Starve on!

January 27th, 2010 · 139 comments

Explains our submitter in New York: “This note is the result of a less-than-enthusiastic holiday food drive. Our office is a gray, lifeless place — what can one expect?”

(I don’t know…maybe some munchkins now and then?)

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who participated in the 2009 Food Drive.  We collected 75 pounds less than the 100 pounds of food required for pick up but I am sure that it will be greatly appreciated by those affected by homelessness, job losses and the elderly. There are three items which are not acceptable donation items.  They have been placed on the table.  Please check if they are from your donation and retrieve them.

related: But what about Hawaiian Shirt Day?

FILED UNDER: all-staff e-mail · guilt trip · office · thanks (but not really)

139 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Kim

    Yeah, I kind of agree with the tone of this note. I don’t know how big this office is but I assume if they are having a “food drive” it can’t be that small. 25 lbs of food for a food drive is a pretty poor showing. And don’t blame the economy. If you have a job, you can afford to bring a couple cans of food in for people less fortunate than yourself. Period.

    Jan 27, 2010 at 10:04 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   marco

      Maybe people just want to decide for themselves, where and what they donate.

      Individuals buying random foods, lugging them to work, collecting them and bringing them to some organization that then will distribute them to individuals again does not seem like the most ideal way to help people in need.

      Jan 27, 2010 at 10:11 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   Wade bang

      The whole point of giving a donation is that it is just that, a donation. And the poundage amount is probably imposed by the recipient, so they aren’t chasing all over town picking up small donations.

      My suggestion – If the office manager is upset that the artificial level wasn’t reached, get in the car yourself and drive it over.

      And besides, the 100lb limit would have been reached if they hadn’t rejected the 3 25lb cans of bamboo sprouts.

      Jan 27, 2010 at 10:31 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   Canthz_B bang

      Marco, it worked just fine for me in 2008.
      I didn’t bother to ask to see their organizational chart.
      Food Bank food is good eats.

      Jan 27, 2010 at 10:31 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.4   Fridge Pirate

      The bamboo sprouts were fucking delicious. ;)

      Jan 27, 2010 at 10:47 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.5   TheOldSchool

      Give some men some cans,

      And you feed them for a day.

      Give them motorbikes.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 12:19 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.6   mamason bang

      …and a can opener.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 12:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.7   mamason bang

      btw-I’ve heard of bean sprouts and I’ve heard of bamboo shoots but I’ve never heard of bamboo sprouts.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 1:01 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #2   Marie

    Giving money is FAR more effective than collecting food yourself.

    Jan 27, 2010 at 10:08 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   secondsout bang

      Not necessarily. The non-profit that I work for features a food bank. When we don’t have supplies, we have to go buy them and restock our shelves. If someone were to bring us 25 lbs or 100 lbs of canned goods, that’s food we don’t have to buy, and we put it straight on our shelves. In fact, we actually love it when offices like this do canned food drives.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 9:51 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.2   Mo®

      I always donate yams and beets. I don’t know why I guess I just like to give the stuff that comes in big cans.

      “big cans”

      Jan 28, 2010 at 11:41 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.3   TheOldSchool

      Sorry, Marie. Money not only tastes weird,* it was also shown to be inferior to a common household Ding Dong when we compared the two for nutritional values in side-by-side lavatory tests.

      * Some participants made note of a metallic taste. Others whined about the money’s unpleasant paperish-pulpy texture, and the fact that it turned their tongues pond-scum-green and gave their breath a fresh scent that was likened by others in the nearby vicinity to that of an excavation gone awry at a founding father’s privy.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 11:47 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.4   Flaboy2425

      Yes, Ding Dongs do tend to fall apart in the lavatory wash test. Not much is left for evidence.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 2:24 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.5   Marie

      Your food bank will buy food at retail? Okay, I take it back. Money would not go further in that case.

      Jan 29, 2010 at 11:49 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #3   Groo

    This note seems more disappointed than passive aggressive. It could have been MUCH snarkier,

    Jan 27, 2010 at 10:11 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   Starscream

      I love that you said “snarky.”
      It’s my favorite word!
      I also agree with you :D

      Jan 27, 2010 at 10:29 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.2   Tim Kolb

      Ha! Me too. :o)

      Jan 27, 2010 at 10:42 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.3   mamason bang

      Yeah! Me three! Snarky, snarky, snarky! I just can’t get enough! ahhh… good times.

