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Re: Ignoring kids who are soliciting
« Reply #33 on: December 09, 2013, 08:36:47 AM »
No is a complete sentence, even in this case. I firmly believe that it is not rude to ignore solicitors, kids or not. Often, kid solicitors are used to distract while someone else does something criminal. If you are interested in giving to their cause, you can donate through a variety of options; you don't have to interact with swarms holding buckets. Unless it's Halloween. ;)

DaDancingPsych

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Re: Ignoring kids who are soliciting
« Reply #34 on: December 09, 2013, 08:49:58 AM »
I can be a pretty fast walker when I want to be. Often for someone to have enough time to make their request, I have to stop and wait for them to finish and then give my "No, thank you". I am working on perfecting my head shake with a smile. When the individual makes eye contact, I don't slow down, I just shake my head no (with a smile) and continue. I assume that this is not rude, but I was growing tired of having my pace slowed when I had already made my decision to not contribute.

I agree that a simple reply (even just "no") might have solved the OP's problem. I don't think it's wrong to continue walking without acknowledging, but just giving an answer tends to redirect the solicitors in a different direction. If they continue asking or chasing, that makes them rude for sure!

Margo

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Re: Ignoring kids who are soliciting
« Reply #35 on: December 09, 2013, 09:01:42 AM »
Could you not have smiled at the child and said, "No, thank you."?

The whole operation was rather poorly-run, as the kids would all run up to you at once. We're talking no fewer than four or five each time. A lot of times all I could hear was the bucket-shaking and all of them trying to talk over each other, so I didn't think it would be terribly constructive to say anything. They were all several inches shorter than me and I would have had to bend down to speak to them, as they were so close that I couldn't simply look them in the eye.

I'm not sure what you're looking for here. You said you felt weird ignoring the kids but felt you couldn't say "no thank you" because you couldn't make eye contact with them? Since they could talk they could likely hear. You don't remember the name of the charity so you can't call them and suggest that ambushing customers at escalators is unsafe, so be it. Perhaps dad was encouraging you to acknowledge the kids, which is frankly what you should have done.

I have to disagree with the bolded.You do not have to acknowledge someone who is demanding money from you, even if they are doing so for a 'good cause'. (it may be nice to do so, and it may be more effective to say 'no' than to ignore, but it isn't rude not to,)

It does feel weird to ignore people in this situation because we are socially conditioned to respond to others when the speak to us, but that does not mean that it is rude not to respond, or to acknowledge them.

I do agree that it isn't necessary to stop, make eye contact or bend down to speak to them - a firm "Not today" or "no thanks" without stopping or slowing down is absolutely fine.

As it was in a Mall I would also be inclined to have spoken to security or management (if available) to raise the issue they they were 'mobbing' people and flagging up the issues with them rushing the top of the escalator.

catrunning

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Re: Ignoring kids who are soliciting
« Reply #36 on: December 09, 2013, 01:33:12 PM »
Although I will usually respond to the miscellaneous child "solicitor/beggar" with a "No thank you, not today",  I still do not believe that any response is required by etiquette.    They are approaching me with the sole purpose of separating me from my money.   Regardless of the purpose behind it, I still consider that to be a commercial solicitation and consequently it deserves no response on my part.     The fathers who ran after the prior posters showed incredible entitlement, not to mention rudeness.

At crowded stores and malls, I encounter so many people asking for donations of one kind or another that it is impossible to personally respond to each of them.   So some of them do get ignored.     

I also don't feel comfortable with people using children for these purposes.    When the children are soliciting for their own activities (cheer seems to be the popular one now),  it makes me wonder who is teaching these kids that their lifestyle activities are so important that perfect strangers should be willing to fund them.   At least Girl Scouts are selling a product.    And what happened to car washes to raise money?   More and more of these kids are just asking for money with nothing in return.   

I know that the merchants do not support these fundraising activities that drive away customers, or at the minimum reduce the quality of their shopping experience.   But, at least in California where I live, there have been court cases which decided that the areas right outside the entry/exit doors are considered public places for the purposes are free speech, despite the fact that it is privately owned property.   So the merchants can't ask the "beggars" to go away and the police will not get involved unless a crime is involved.    Aggressive solicitation apparently isn't considered a crime.   

esposita

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Re: Ignoring kids who are soliciting
« Reply #37 on: December 09, 2013, 02:08:40 PM »
If you can't say no, and you feel weird ignoring... throw a penny in the bucket quick so none of them see the amount but they'll scatter to annoy someone else.

