On top of this, I hate to disappoint nice people. I always think that a smile and a thumbs-up are better than following their well-rehearsed informational talk with a “Thanks for the information. I’m not prepared to commit right now, but I’ll think about it.” As I write this, it’s painfully clear that this is all about me. I hate rejection, and I project that onto the workers I encounter. Whether a fundraiser’s day is a personal success or not certainly doesn’t hinge on my decision to stop, chat, and donate.
No matter what, I have tremendous respect for those who brave the elements, put on a smile, and try their best to engage the 75th stranger of the day as if she were the first. To the Red Cross Crusaders, Heroes of the Human Rights Campaign, Planned Parenthood Proponents, and other champions of change, keep up the good work, and may your days be filled with education opportunities, sizable donations, and not too many neurotically avoidant passers-by like me.
On the other hand, if your public education consists of illogical rants that liken President Obama to Adolf Hitler, then may you be met with the harsh stares of liberals as they walk along San Francisco's Embarkadero.