Recently I have started temping at a company that sells commemorative ‘Strikes’ (coins with no monetary value). The work is incredibly mindless and very easy, but at least I have some money coming in. (I am unable to start supply teaching until my awful ex-headteacher writes my reference for the supply agency – I have been waiting for a month.)
I am trying my hardest to look at this ‘job’ as positively as possible, so I have come up with a list of reasons why I am lucky to have this job:
- It is money, not a lot, but some money.
- I get to walk there and back every day – walking is good for my soul.
- I am able to walk Pearl to school everyday.
- I am free in the evening to hang out with Pearl and focus on other ‘career’ paths, such as studying my proofreading course that I have started.
Despite these reasons I am having a constant moral battle as to whether I should leave the job, or stay in it. The people who sign up for these ‘strikes’ are old, their handwriting is all shaky, and they are spending A LOT of money. I wonder whether they think that these coins are going to be worth something?
The adverts for the commemorative strikes are VERY clever. They persuade the buyer to purchase the strikes by making them personal, giving “special offers” to “you” the “VIP“, use your “credit note” and the “free postage“, claim your “free gift“. The VIP is told the offer is “only for you” and there is a “limited stock” so the credit note has to be “used within 10 days”. Now, I don’t mind this (too much), advertising has always had to be persuasive otherwise it is pointless, but there is small, teeny, tiny, minuscule print. Print so small that I am sure an aged person would not be able to read it or would easily misunderstand it. I know I would probably not look at it too closely if I wanted the item that was being offered.
So old,(let’s call him) Reginald Baxter from Glasgow has provided his card details to claim his limited addition, special only to him, strike to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the RAF for ONLY £12.95. Great, what a bargain – he was even given a voucher worth £44.95! However, what poor old Reg didn’t read was the fact that he has now entered into a monthly subscription where £56.78 (or even more) is taken from is card.
It was even explained to me in training that lots of the people who buy a strike don’t realise they are entering into a subscription. It is apparently fine though as they are allowed to stop it without any obligation. But I don’t think this is ok – the number of people who are phoning customer services and are confused about this is high. People don’t need the stress of having extra money, that they weren’t aware would be, taken out of their account. Especially, pensioners who might have a limited budget. Do they need that worry? Do they need the hassle of having to phone up to sort out something like this? How many people don’t even realise this is happening?
I processed an order today for a little over £800! I do wonder whether some people actually think that these have value and are buying them for an inheritance? This whole thing doesn’t sit well with me, I am imagining lovely, sweet old people sitting at home waiting for their shiny strikes and then getting all stressed when the following month huge sums of money are taken out of their account.
Am I over thinking this? I mean it’s only a temporary job…