      Although, to be exact, Groo said, ‘snarkier.’

      Jan 28, 2010 at 1:05 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   vickie

    i’m particularly concerned for those affected by the elderly. that is unfortunate.

    Jan 27, 2010 at 10:11 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Pterosaur

      Apparently, when the elderly affect you, it greatly reduces your food supply. Are the baby boomers raiding refrigerators now that their retirement funds are toast? Should I be afraid?

      Jan 27, 2010 at 10:34 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.2   Resident Grammarian esq bang

      I’m affected bet the elderly. My college professor won’t cut me a break!

      Jan 28, 2010 at 4:40 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.3   mmbb

      I typically bet a low red number, but your [sic] saying that I should bet on the higher numbers.

      Resident Grammarian, you’re [sic] ageist betting system is full of fail.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 5:17 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.4   Mo® bang

      The elderly are like fucking zombies man! Just a shot to the head and take em right out.
      LOOK OUT there is one behind you!

      Jan 28, 2010 at 1:07 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   whiskey

    I have 3 cans of government pork from the food bank, who wants them?

    Jan 27, 2010 at 10:11 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   mamason bang

      mmmm… government pork.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 10:48 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.2   TheOldSchool

      praise the lard.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 11:25 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.3   mamason bang

      Did you feel that? I just thumbed you.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 11:42 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.4   TheOldSchool

      The surge is working.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 11:49 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.5   mamason bang

      I’ve got the power.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 1:06 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   jetjackson bang

    What do you mean methylated spirits and boot polish are not acceptable items!?

    I even wrapped them together as a gift pack!

    Jan 27, 2010 at 10:12 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   jetjackson bang

      Maybe this is just an Australian meme but homeless guys used to mix methylated spirits with boot polish to take the edge off….

      I thought it was funny, tasteless but funny… *sigh*

      Jan 28, 2010 at 6:28 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   TotalBlammBlamm

      They were beautifully wrapped, too.


      Jan 28, 2010 at 7:50 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.3   matt

      #6.1 they still do, i saw it all the time when i was on the street

      Jan 28, 2010 at 8:02 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.4   Mo®

      Red eye or squeeze is popular too. Squeeze the alcohol out of the sterno cans through a cloth. That is old skool!

      Jan 28, 2010 at 11:44 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.5   mamason bang

      My name is mama, and I’m addicted to sterno.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 1:07 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.6   Mo® bang

      HI mama!

      Jan 28, 2010 at 1:08 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   eli

    I call bullshit, #1. I donate on my own time and my own terms. That doesn’t intersect with work, and and no one has the right to expect me to take part, or give people grief for not donating enough. You don’t know what people can afford.

    Jan 27, 2010 at 10:12 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   Canthz_B bang

      eli, they may just know what people can afford, this being sent shortly after Christmas.

      I doubt if any of the Secret Santa gifts in the office cost less than 6 cans of string beans.

      People can be really generous when they know someone has to be equally generous to them, so they’ll buy the music CD for Mary who they drew from hat, and at the same time say dumb things like “I can’t afford to feed a stranger.”
      Hopefully, they won’t find themselves in similar need in six months, because the new wallet their Secret Santa gave them isn’t much good when you’re broke and hungry.

      Jan 27, 2010 at 10:48 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.2   Silence

      Or, they may NOT know what people can afford, being that they have no idea of what people have already given in other ways. Regarding office gifts, I’m sure there are many people who buy gifts they can’t afford, even when they have money troubles, so that they don’t come off as cheap.

      To the people in that office who donate time or money to other organizations, or who have a huge stack of bills and money problems of their own, this note is a giant slap in the face.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 1:08 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.3   Canthz_B bang

      No more a slap in the face than contributing to a pot-luck lunch at work, less in fact, because it costs more to bring in a dish of some sort or a store-bought platter to work than a few cans of veggies costs.

      Again, the only difference is that they get a plate of food in return.

      No, those people don’t come off as cheap.
      They come off as insensitive. You see, they fail to see that what they have (job, roof, bills) still beats the fuck out of having no job, no roof and no bills.
      These people buy a new pair of shoes and throw the old ones in the trash, never considering that their old shoes would be a windfall for someone with no shoes at all.
      They are the type of folks who buy new furniture, put the old stuff out at the curb as trash, and defend it from “poachers” until it’s in the garbage truck.


