How Not to Get Assistance or Support for Your Cause

This morning while working I had gone on a towel run (we have bins around the building to collect used towels. We run loads of towels through the laundry pretty much all day long). As I made my way toward the front desk, two of my associates were there with a tall, older gentleman who was dressed in street clothes and carrying a clipboard. Before my coworker could finish her sentence to ask me a question for this man, he walked (quickly) around the desk to me.

<convo>

Me: What can I help you with, sir?

Him: I was just asking if I could stand out front and attempt to register people to vote.

Me: Oh. No, I’m sorry. (I genuinely was.)

Him: Me too. All the people of this country want is the right and ability to vote.

Me: (Less empathetic) I understand, sir. Your tone isn’t obnoxious at all…

Him: (Half under his breath) I don’t think you do…

I ignored his comment because I have better things to do with my brain cells than to enter into a conversation/argument with a grown man who thinks being a jerk/bully is going to get him his way, besides, I was working and had things to do. As we both walked toward the front door where I had another towel bin to empty and he had to exit, he gave it one last shot:

Him: You know, I think it’s bad policy-

Me: {Turning to face him, knowing my every expression tells more than I typically voice}

Him: Don’t look so disgusted.

Me: Sir, the fact that you’re attempting to browbeat me is incredibly condescending. This is a corporation. Anything that takes place on the property has to be approved through the corporate offices. {I turned back to what I was doing, done with him and his attitude.} Thankfully the gentleman left. Had he continued to try and force me to listen to him, as though I’m young, naive, and/or fearful enough to suddenly break down and cry or just simply take his side and give him what he wants, I probably would have lost my s^!t in an incredibly unprofessional manner.

</convo>

Here’s the thing: if you’re legitimately working towards some goal and looking to get assistance in some way, you do not behave in this manner. You enter the business and politely inquire as to whom its best to speak with first. Generally, anything that involves getting a business’s brand involved (yes, standing in front of a business IS involving their brand!) requires speaking to the topmost manager at the facility or going even higher if its a corporation. If that person is not available: you do not have permission to proceed any further. Had this gentleman inquired about the chain of command or even asked to speak with the general/site manager, he would have had a much better chance to do what he wanted to do.

Voter registration is a huge thing. There are notifications everywhere telling people how to go about registering. The DMV asks people about registering every time someone goes in for anything. The news, radio, social media… every possible data transfer outlet has been pounding it out for weeks that people, “need to vote, make sure you’re registered!” So why now, by himself, is this man walking door-to-door trying to get businesses to let him stand outside and register people? Furthermore, why is he acting like being turned away from one place means that we are somehow preventing people from registering to vote?

His conduct and attitude makes me very leery about his true intentions. I find it difficult to believe that the various entities responsible for registering people randomly handed this dude a clipboard and said, “have at it, register whomever you want, wherever you want.” The collection of information needed in order to register a person is just extensive enough to steal that person’s identity so you know what? Unless you have a responsible, professional deportment, conduct yourself respectfully, and produce some form of evidence that proves that you have the authority to collect this information and that it is going directly to the source, I think you’re just a shady f^#*ing bully that didn’t think a few short women working at a gym wouldn’t boot your ass for being rude as hell.

I don’t care what your cause is, if you’re condescending to people when you talk about it, no one is going to help you. People don’t typically help assholes (unless it’s they’re last-ditch effort to make it into heaven).

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