Lol, a "tip" from my more spineless days.

Pen^2

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Re: Ignoring kids who are soliciting
« Reply #38 on: December 09, 2013, 02:27:18 PM »
Although I will usually respond to the miscellaneous child "solicitor/beggar" with a "No thank you, not today",  I still do not believe that any response is required by etiquette.    They are approaching me with the sole purpose of separating me from my money.   Regardless of the purpose behind it, I still consider that to be a commercial solicitation and consequently it deserves no response on my part.     The fathers who ran after the prior posters showed incredible entitlement, not to mention rudeness.

<snip>
POD. This is a business situation. The standard rules of etiquette for conversation should not be used in this case. If someone greets you with the intent to have a chat, then the etiquette applied is not the same as when someone greets you as part of a business transaction. To say, "No thanks," while continuing walking would be nice, definitely, but it's not strictly required by etiquette in this case.

Sunbeem

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Re: Ignoring kids who are soliciting
« Reply #39 on: December 09, 2013, 02:52:13 PM »
I was just thinking about starting this same topic the other day-
Back around the end of October, DH & I went to the mall and entered through an upscale department store.  As soon as we got inside the store, 2 kids approached and asked if we were interested in sponsoring their Little League team.  We listened politely, declined, and continued through the store.  Approaching the store exit into the wider mall building, we spotted 3 more kids.  I tried to do the walk-fast-don't-make-eye-contact, but a kid zoomed up and started his spiel, which I cut off (in a polite tone of voice, I hoped) with "No thanks" as we were in a hurry and didn't want to listen to the spiel again.  DH thought I was rude and perhaps my tone wasn't as polite as I thought.  But then it occurred to me later, why would anyone be fundraising for a summer sport in October?  And as previous posters mentioned, I don't think kids deserve any more than a panhandling adult would in this situation. 

I'm much more receptive to the girl scouts when they have a kiosk in the mall (1, they're actually offering to sell something, not just asking for handouts, and 2, they have a designated spot and are not "cornering" me when I'm just trying to get from the parking lot to the mall, and I can just avoid them if I don't want to hear a sales pitch).  We're also very happy to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit when we see kids selling lemonade or brownies; they are doing work and providing goods or services, and we like to encourage their work ethic.  But kids just asking for money and offering nothing to me in return... well, better they spend it on baseball than on drugs, but either way, I'm not likely to give money to complete strangers for them to pursue their hobbies.  My hobbies, and other people's legitimate NEEDS, come before strangers' hobbies in my budget.

Editeer

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Re: Ignoring kids who are soliciting
« Reply #40 on: December 09, 2013, 03:05:20 PM »
Lol "soliciting" has an entirely different meaning in the UK - I wouldn't be ignoring it, I'd be getting the police involved!

Ah, so that is what "solicitors" (in the UK) do?  >:D

Two Ravens

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Re: Ignoring kids who are soliciting
« Reply #41 on: December 09, 2013, 03:19:56 PM »
I don't understand the big deal about saying "No" or "No, Thank you."

"I shouldn't have to?" Well, perhaps not but if you don't respond at all, people generally assume you didn't hear them.

Saying "No," takes one second, and is likely to get them to leave you alone. What's the fuss?

Joeschmo

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Re: Ignoring kids who are soliciting
« Reply #42 on: December 09, 2013, 03:20:48 PM »
One can be within the rules of etiquette while still being an unpleasant person.  This has come up every year around this time and many people here don't care if they are unpleasant if etiquette says they are okay which is their prerogative.  I choose to treat children (and all people)with respect and will continue to acknowledge them and at least say 'no, thanks'.  When money is involved it does turn into a business transaction so it's not rude to ignore but it is unpleasant.

bopper

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Re: Ignoring kids who are soliciting
« Reply #43 on: December 09, 2013, 03:28:04 PM »
All of these things are designed to prey upon your desire to be "nice" and "polite" and to talk to people who talk to you.
But you still can be nice and poliite and smile and say "No, thanks!"

BeagleMommy

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Re: Ignoring kids who are soliciting
« Reply #44 on: December 09, 2013, 03:42:18 PM »
You aren't required to respond, but I usually go with "No, thank you" and keep walking.  The only exception I make is for the Girl Scouts because I remember trying to sell cookies in a neighborhood where every girl was in the same troop and I was turned down many times.  I will buy Girl Scout cookies from any girl/troop selling them.

For the "Can I ask you a question" lotion sellers I respond "You just did".  >:D