Sunday, 16 November 2008

A Token Gesture



For those uninitiated in the ways of Waitrose in Worcester Park, when you complete your purchase at the checkout, you are handed a small green plastic token.

The checkout person will then chant the familiar mantra: "Are you familiar with our charity token system, Sir?"

I am, of course, but occasionally I will feign ignorance and watch the fixed smile fade slightly from the face of the assistant as they explain for the thirty-fourth time that day that:

"You place the token in the box of of your chosen charity, then at the end of the month Waitrose will make a donation to the charities on your behalf"

All well and good. Except that today I ran off with one of my green charity token. It was only when I got to my front door and reached into my pocket to retrieve the house keys that I realised the heinous act that I had perpetrated against charity.

Now I know what it must feel like to snatch food from the mouth of starving orphan, drag a gasping whale further up the beach or pee in the only water supply for an African village. Such was the extent of my crime against charity.

Oh the guilt, the guilt. Of course I will be returning it on my next trip to Waitrose, but it got me thinking about the odd sport of 'charity choosing' at Waitrose.

There is something strangely compelling about this monthly beauty pageant of charities. This month the Surrey Air Ambulance is whipping the pants off the Worcester Park Brownies (only metaphorically, thank goodness) and Victim Support Merton aren't doing very well either.

Presumably this is because the middle-class folk of Worcester Park care little about having their shoes shined and wouldn't even dream of going to Merton, let alone being mugged there.

The three charities change every month, and so begins another fascinating window into which causes the middle classes of Worcester Park hold dear.

Now, remind me to return that token next time I go. If the air ambulance runs out of fuel then I wouldn't want that on my conscience.

37 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Bitter_Old_Codger said...

Shouldn't the Air Ambulance service be funded by the NHS? Why do we pay NI contributions? Okay, I know we pay them to provide translators for the many sick people who cannot speak english. But surely there is some money left over to provide what is in essence an essential service in these busy road congested times.

Jacey said...

No doubt someone will correct me if I'm wrong but I thought some of the ASr Ambulances were "sponsored" - didn't Richard Branson sponsor the London one recently? They cost about a million a year I heard. Have to say I put my tokens in the Ambulance container for a simple reason, I considered it the one most needy. It has nothing to do with having no children or venturing into Merton thanks.

Worcester Park said...

I always put my token the way of the smaller charities. There's only £1,000 to be divided up amongst the three, so I figure that it would mean a lot more to small local charities (like Victim Support or WP Brownies). Also those charities have fewer donation streams. But it's all down to personal preference - which is what makes the charity token contest so fascinating.

Samsungite said...

Part of WP is in Merton!

Maybe the middle classes are in denial?

NS said...

I find it fascinating also. I used to take turns with each one but now I almost always put my token in whichever one is the lowest. I was a bit shocked, really, that so few people donated to the victim support one. I guess the WP middle class wants to be sure they can be airlifted in case of KFC-induced heart attack but are certain they wouldn't ever be a victim of crime. Pfft.

I'd really love to see how few tokens would go into a domestic violence or rape victims charity. Or something unglamorous like testicular cancer or dementia.

brainfacester said...

I was horrified to hear that part of WP is in merton, which part is that? I need to know so I make sure I never go there

The Brinkster said...

I see that the local Guardian are trailing in your wake and have published a story about it.

The Parkerilla said...

Oops , has Sutton Guardian slipped up?, apart from poaching WPBs post they've also quoted that next month's charities will be Emma's Bubble Trust, Raphael's Hospice and Retired Greyhound Trust. Those were actually last month's charities. It may be Waitrose are repeating the first month's ones but I feel that unlikely.

st phillip alleyer said...

samsun so right my son these pompus twits who really yes really think they are some realm of middle class in w pk is really laughable.they care nothing for it they dont spend in the community or shops they mostly dine out elsewhere then brag about it,like the bonkster or was it brinkster they all probably live off central road or cheam common and i can bet there tory twits in denial because you tell me 1 save parts of the avenue which is in kinston borough that is real MIDDLE CLASS.face it girls and gals your wpk chavvies trying to be cheam;creme de menthe

The Brinkster said...

Oooh st phillip alleyer! What a cheeky thing you are!! "The Bonkster"!?!?! Now there's a career move I hadn't thought of but alas I can't see a career for me in the film industry, be it blue or any other colour.

I think you've been watching John Prescott's TV series on class haven't you?? Admit it!!! Wait a second... behind that frosty facade maybe you ARE John Prescott!?!?!

Nice one John. Can I come round and play croquet or take one of the jags for a spin?

st phillip alleyer said...

no-no mr/mrs brinkster hopefully your the mrs,and you could bring an egg with you and if i dont fertilise it; i could give ya a right hander instead

st phillip alleyer said...

summinks just occured to me the brinksters and others are all tne same bcoz if u pinch one the other screams take my comments about shops and food and support, this suddenly jogs the memory of the brinkster to recall wonderfull meetings in pubs and restaurents with worcester park and co, yet failed to give service to us parkys before my blog;classy; its just i seem to recall your blogs of glorifying everywhere but wpk with the white hart being out of this world.is this amnesia; dementiaor selective tory memory

Worcester Park said...

