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Notes from a bellringer

Friday, December 05, 2008
So I just completed my first shift bellringing for the Salvation Army. This year, because I'm significantly less hardcore than in years past, I opted for the indoor Macy's skybridge at the Salem Center, though - and I had no way of knowing this ahead of time - the weather was beautiful and being outside would have been okay.

As I am now a seasoned veteran when it comes to standing there and ringing that bell, I feel confident that I can accurately categorize the types of people I encounter:

The Shy Donor:

This person, a favorite, is the person who sort of angles towards the kettle at the last second, shoves some coin into the kettle, mumbles "Merry Christmas", and hustles away.
The Cell Phone:
These people are completely oblivious to my existence. Out of courtesy, I usually quiet the bell when they're walking past. I suspect that's more than they'd do for me.
The 1000-yard State:
Folks who are looking straight ahead as they march past out of fear that, were they to make eye contact, they'd be forced to donate money. (Either that or they're afraid I'll poison their soul.) They will not respond if spoken to.
The Busy Shopper:
Someone who walks by, smiles, says "Hello", and then marches in and leaves by a different door, if possible.
The Good Parent:
This is a parent, usually with a toddler, who will stuff some change in their kid's hand, pick them up, then have them put the money in the kettle. I love these people. I usually let the kid ring the bell afterward, which seems to be the highlight of their experience.

Of course there are a few more types that are extremely rare, but these are the people I see most often. It's fun to try to identify who will be what type as soon as you see them; I'm getting pretty good at that game.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You need a J O B! ! !

6:38 PM, December 10, 2008  

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