Forcing Your Good Ideas On Others Despite Good Intentions

I got a little annoyed about a somewhat uncomfortable situation that came about at work.

Here in America, Tuesday was Veteran’s Day.  I have family members and friends who have served in the military, and I respect the courage of every person who has ever put forward their time and bravery for our country.

Our CIO put out a message to the entire IT staff thanking those on staff who have served, as well as providing a general thank you to all military members.  Someone replied personally to her asking if she would support an idea where people could contribute money that would then be used to support a family or two of veteran’s who needed assistance in terms of clothing, food, etc.

The CIO supported it and even offered to contribute a little extra herself, as well as sending out the idea to the entire staff.

The next day, the person who had the idea came around and started asking everybody for their contribution.  Not asking if they were going to contribute, but “You haven’t paid your $5 yet, so do you have it?”

I was a little taken aback and a quite a bit uncomfortable.

Here’s the thing:  I think it’s a great idea.  It’s certainly worthwhile.  But, there are many ideas and causes that are great ideas and worthwhile, but I can’t support every one of them.  My wife and I set aside money throughout the year for giving, and we work together to identify organizations and causes which we’d like to give, and budget accordingly.

While the amount ($5) was not a budget breaker, I thought that trying to make it forced giving was very off-putting and completely went against the positive spirit by which it had been initially suggested.

The method by which she collected it seemed designed to pretty much force everybody to give.  After all, if you say ‘no’ after having it presented that way, you come across as being the person that doesn’t support or honor veteran’s who are in need.

Which is not the case at all!

I just think that this should have been handled with a little more tact and understanding.  For the record, I did talk to some other people who found it equally off-putting, and as it turns out, the person who came up with the idea was asked to present her collection in such a way that it would be optional.

Readers, what do you think about this?  Should my co-worker have approached this differently or should I have just thrown in the $5 since she meant well?

11 thoughts on “Forcing Your Good Ideas On Others Despite Good Intentions”

  1. I detest these situations, because I like to choose where I donate money. In almost all cases, it is the individual’s inability to realize they ar eputting you in an uncomfortable position.

  2. I think it should have been sent out to people that if you want to donate bring it to this person by this time. Leave it at that so people could decide on their own.

  3. I don’t think there’s any question that it was poorly handled. Like you said, it puts you in a ridiculous situation where you can’t say no without being unpatriotic. She needed to make it voluntary and told people to stop by her desk.

  4. Wow if it was me, I’d go to the CIO and tell her what happened and request she speak with that employee if I heard multiple people were approached like that. I’m sure the employee didn’t pitch it to the CIO that way! Charitable giving should never be forced and it’s surprising that some people aren’t sensitive enough to realize that. Even if someone wants to give, they may not have the means to do so, and nobody should be put in an awkward situation like that.

  5. Awkward! Not a fan of the approach, my knee-jerk response would be to say no. LOL. Being put on the spot is never fun, especially in a situation like that.

    I know she meant well, but she was making assumptions. Yes, $5 is most likely not a budget buster, but you don’t know. Not a fan of how she did this.

  6. I don’t like to encounter such annoying and awkward situations as this one. It’s arrogant IMO. You should have told the donator what you felt. Let the person decide, no force or anything…

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