St Phillip alleyer - you will no doubt have already read numerous posts on the blog extolling the virtues of Worcester Park shops, restaurants etc? Maybe not.

st phillip alleyer said...

okey dokey wpk but no i havent read them all i am new as i said but easy with the words please, i mean extolling? i mean seriously i havent heard that word since i dont know when maybe when i come back from wales via the non paying side of the severn bridge

Anonymous said...

Can St Phillip Alleyer just go away and stop posting comments? It is getting quite boring now

duncans-so-orderly said...

can anonymous get a life; and only answer when hes on anonymous mode st phillip seems to be just wot is needed on this pathetic blog put or shut up my son,and any other worms who should have a problem;now think that 1 over to mid morning you dosser.

st phillip alleyer said...

oi oi i bet anon must be a right old and i mean right old hampton; not the new estate; no the cockney rhymeing term.... ah but come on dont we all like a guessing game and judging by the pictures you wouldnt wanna play blind mans bluff with em know-wat-i-mean.

Anonymous said...

Por que no busca algo mejor que hacer St Phillip Alleyer que estupido. Tome clases de ingles antes de escribir. Perdedor!

st phillip alleyer.G.B said...

poor old hampton.... BRITISH IS BEST............

The Brinkster said...

Anon
Nasty question and having seen the list I'm confident the answer's "no".

Any skeleton's you'd like to confess to tho?

minigee said...

The charity competition is causing great ructions in our family. The boys favour the air ambulance because helicopters are cool. The girls go to a rival Brownies/Guides unit so they want to put the token anywhere but in the Brownies box. I like an underdog so I've been alternating between victim support and the Brownies which winds up all the children. Lately the charity argument has been getting so heated that the ladies at the tills have been giving us a token each just to shut us up.

I must say I hadn't got around to considering the WP class implications of the whole thing. How fascinating. Now if the charities included 'Victims of KFC induced obesity', versus 'Improved cycle access from the Hamptons towards Cheam village'....

Doris said...

Minigee how about 'free legal aid for victims of kfc induced obesity' versus 'demolish the Hamptons'

Anonymous said...

its so sad they have blocked st phillip so sad

The Brinkster said...

>> why has the brinkster and w pk stopped my blogs

Ermm?? I think you'll find blocking people isn't a feature available on Blogspot. Besides, I'm far too lazy.

>> its so sad they have blocked st phillip so sad

See above

Anonymous said...

This blog used to be an enjoyable read until 'st phillips' came along and started making a nuisance of himself. I hope he has been blocked and is free to p*ss off and irritate someone else with his sad obsessive behaviour

Anonymous said...

he has got a point though,have you noticed there are no double yellow lines in brinkley road? well would you bend over to paint them.

Anonymous said...

Bit of community spirit, but isn't a joy not to have St Philips comments bleating on...

Anonymous said...

ere we go back from the pub with their misspelt cobberlers,go to bed.

cabbage said...

Is there something I don't know about Brinkley Road? Why would anyone be afraid of bending over there?

Columbo Central said...

lol...call the police...or a detective..

Anonymous said...

well,whilst coming out of the estate agents there i dropped my wallet , and i had to kick it all the way home. i live in browning.

Anonymous said...

i tell you what:i have just drove over to the hamptons and i can see why so many people are so jealous of it,and no i am not taking the piss.it was absoloutley tranquill i mean no horrible lines of cars or skips poor lighting graffifi.everything seemed so uniformed it was like its own town and i am not surprized it wants to be called mayflower park,it truly is different class.now i have seen this place from scratch and when you consider what was there before it is a sight to behold.take the wildlife beautifull shrubbery gorgeous walks and small park,and free to all.everything tonight just seemed to have its place.the way parking is organized with added secruity and lighting is total 21st century and for those sleepless nighters or daytime walkers, that clock mesmerises me,the peacefull karma from the place has really enchanted me and i left in a very light hearted way...well done you lucky hamptoners because in all seriousness,and i travel extensively..tonight has really opened my eyes. from ST PHILLIP ALLEYER.

Walter_Mitty said...

And then he woke up...

Anonymous said...

ive got an idea demolish the huntsman and the m and s build a biwling alley cinema burger king a chinese buffet and several more shops .have parking over the road on that wasteground they call worcester park paralitic pathetic club having a walkwayed glass enclosure. and bring wpk out of the 50s.. dont dare say this is a bad idea

Anonymous said...

what makes you think its a he?

The Manor Drive said...

What I find disturbing is the petty squabbling going on with this blog which is taking away from the fantastic initative that is 'Community Matters'. Good on Waitrose! You dont see Tesco or spasda doing anything to give back to their community?! A brilliant scheme, the best supermarket by far!

Molly Air said...

I agree, Waitrose is far superior to the other main supermarkets.

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