I love charity, but I hate Capitalism

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Exactly a month ago today, I moved back home for the summer as our halls of residence kicked us out in order to rent the rooms out to tourists over the summer and charge more than they charged us to live there for the last eight months. Being home has been a very strange  experience for me. I thought it would be a really good idea to get a job to keep my parents off my back about money problems that I don’t actually have (yet) and everything else that I do wrong. I’d never had a job before and I thought it would be difficult to find one with no experience in anything. I guess I was lucky because within two weeks of being home, I had made it through a group interview for a door to door fundraising company and somehow made it through the assessment - I honestly have no idea how that one happened, it was honestly awful. I think the manager who I pitched to felt sorry for me, but hopefully she saw some sort of potential there as well.

So I became a proper adult with an actual paying  job, a job that I figured I’d really enjoy because it means the money I raise goes towards an amazing cause and not capitalism, which I hate. Two weeks into the working world and I am a little bit disenchanted with it all. More than a little bit. The job itself has many pros to it. Whenever I get a signup, it warms my heart and I feel like there is a point to what I do. It is an amazing feeling to have someone stand on their door, listen to everything I have to say about the fantastic work the charity I work on behalf of and then decide to actually help the charity. What disenchants me, however, is that each day, I knock on roughly one hundred and fifty doors per shift, sometimes more, and the vast majority of the people on the other side either don’t answer, shut the door in my co workers and I’s faces and just are not interested in what we are trying to achieve in the work that we do. What brings me down is realising that the majority of the people we meet are too wrapped up in their own lives to care about trying to help others.  What brings me down is that I was also one of those people without realising it. How many times have I ignored the street fundraisers whenever they try and ask me for a moment of their time? Countless, in multiple different cities. I sometimes even lie and say I’m under the age they are looking for. I say I hate capitalism but I am more wrapped up in it all than I like to think myself.

If you were to ask my friends to describe me in a few words, the term ‘lazy’ would be there. I am lazy. My best friend in halls resorted to calling me a ‘laptop worm’ at one point because I would just spend days sitting under my covers, staring at my laptop screen, blogging, writing, and mostly just watching films or endless episodes of whatever television show I was making my way through at the time. I am a very lazy person lately. I laugh whenever someone suggests that I go to the gym or for a jog with them. When I suffered with an eating disorder, I would have jumped at the chance, but nowadays, most activities that require me to get out of bed, do so with a lot of persuasion from those who wish me to partake in them, unless they are academic; in which case I have had to work extensively to persuade myself on a few occasions. The job I got actually requires me to walk for five hours a day and I thought this would actually be a factor that would make me not enjoy it very much. Yes, the first few two days were a bit of a struggle, my feet, legs and back hurt a lot. But it wasn’t the kind of pain that made me complain or even consider quitting my job. When I think about why I’m walking, what I’m trying to achieve, I don’t think about my legs or any feeling in them. The point in each shift that I do start to think about how much I have been walking is usually when it’s nearly the end of the shift and I have only met one person, if any at all, who have listened to what I have told them about the charity to actually signed up to support by parting from their money. People have such a problem parting with money, especially when they are not receiving tangible goods in return for their precious money. I myself see money as precious, even though I understand that it is just paper and metal. I begrudgingly like having money because I know that I need it to have a good time in the world that I live in. Charities hire people such as my team to knock on people’s doors, to find them in their homes and tell them what it is they do and why they do it, and ask for their support. We have to ask or we would not get it. Topshop, however, do not have to knock on people’s doors to tell them about their products. They merely make them readily available to the public and in the consumers come, day after day. An endless stream of people know that Topshop make beautiful clothes and covet them. A lot of people, I’ve learned from conversations I have every day at work, do not know that the heart attack is the nation’s biggest killer or that the charity I work for has been responsible for a lot of the major breakthroughs in the fight against heart disease, or that five hundred people in the UK alone are diagnosed with heart failure each week. I’ve told a lot of the team leaders I’ve worked with that my biggest downfall at this job is what the company calls ‘Objection Handling’ and that is because although the majority of people I’ve pitched to, do stand on their door for a few minutes and listen to what I say and are shocked at what is going on in the world outside their doorstep and would like to help actually feel they can’t because they need every penny they earn for food, for rent, for bills, for leisure and thus would see the £3 a week minimum we ask for building up over time, a weekly £3 that they don’t see the direct results of because it does not help them immediately. I have only worked there for two weeks, but I don’t see how to convince people to give to a cause when the only thing stopping them is money worries. I myself would want to give to every charity out there but I don’t because it would make my life in the world I live in impossible, and that fact annoys me a lot. For all my complaining about Capitalism, I have let it own me so I can continue to live the comfortable life I currently lead. I can’t handle the money objections well because I know where the people are coming from and I would feel like a hypocrite trying to because the main reason I started this job is because I needed money. I could also talk about the fact that teams in my company seem to get more signups in terraced or council estate areas than in areas that have huge houses and the owners have beautiful gardens, multiple cars and huge televisions but that’s another strand of Capitalism that angers me so much that I would be here for a while ranting about.

The issue that has affected me the most about having a job is the fact that I wake up at half eleven each morning, have breakfast and set off for the office, meet up with my team, travel to the day’s territory, and work from 15:30 and finish at 21:00, make my way home via various modes of public transport, have dinner, and by the time I get a moment to myself, I am too distressed about the issues I mentioned above to think about anything else. To put it simply, I have had no time for inspiration. I have not been taking myself on artist dates, I haven’t been lurking into the darkest depths of my mind for something to write a beautiful or self indulgent poem or short story. I get so frustrated when I can’t write. I’ve had writers block before but I haven’t ever been in a situation in which I haven’t had the time to try to even write something I’ll end up hating and never sharing with the world. My creativity is a large part of who I am and I am slightly resentful to the working world for the distance it has caused between us. I’ve been complaining about this for almost a week but this is only the second time since I started working that I’ve sat down and tried to write. I’ll simply have to suck it up because I foresee a large portion of the rest of my life being spent this way; having to work so I can pay my rent, bills, not have to go back to live in my parent’s house after this summer, to go out dancing and so on. Thus, if I love writing as much as I know I do, I have no choice but to make time for it. Capitalism is not going away anytime soon unfortunately, but my creativity will if I let it. I suppose if I wanted to romanticise it the way I do a lot of the things I write about, I would say that it all seems rather Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, which I think I could be begrudgingly accepting of.

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  1. innercondition posted this