I got roped into representinting my department of local city government agency for an annual charity campaign. Last year, a very agressive "captian" was in charge in our department and he tried all kinds of high-pressure sales tactics to get me to donate. The more examples he gave, like mentioning who gave the most, the more discusted I was with the whole thing. I know for a fact that both my assistant and I didn't donate last year but somehow our department got a 100% donation rate.

One should donate privately and anonymously -- fame and competition should paly no part of this.

Who's the captian now??! I am.

This charity campaign has all the trappings of a pyramid scheme. Everyone is getting their cut and the ultimate charitable agency that should benefit ends up getting a smaller and smaller percentage of the donation. For example, you can only dontate to one of 7 "Community Charities" and right off the top they take 15% cut for "operating costs" . A "Community Charity" is a group that represents several charities - what they don't say is that these individual charities need to pay about $5k per year be a part of this community charity. Where do you think the $5k comes from? Other donations!

I was forced to attend the charity campaign launch meeting this morning and I'm nauseous with disgust. The room was decorated with helium baloons, glittery hearts (that I'm still picking off my sweater), fake paper money strewn on the tables (let's not forget the focus of this whole event) and various other party favors that we were enocuraged to wear and blow. Croissants, muffins, coffee and sodas lined the back of the room.

Door prizes were awarded for any particular reason...

"To the first who walked in the door... a canvas bag! Coming early shows commitment"

"To the two people who are wearing green sweaters... plastic hearts because you're at the heart of the campaign!"

How much *$&#@$ MONEY went into planning this whole damn thing anyway?!? Could they have forgone the helium baloons and given $10 to charity? Could they have forgone the heart glitter and given the $7.95 to charity? Could they have forgone the muffins and drinks and given the $213 to charity?!?

I'm so upset I can't even see straight.

And yet, to my department head, I have to kiss ass and pretend to be "greatful to be chosen for such an honor!"

I think I'm gong to stick my head in a toilet and vomit now-- good thing I didn't eat the muffins.

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