      Jan 28, 2010 at 1:26 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.4   eli

      You don’t know anything about any of those people. You’re reading an awful lot into this.

      Also? Some – hell, at this point, many, many, people are one paycheck away from the breadline themselves.

      There was a point when I was making six dollars an hour, eating noodles every day, paying off a student loan and holding on by my fingernails. I literally could not have afforded to donate to a food drive.

      What I could afford to do was volunteer every couple of weeks to pack up boxes and such. And someone giving me grief about not donating physical goods? Eff that.


      Care all you want, do the best you can, but if other people can’t or won’t be as awesome as you, there’s no need to be a dick about it.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 5:43 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.5   Canthz_B bang

      And…you don’t know shit about me.

      I wasn’t one paycheck away from a breadline, because I received donated food. I was over a year beyond my last paycheck!! Not living one to the next. My one to the next was wondering if the constable would show up to place a padlock on the door of the apartment I was months behind in rent on.
      My one to next was from the moment I went out looking for a job until the moment I got home hoping with all my might that the landlord wouldn’t see me leaving or returning. I had to stalk up on my own apartment!
      I had to hock everything I owned of any value (including my and my late wife’s wedding rings) just to keep the electricity on.
      My fingernails are as frayed as yours, having paid child-support for nearly two-decades, and even then I was humble enough to know that I was doing better than some.
      I was lucky enough to have smoked neck bones in my daily pinto beans, but I made damned sure my children got three squares a day!

      Been there, done that. That’s why I know how little it really takes to make a big difference to someone else.

      I don’t have to know these people, I know that they take what they have for granted.

      Frankly, If anyone feels they are a paycheck away from a bread-line, isn’t that all the more reason to help make sure the food pantries and such are well stocked? Just in case they actually have to be there in a week or two?

      A well maintained safety net catches all fallers. Those who contributed rope and those who could only give a little twine. Even those who never thought they’d fall, so they gave nothing.

      BTW, eli. I read that you once made $6 an hour. I didn’t read that you were asked to contribute anything of a financial nature back then, just that you wouldn’t have been able to contribute anything of a financial nature back then.
      I was making $5/hour when I married my first wife, and there wasn’t the possibility of getting a financial contribution from me back then either.
      The fact that both you and I have seen this from each side of the economic see-saw is good. I’m not sure we took the same thing away from the experience.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 6:37 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.6   Jeni

      Oh my. Some of the hostility here at a simple, harmless food drive is a bit overboard. I wonder why? “I’ll donate on my own time in my own way and nobody can make me do otherwise! So there!”

      Okay, we give up, you win. You can take your can of beets on your own time and hand them to anyone you want.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 9:55 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.7   secondsout bang

      All I know is that if there’s an office potluck, be sure to wear your Mongolian Barbecue hat. One wouldn’t want to appear that you hadn’t read the memo.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 9:56 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.8   mamason bang

      Be careful, CB. That all sounds mighty Christian of you. *As you give, so shall you receive*

      Jan 28, 2010 at 10:09 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.9   Mo®


      Jan 28, 2010 at 11:45 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.10   Gandalf

      You go, CB!
      I’ve been there, only I ended up losing the battle and ending up on the streets. I found myself in a position of having to rely on the charity of others. I was able to get back on my feet thanks to their help.
      Since that time, I have found a career helping those trying to get off of welfare and charity. I also volunteer, collect clothing from everyone I know to help my clients. I also know that if I had not asked, they would not have given. Whenever I hear people argue against food drives at the office, I remind them that if it were not for the drive, most would not donate. How many people will drive a .59 can of soup, or a .10 cent package of ramen noodles across town to donate. How many would give to a charity if the charity did not com e to you asking for help.
      By the way, even when I was receiving food from the food bank, there were others in worse shape than myself, yet there always seemed to be an extra can of food on the shelf. If everyone bought one extra can of anything each time they went to the store, and put it into a box, at the end of the month there would be decent-sized donation.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 2:17 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   Palomon bang

    I wonder if the e-mail informing everyone about the drive was this inspiring.

    Team 75 Pounds Under the 100 Pound Minimum!

    Snarkiness can be hard to detect when it’s understated.

    Jan 27, 2010 at 10:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   Henry

    I want to know what the three unacceptable items were! In school we used to take the labels off cans of dog food and write “Refried Beans” on it with a sharpie. They look very similar.

