Like most genuinely good-hearted people, I’d like to consider myself generous and charitably minded. If someone needs spare change, I’ll usually throw them a bone if I have it (extra bonus if they admit they’re buying a 40 oz.). If my former high school requests a donation for their annual appeal, I’m usually writing a small check to help out (although if they’re reading this, they may cry foul as I may have skipped out on their most recent attempt). Unfortunately these acts of goodwill have been compromised of late by the folks at my local CVS Pharmacy and their (what I’d like to deem) “donation spotlight”.
On two recent visits, I’ve made my way to the checkout counter with just enough cash in hand to make my purchase(s) of shaving cream, mouthwash, face wash, etc. Then a monkey wrench is thrown my way when the cashier asks if I’d like to donate a dollar to St. Jude’s Hospital for Children, as I feel the customers behind me curiously awaiting my reply. This is normally a no-brainer. How can I or anyone say “no” to such a request? I’ll show you how. When your bill prior to the request comes to $10.42 and you have $11.00 to hand to the cashier. That’s how. Then you’re faced with the unenviable task of telling him/her that you’ll have to get them “next time”, as the rest of the customers are ready to pounce, giving you that look like “Come on! It’s for the kids!”, leaving you to walk out with your tail between your legs.
Is the guilt-trip/strong-arm tactic really necessary? Maybe a donation box where you get to choose on your own without the embarrassment of having to say “no” to the kids? Or maybe the cashier can give you a nod and you can give him/her a nod back saying “yay” or “nay” where only the two of you know the deal? Either way, something needs to be changed about this because a trip to CVS for a box of Q-Tips has lately been leaving me to feel awful about myself.