Back in December 2014, I had a bit of a rant against Macmillan’s attitude to people attending appointments on their own. I found it unacceptably patronising then and I still do. Unfortunately, they have built on this with advertising and fundraising campaigns and in their presence in hospitals. I can't help but feel that they now have a vested interest in portraying people with cancer as weak and unable to manage without the help of their charity.
The practical outworking of this is that I have now been targeted three times by pushy but needy volunteers who have noticed that I am in the clinic on my own. On one of these occasions I was actually quite deeply engrossed in reading and was still interrupted. They say they would like to speak to me, are quite persistent and seem incapable of taking even quite heavy hints that I don't want to speak to them. And they go on about ‘not facing cancer alone’. I assume they then toddle back to their admin area and record another person they have ‘helped’ in order to justify their funding.
Now, if these were paid employees I would have taken a very strong line at the outset. The difficulty is that not only are they volunteers, but they clearly have their own issues and at least one that I know of is volunteering following their own cancer treatment. They mean well and I suspect some of them are quite vulnerable. It would be easier if they could just take a hint but as they don't seem prepared to do that, I have decided that I now need to be blunt.
I have done my Good Deeds by letting these needy people speak to me but enough is enough. Next time I will be polite but will state outright that I don't wish to speak with them and I will let them know (also politely) why.