    Jan 27, 2010 at 10:26 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   HappyNat

      People donated bottled beer, only canned beer is acceptable.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 7:41 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.2   anglophile bang

      Now what am I going to do with these bottles of Ripple? Are they acceptable or am I going to have to donate them directly?

      Jan 28, 2010 at 8:55 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.3   secondsout bang

      What are you going to do with those bottles of Ripple? Glo, the answer is obvious: DRINK THEM. Nothing like a little nip from the bottle during the day when the boss isn’t looking.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 9:57 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.4   mamason bang

      I take offense to this *little nip* comment! As a person of rather large nipplage I just want to say that…

      What? A little nip = a small sip? Well, why didn’t you say so.

      Carry on. Try as hard as I might, there is no actual offense to be found.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 10:15 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.5   HappyNat

      I’m offended at the lack of your offense.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 1:54 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   GramPo

    I pity those affected by homelessness but those affected by the elderly surely need the most help.

    Jan 27, 2010 at 10:27 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   Critical Grass bang

    Not acceptable?
    I didn’t know Lean Cousine was rejected even by people who can’t afford to buy it. My bad.

    Jan 27, 2010 at 10:46 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   Mo®

      Well at least you didn’t try to donate a hot pocket. They chased me through the streets with pitchforks and torches before I gave them the slip!

      Where do you get pitchforks and torches nowadays anyway!?!?!?

      Jan 28, 2010 at 11:47 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.2   mamason bang

      Home Depot.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 12:04 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.3   TheOldSchool

      But where does one go to hear torch songs nowadays?

      Jan 28, 2010 at 12:12 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.4   mamason bang


      Jan 28, 2010 at 1:08 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.5   Mo® bang

      Homo Depot.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 1:09 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   Pterosaur

    When I first read this, I thought, “75 lbs sounds good to me.” I had to read that twice to realize it was 25 lbs.

    This note is so fucking passive-aggressive it forced me to do MATH to calculate my appropriate level of guilt.

    Team I’ll Donate When I Damn Well Please.

    Jan 27, 2010 at 10:55 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #13   Canthz_B bang

    I think I should recuse myself from this note.

    I started a food drive at my former job about 15 years ago, and we had great success, much better than I’d hoped for.
    It was supposed to be for Thanksgiving, but people just kept bringing food items in through Christmas.
    I can’t stand to hear employed people say they can’t afford to give anything, then buy themselves $6 worth of Burger King for lunch each day.
    I feel like if you’re that fucking broke you should be bringing bologna sandwiches from home.

    I donate through my mom to her church’s food bank. I give to the United Way.
    I give because it’s a good use of my resources and I don’t need anyone to have to ask me to do so.
    I am a member of a community. I’m enough of a person to do my share to contribute to the overall well-being of my community. Communities are made up of the people within them, so the well-being of each, affects the condition of all.
    You can’t say you live in a nice community if there are people within it who need help but cannot get it.
    That’s the definition of a really fucked up community.

    People are in need, and I’m fortunate enough to be in a position to help in some small way.
    Small to me, but huge to the recipient.

    I hate selfish people. I just hate them with a passion!

    Jan 27, 2010 at 11:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   Critical Grass bang

      Hate with passion is intense!

      You’re right, CB. We gotta help each other (as korny as it sounds, it’s true).


      Jan 27, 2010 at 11:11 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.2   serenity

      I agree with you two. I am as broke as they can get, support myself completely, barely scraping by. Despite that, i still manage to grab a small toy, and a couple can items for the food and toy drive my work has every year. Because, as broke as I am, I still have a roof over my head, and can afford to feed myself ( not at BK’s tho, I, too, find fast food a grotesque waste of money), some peole aren’t even that fortunate, and no matter how they got there, they are still a human being, and there is no excuse to turn your back and let someone go hungry .Every little bit helps.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 12:02 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.3   Silence

      I agree that we should help others, but a snarky-ass guilt-trip of a note doesn’t help anybody. It just makes the sender look like a sanctimonious douchecanoe, and makes the recipients even less willing to help out next year.

      The essence of the note was perilously close to being “Thanks, I guess, to the people who donated, but what you gave still wasn’t good enough.”

      Jan 28, 2010 at 1:04 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.4   Canthz_B bang

      No, the essence of the note was “Thanks to those of you who gave. The rest of you pricks should be ashamed of yourselves.”

