Thursday, 18 June 2015

What About Pushy People?

We're almost at the height of our summer now and it's lovely to sit in the shade of a tree out in the open spaces with a book. When I'm in my garden, I seem to always see something that needs attention, something to clip back, weeds invading the flowers, so I often dart about doing all these jobs rather than sitting with a book as planned. I'm not like that indoors though and read away for hours.

As it was a dry, mild day, yesterday, I decided to get a bus to Wells, Somerset, which is about an hours journey from here.
The city is very small and the streets narrow and I'm sure that if it didn't have a magnificent cathedral, then it would be classed as a town.
I knew it would be market day and there would be a lot of people about and I thought it'd be good to wander round and spend a couple of hours before returning home.

I'd not been on the bus very long when a young girl plonked herself down next to me and immediately started to be very gushy with, *How are you today? I like your top. etc.* At first I wondered if she was alright but realised she wasn't British so didn't think she knew we didn't like that kind of approach. Almost immediately after I acknowledged her with a casual remark...... she got out her pamphlets and started to try to get me interested in her religion. All I wanted really, was to sit quietly and look at the lovely countryside around me as it was my precious day off. However, I was jammed in by the window so couldn't escape and I didn't have the heart to dampen her enthusiasm, so I let her pray for Harry and took her pamphlets which I read but later disposed of.
I think as we get older, life is not so black and white as this girl was making out. The smile on her face seemed plastic and I wonder if she'd had to try to convert me for an assignment at the *chapel* she was going to en route. I was relieved when she got out of the bus a good deal earlier than I did.
I thought of all the people who would have been really uncomfortable with this girl's cheeky move. It seems a bit like the Charity muggers (that we call Chuggers* in England.) They jump out at you and say, *Hey.... how are you doing?* as though they are long lost friends and all they want is to get you to sign up with a Direct Debit for their charity. They then try to make you feel quite guilty if you say no. (A 92 year old woman from Bristol recently jumped over a high cliff to her death because she was overwhelmed by begging letters and she tried to give to everyone and got herself into a mess.)

When I arrived in Wells it was drizzling with rain the whole time I was there. It didn't stop me going  for a long walk and I met 2 lovely ladies who asked me if I'd like to go for a cuppa with them (they weren't selling anything, asking for charity or peddling a religion!) I met them in the bus queue in Bristol and talked while we waited for the bus.
Although I cut my visit short because of the rain, I found I had quite enjoyed the trip. The bus journey going home was without incident..... almost boring. The streets were dry in Bristol as it had been sunny all day. 
I had plenty to think about when I got home, recalling the unusual journey to Wells. 
What do others thing about fanatics and chuggers?


Wisewebwoman said...

It's like being assaulted either by phone, physically, internet or on your door. The terrible, intrusive noise of begging or proselytizing. I am very selective as to where I place my donations, most of them are a racket with exorbitant promotional costs.

However, living out here on the Edge it rarely happens except by phone and email. I sympathize with your experience, travelling can be a risk.


dianefaith said...

You don't explicitly say but the young woman you describe sounds like an American. That's a common experience here in the USA -- people trying to save our souls. I'm sorry she threw that cloud over your day. It's irksome behavior.

Gosia said...

Crazy people are everywhere and I have met one on the tram it was a terrible experience

Jackie said...

Hi Maggie. Glad that you were able to get out and about. I'm sorry that your peaceful trip was interrupted, but I am happy that it ended on a much better note.
Like you, I enjoy quiet times and quiet trips. I have trouble "discouraging" the Chatty Cathies, too. Sigh. Perhaps we are just too nice
But, the world could certainly use more people like you. I admire your kindness as you endured her intrusion into your journey
Hugs a bunch for you, sweet friend.

MARY G said...

Oh my yes! On the phone, in shopping malls, by mail. Sometimes I fight back, sometimes endure.
Glad you got a day away, even if it was less than a perfect one!
And I hope things are going smoothly for you and your spouse.

Rose said...

Chuggers is a new term to me, but we all know the type! I always dread it when some overly talkative person sits down by me on a plane. I don't mind a little conversation, but I'd rather read my book and just relax on a trip. The worst, though, are all the phone calls we get from salesmen and charities. We have caller I.D., so I usually just don't answer the phone. I think many of these charities, though, prey on the elderly. Glad the rest of your day was a pleasant one!

Eddie Bluelights said...

Yes, I haven't the heart sometimes to dampen their enthusiasm. I suppose they see it as a 'life' or should I say 'eternal life' saving exercise, meant in a good way. I think some people are a little heartless when they are rude to them.
Glad you had a good day but shame about the weather, but as kids we used to say:
Whether the weather be good, or whether the weather be bad, I'll whether the weather, whatever the weather, whether I like it or not!" . . . remember? Love Eddie xx

Sally Wessely said...

I'm with you. Honest conversations may turn to religion and beliefs, but do not accost me with such conversations.

Secret Agent Woman said...

I've never heard of chuggers (or charity muggers, for that matter) but I've had plenty of experiences where someone has tried to push their religion on me. Often at my door. I say no thank you politely and if that doesn't work I say it less politely.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Hi there, I'm Lindsey! I have a question and would love to speak with you. Could you please email me when you have a chance? Thanks so much, I look forward to hearing from you :) lindseyDOTcaldwellATrecallcenterDOTcom