Yesterday evening, I got home to a letter from Macmillan Cancer Support. As I raised a bit of money for them running the Robin Hood half marathon last year, I just smugly assumed that they were writing to me again to thank me for all my hard work and to confirm one more time just how amazing a human being I am.
Remarkably, it wasn't that. It was this:
"This is a one off letter from Macmillan Cancer Support. In the last year we have made important changes, and we'd like to ask you for a moment of your time to tell you how. We greatly value your support and hope that Macmillan can count on you in the future, just as we have done in the past. Previously, you decided against hearing from Macmillan. We're contacting you today as we hope you'll reconsider, so that we can update you on the exciting developments that have happened since we were last in touch...."
It goes on. People make a connection with Macmillan for often deeply personal reasons blah blah blah. They also thoughtfully included a postage paid envelope and a form where I could say how much I wanted to give them each month by direct debit or bequeath them in my will.
Look. Don't get me wrong: they're a great charity and I was happy to raise £1500 for you last year.... but which part of me saying I DIDN'T WANT TO BE CONTACTED BY YOU did you not understand? Oh wait. It's worse than that. You did understand my wishes, you just decided that you would ignore them to pester me for money anyway.
Are they even allowed to do this? I opted out of receiving communications like this so that, well, so that I wouldn't receive communications like this. I get enough of the damn things already. Earlier this week I had some particularly emotive ones from Save the Children telling me how my money could help STOP HIDEOUS PICTURES LIKE THESE OF CHILDREN NEEDLESSLY DYING being pushed through my letterbox. Another good charity, for sure, and I realise it's hard to get the money to keep doing these good works.... but I give a fair amount of money to charity, I raise a fair bit of money for charity and I don't like being harassed for more. Enough already.
I realise that Macmillan is a charity and not a commercial organisation, but does that give them the right to blatantly ignore my communication wishes like this? The AA sends me a lot - A LOT - of junk mail too, but at least they're only trying to get my money.... they're not trying to emotionally blackmail me too.
Reading to escape
4 days ago