      This note can’t make them less likely to give at any time, of any year, because they don’t have the necessary compassion to do so.
      But guess what they’d say if you asked them if they are good Christians?

      Apparently, you think people are only in need during the holiday season.

      How sad for you.


      Jan 28, 2010 at 1:14 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.5   The Elf

      Actually, what I object to the most is being told when and where and how to donate to charity, especially when it comes with pressure from the office. It could be a charity I fully support and frequently give to and I won’t participate in the drive on principle if I sense pressure in the request. What I will do is make a donation to the same charity outside the drive, because I’m just passive-aggressive that way. ;-)

      Jan 28, 2010 at 10:22 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.6   Amanda6

      Is it just me, or is “I’ll donate when I feel like it!” code for “I’ll donate… never! Because I have other better things to worry about! Even when there is an opportunity presenting me smack in the face!”

      Jan 28, 2010 at 10:46 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.7   mamason bang

      I think you may be on to something, Amanda.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 10:52 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.8   Mo®

      I like baked heart!

      Jan 28, 2010 at 11:49 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.9   se

      Amanda, I’m glad I waited to comment. That is exactly what I’ve been thinking while reading those lines. Now, I’ll go back to lurking.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 2:08 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.10   Gandalf

      The problem I have noticed over the years is this: People want to help the way they want to help, not the way the help is needed.

      The classic example of this is Christmas. Every charitabel organization supplies some kind of Christmas assistance. And many families take advantage of multiple charities giving them food and toys. As it happens, July is the hardest month for those families in the Welfare to Work program. Why? Because the kids are all out of school, there is no lunch program, no increase food stamp benefits, no increase in child care allowance, no increase in cash aid. And nost people don’t even give the poor a second thought during the summer. Most people are to busy planning vacations, living their lives, blissfully unaware that there are people in need right in their own neighborhood. But come Christmas, my gosh, we have to help the kids have a nice Christmas. Buy them toys! Buy them a tree! Buy them a ham! Now go away until next year!

      Jan 28, 2010 at 2:30 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #14   Hmmm

    Dear Boss,

    Most of us placed our donations directly into the bin at the grocery store. So sorry we didn’t waste the time and resources to re-donate our items at the the office. Is your contribution to behave like an ignorant pious ass?

    Jan 27, 2010 at 11:05 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   Amanda6

      If you’ve been working at your workplace longer than a year, you probably know that at some point during the holiday season, a food drive effort is organized.

      If you’re the type who actually enjoys assisting charities, or if you’re of the generally munificent nature, then I really doubt you’d have a problem putting aside a couple of cans for your company’s drive the following year.

      Donate all you want to your grocery store’s bin, but I’m amazed at the attitude on this thread of “I already donated! Why should I have to do it twice!”

      No, you don’t *have* to. No one’s forcing you. But if the opportunity is there, and you are able?
      Why the hell not. You’re only helping others, after all.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 10:50 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #15   Escape Goat

    “There are three items which are not acceptable donation items.”

    I am dying to know what these are.

    Jan 27, 2010 at 11:10 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.1   Wade bang

      I volunteer at a food pantry. You would not believe what people “donate.”

      Food drives are not the time to clean your cupboard. If you aren’t going to eat that can of heart of palm, don’t pass it off on someone less fortunate.

      Jan 27, 2010 at 11:16 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.2   Lin

      I once donated a five-pound glass jar of white asparagus that I’d impulsively bought at CostCo. Was that bad?

      Jan 27, 2010 at 11:51 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.3   Canthz_B bang

      I plead guilty as charged to cupboard cleaning. I cannot recall what it was, but I had a can of something I felt bold enough to try while I was at the store, not so bold at home.
      I figured donating it was better than tossing it in the trash.
      It was a pretty good food drive. People got quite competitive.
      I only asked if anyone would like to donate 15 minute’s pay (and we weren’t making a fortune) a week to a local community organization please do so in canned and/or dry goods.
      Our lowest paid employees were making $10/hr, and I figured that $2.50 a week could net some rice and canned veggies.

      The level of their actual willingness to give even more was heartwarming.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 12:37 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.4   Dara


      I want to work where you do.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 12:45 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.5   Canthz_B bang

      You’d probably like it, Dara.
      I now work for a major corporation that is constantly doing volunteer work.
      This Christmas instead of a Secret Santa my unit members each donated $20 and we used the money to buy necessities and little niceties for four struggling families.
      Everything from toothbrushes, underwear and socks, to perfume, nail polish and disposable razors.
      We’re still anonymous, but better Secret Santas for it I suspect.

