It’s been many years, since I began to establish myself back in the world of work after dealing with a circumstance that made it so I was doing things that were not—as it were—my forté.
Back when I first came to be employed in a more or less standard nine-to-five, I worked in some positions that were not things in which I had much expertise.
An example, would be the short amount of time (roughly a year), that I spent working for a major bank, in what they referred to as a “lock box.”
I imagine such facilities still exist.
The point of that part of the entity, was to process payments for third parties who used the services of the financial institution.
One such group, was a set of “charities.”
They would send in payments that we “processed.”
Those payments were (as far as I know) destined for accounts in the banking chain in question.
I had already worked at a charitable organization prior to my time there.
As such, I had a jaundiced eye towards most (if not more or less all) such supposed “doers of good.”
Having done just a little research, I came to the conclusion most of the corporations in question, were not so charitable (or, one might argue, non-profit) as they let on.
You might be asking why I bring this up, considering the subject of this little piece.
What I wanted to discuss in this rant, is the idea of entities for whom one works, with whom those places of employment partner, and with third parties provide service to me and others, and their tendency to try to bait me into “contributing to” various supposedly “good causes.”
Others may think it a wonderful thing, for example, that their cellular phone provider gives a certain amount of what they take in, to some group ostensibly working for the betterment of some group.
My answer to this just isn’t particularly complicated.
How would I respond to such an idea?
I can sum my sentiment up in a single word, “STOP!”
I understand that you think you’re doing something good by passing along a portion of what I pay you, to some individual or group, working to “help others,” or save the snail darter, or whatever, but can I point something out?
If I want to support those causes, chances are pretty darned good I can figure out how to do just that without your aid.
The same goes for various entities like United Way.
Is it true that they give some horribly small percentage to the actual charitable organizations for whom they supposedly collect?
I don’t know for sure, but I’m not willing to take that chance.
This ultimately brings me to places of employment, supporting similar endeavors as well.
To begin with, I know well, some of the places being undergirded are not doing what they say they are.
On top of that, what if I have a different set of priorities when it comes to who I do want to support?
Further, I recognize that my forcing (or attempting to coerce) others, to agree with my choices, makes me as odious as businesses supposedly doing likewise on my behalf.
You’re my telephone service provider? What do you suppose I want you to do?
How does, “your JOB” sound to you?
And if I work in your company, am I looking for you to help me decide how I need to spend my money?
Let me help you, the answer to that would be, “No.”
Bad enough that I have to spend money to appear in the correct clothing to make you happy.
Please don’t think it’s reasonable to expect me to add my largess to entities you think are good ones for things like charitable activity.
Even if I agree with you, there’s every possibility there are other groups or people, I consider more worthy of what funds (or time, or whatever) with which I happen to be willing to part.
Worse yet, working to either shame me into supporting folks or groups, or not giving me the option (as would be the case for the aforementioned cellular phone provider), makes it so money that might have been better spent on me and mine, will often be squandered on those who have far less need of it.
What it comes down to is—at least in my view—quite simple, what people want you to do is not to collect for various causes. What folks want you to do is, your job.
They come to you for groceries, for phone service, for Internet service, for health insurance, for whatever.
They likely do not darken your door because you give a portion of what you supposedly exact for doing that which they desire of you, to someone else.
That’s particularly true, if the entities to whom you expend resources, are not ones the folks paying you (or working for you) would support, given the opportunity to make the choice.
You there! That CEO! You like putting your wealth towards LGBT issues? Grand! Do just that.
For my part though, at the very least, I may think some other group or cause is far more significant (regardless what I think of members of a given group).
I’ll say it again, in the vain hope someone is actually paying attention.
Stop spending my money (or asking me to give it) and other substance, on things, and acting like you’re virtuous for so doing!
I’m pretty certain I can figure out who I want to support on my own, thanks.
For those providing various goods and services to me, consider yourselves on notice. For my part, I do not find it to be a selling point, that you’re spending some part of what I pay you for that provision, on things with which I may not even agree.
Even if I do though, I can generally figure out how to get resources to them if I think that’s something I need to do.
That goes every bit as much for employers as providers of various types.
I hope I’ve made my position clear.