There are many things to hate about office life. If I started a list, its completion would probably signal the dawn of the apocalypse like the Tower of Hanoi. What tops my list changes with each futile day, and this week I am mainly incensed at the dreaded emails that start “Sponsor my trek across the world”, or similar.
Recalling the origins of such Friday night filler as Children In Need and Comic Relief, the idea of sponsorship is based on paying someone a certain amount to do something they will hate – for example, sitting in a bath of cold baked beans. Either that or something that is at least challenging. And that’s fine; should Shackleton pop up now, I’d be there sponsoring a husky they’d no doubt eat at some point.
Lately, a new type of charity fundraiser has emerged. We’re now frequently asked to sponsor people for huge amounts so they can go on fucking holiday.
You want to walk across Iceland? That’s a great idea; pay for it yourself. The huge amount you’re raising is basically paying for the airfare, hostels and equipment, with a tiny bit left over for the charity in question. In most cases you originally decided to do this activity without even thinking of a charity. You self-serving twat, you should be ashamed!
Above all else, you will enjoy this event. Why the fuck should I pay for an enjoyable holiday, which no doubt the company allow you to take off as paid due to some corporate responsibility loophole? I’ve been to Iceland, I did a bit of walking. No bastard paid for me to go, didn’t even offer. I even took leave.
In a fit of hysteria I raised this point to the happy charity-ers. I did not consider walking the Three Peaks in Yorkshire that difficult, and certainly not the way they were treating it, as a jolly time outdoors. “They’re hills you know.” Yes, hills. In England. Hills with hostels at the end. Hills that don’t require anyone to have a trickier talent than an ability to walk.
Above all, this is an event they planned as a few days out with friends. Why the hell should I pay anything for a bunch of cunts I don’t know or like to go for a nice walk together? I suggested they wear costumes, or drag things, just to make it worth sponsoring the hardship. “That will make it difficult.” Yes, it will. That is the point.
Slowly I spread my dissent, and other curmudgeons join my rallying call. People ask where the money will be spent, whether the weather will be a bit windy or wet, asking for any justification at all that this is worthy of the meagre pittance we earn churning over words no-one reads. “We are in training for it; that requires effort.” Training. To walk. This seems to involve buying new trainers and not taking the lift for a single floor. Bravo, your commitment astounds me.
More and more my mailbox is deluged with people who want my money for their own good times. Parachuting from great heights, climbing tiny mountains, driving across the desert, running a marathon in New York – the list goes on and becomes increasingly obscure. None of this is about raising money for a good cause; it’s about enabling you to do something you want to do on the cheap. The huge amount required is your entry fee.
Why not run the 25 miles here, without an event? Pay for jumping out of a plane yourself – why should I waste my money when you splatter yourself on the concrete? My hard-earned coins from labouring in this hell hole are used to justify my reason for living. They are spent on me.
Jog on you middle-class, conscience-free arseholes, I despise you and your request. Don’t ask me to pay for your jaunt abroad. I am not here to make your life happier. If I want to donate to a charity, I will do it directly or do something I truly hate to raise money. Then my friends will pay, just so they can taunt and mock, for that is how it should be.