      Anything we’d have bought for each other with that money would be something any of us could afford to buy for ourselves.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 1:04 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.6   Wade bang

      I guess I am sensitive to what is donated, in that the folks that come to the pantry travel by bus, and only get one bag of food so more can be served. Large heavy cans of specialty items not only take up room on the shelves, but would take up space in bags best used for staple foods.

      I don’t want to stifle the impulse to give, just think about what you would want to receive if you needed help.

      That being said, the note is reeeeally passive aggressive in a killing with kindness way. I wonder if Joel’s grandmother is the office manager.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 5:46 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.7   anglophile bang

      I get irritated when all I see in the food drive barrels is the store-brand mac and cheese. For god’s sake, don’t you think the people struggling to get by have had enough substandard mac and cheese?

      Also, it’s not exactly a donation from you if you get the buy-one-get-one-free item and put it in the barrel, now is it? It’s the store donating it. Don’t kid yourself.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 6:01 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.8   Canthz_B bang

      For real, ‘Glo. Besides, don’t donate items that need other ingredients to prepare! Nothing worse than unloading your food parcel and seeing something that looks really good, then reading the instructions and realizing that your broke ass doesn’t have the money to spend on the ingredient needed in step two. LOL
      Those boxed mac and cheeses need margarine and milk to fly.
      I’d rather have flour than mac and cheese…I can work with flour to get to an actual meal food.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 7:03 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.9   mamason bang

      *imagines CB eating handfuls of flour*

      Um… CB? Don’t you have to add one or two things to flour in order to make something yummy?

      Jan 28, 2010 at 10:23 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.10   Geek Goddess

      The people really struggling to get by can’t afford even the cheap mac and cheese sometimes, and are grateful for it. (Ask me how I know) They are also grateful to the people that donate the organic mac and cheese. And if you don’t drain the pasta too thoroughly, you can prepare it with just a dab of margarine and no milk.

      The best way to find out what your local foodbank or other charitable organization needs is to ask them. My local food bank likes money because it can get discounts on food that many of its donors don’t get, so my $5 in their hands gets them more food than I could buy, and allows them to make sure that they can stock up in areas that they are short in. They are also pleased to get actual food, because it fills up their shelves and saves them having to trot round the grocery store aisles. Weird stuff is set out in a separate area, where clients are told to “take one of those if you want”. In the summer, those with gardens are encouraged to grow a row for the food bank.

      I think the volunteers at my local food bank are some of the most awesome people in my community!

      Jan 28, 2010 at 11:36 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.11   TheOldSchool

      @Lin (15.2).

      Costco’s white asparagus is a food bank staple.

      It’s right up there with containers of tainted caviar.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 12:02 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.12   Gandalf

      I have seen frozen dinners in the donation bins(long since defrosted). Some good hearted soul donated 10 pounds of weiners, in November, for a Christmas drive. Eggs, beer, cold medicine, batteries, a tupperware filled with something(not sure what it was, but when I touched the container, it growled!), and some items that good taste prevents me from describing. To those who mean well, Bless You, your kindness may be the spark of hope that starts the fire under a person to start a new life. And to those that are mean-spirited, or negative, or “feel pressured”, don’t bother, these people don’t need your help! And neither do I! I just hope that if you ever find yourself bad place, that you run across someone who is not like you!

      Jan 28, 2010 at 2:42 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.13   Lin

      To TOS (15.11): All I know is, I wasn’t going to eat it and I thought someone else might. The end.

      Jan 29, 2010 at 2:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #16   Ethnic Avenue

    Frankly, I’m not surprised by the poor showing for the food drive.

    If this place is anything like my old corporate prison, the last thing you want is to allow them to get credit for doing something good. They collect the food and claim to be helping the community–when they’re being complete a-holes to the employees, and not really doing anything but providing a cardboard box for the food.

    The solution: donate somewhere else–anywhere else.

