Imagine it being around the winter holiday season and you are heading to one of your favorite stores.  Out front of the store is one of those bell ringers with the big red kettle.  You walk by the person without giving any money.  Suddenly the person chases you, hits you to the ground, and beats you with the bell.  Chances are that this person would be terminated from being a bell-ringer anymore.

Well, a similar thing happened to me recently on Formspring.  As many of you may know, Formspring is a question/answer website where you follow people similar to Facebook and answer questions from people you follow and vice versa.

Usually there is never a problem with the site for me.  However, last summer I had a guy named “Bill” who endlessly asked me political questions to the point that they got downright annoying.  Some of the questions that “Bill” asked were even flagged by Formspring as being possibly “unsafe”, meaning that they could be insulting or produce some sort of bullying.  After about 3 weeks, “Bill” disappeared and I haven’t had a problem with the site since.

That was until last week when this guy who was heading up a “charity” wanted people to donate to someone because they were facing “hard times”.  First off let me say that there are thousands of people facing “hard times” and the real possibility of people honestly donating would be expected to be fairly low.  Since I had no idea who the person was that the person wanted to help, I kindly said as I do when anybody asks for money: “I don’t give to charity.”

I thought that this was a simple and kind answer and I would be left alone with the comment.  But NOOOOOOO!!  This was not the case at all! The person went absolutely ballistic using foul language to me saying that I should have said nothing than say what I did.  However, I would have felt that it would have been rude if I didn’t respond.  I feel that anybody who runs any charity should be respectable to all responses no matter what.  By ticking off a person with this response, the charity representative made himself look like a jackass.  After all, who wants to donate to a charity where somebody goes off the deep end when they don’t like a person’s response?

It really makes me wonder how legitimate this charity really is.  If you really didn’t want a response then the person should not have used Formspring as his forum to solicit money in the first place.  I believe that solicitation of this type is in violation of Formspring’s Terms of Service, but it is not my place to decide.

Before I go on, let me explain why I don’t give to charity.  The first reason is that I am poor and unemployed.  The second reason is that there are way too many fake charities out there.  It is hard to separate the legitimate ones from the fake ones at times, thus to be fair I donate to none of them.  In future posts on this blog and my Staples blog, I will discuss charity in much deeper detail, including some fake charities that I discovered along the way.  Guess what giant office supply store created them!  I will discuss more on this later!