    Jan 28, 2010 at 12:46 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #16.1   clumber

      at the terrifying risk of being disemboweled by CB and reduced to begging to just feel ashamed of myself… This is exactly my issue with the work-mandated charity. I donate $ automatically to the local charities I choose, not the cardboard barrel in reception. My couple $ cash buys more for them than I can with the same amount, and they know what they need the most. I don’t need or want a pat on the back, and I resent guilt trips by my employers so they can get a pat on the back through our donations.

      Setting up a drive is great, it’s awesome, it reminds people of the need. I have no issue with those. However, snarky guilt-trips like this submission piss. me. off.

      Oh and I have a personal policy against EVER going to work potlucks. Too many people leave the restrooms without washing hands…

      (curls up in a fetal position expecting a roundhouse kick from CB any second)

      Jan 28, 2010 at 9:29 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #16.2   Amanda6

      Please people, don’t take out your issues with your workplaces on the needy.

      Think about the greater good here. Is your petty Mexican standoff with your employer’s food drive really more important than someone having something to eat?

      Jan 28, 2010 at 11:09 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #16.3   Mo®

      I bypass my employer so the food bank still gets their donation.

      I NEVER go to work potlucks and eat any of the food. I am certain that those people poop on their food. Might as well because they never ever wash their hands. Never ever! Filthy buggers!

      Jan 28, 2010 at 11:59 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #16.4   duh!

      DUH! They already said (repeatedly) that they donate everywhere else and anywhere else. As do I. Actually my employer is pretty good so I donate in many ways through them as well.

      To the pollyannas who want to keep spouting PSAs and ignoring what was actually said, we got it already. Jeez. If you have to keep missing the point, at least stop beating the dead horse.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 4:40 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #16.5   secondsout bang

      Did I ever tell you guys about the rumor that when you flush the toilet, the invisible poo mist comes and seeks out your toothbrush? It turns out, that was debunked on Mythbusters.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 5:38 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #16.6   clumber

      Amanda6 : My employer does not offer matching donations. I donate every month, not just the holiday food drives, to a local food bank. There is no standoff, of any ethnicity. I resent not the drives themselves, I resent the guilt trips because the “team” didn’t meet the arbitrary goal set to make the execs look good.

      Hence, why the posted snark is an asshole email, and as PA as it gets, and the submitter has me very much in his/her corner.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 7:10 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #17   Richard

    Food banks need money much more than food.

    They can purchase a whole lot more food with your $5 than you could.

    Food drives are a convenient way for people to feel good about getting rid of their crap.

    Jan 28, 2010 at 1:50 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.1   Canthz_B bang

      Unless you donate to an organization which specifically asks for food donations, you may be right about that.
      It all depends upon where you’re donating I guess.
      Direct action campaigns like some community-based “pantries”, are different from large food bank organizations I’d suspect.
      The Red Cross needs money, the local Mission needs blankets.

      Small organizations don’t operate in the economy of scale world, they don’t have the clout to do so. For them, direct donations of raw materials work better than cash donations.
      Five people donating $10 each would be nice, But five people donating five coats would be better.
      They can’t buy five coats for $50.
      Charitable concerns are not one dimensional propositions. Cash is needed to cover the costs of storage and distribution.
      But they need actual items (food, clothing, etc.) to store and later distribute as well.
      It’s not an either/or. It’s a matter of both cash and raw material being needed.
      Contribute however you’d like…just contribute in some small way.

      Trust me, it won’t hurt a bit to give something you no longer want to someone who desperately needs it rather than sending it to a landfill. :-)

      Jan 28, 2010 at 2:00 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.2   mamason bang

      I thought *money* banks needed money much more than food. That’s what Obama thought too and see how well it’s helped. I don’t know what Tyra Banks needs other than forehead reduction surgery and a muzzle. What ever happened to Billy Banks? Am I rambling? Remember that song, “Ramblin’ Man”? *realizes she forgot her meds this morning* OK, I’ll be ramblin’ on, myself.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 10:30 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.3   Gandalf

      Cash, raw material, and time!
      Low on food and cash yourself, give an hour or two of your time each week. But be careful, it can be addicting!
      Seriously, 100% of that can of soup you gave will go directly to the poor. Cash has to be used to pay operating costs and overhead, first. Even non-profit organizations have paid staff.
      Additionally, many large charities do buy staples in bulk, and still need canned goods. Second Harvest has the buying power to purchase rice, beans, tuna, and peanut butter. But they cannot purchase a large variety of vegetables, fruits and other foods, to do so would be costly, and defeat the purpose. Second Harvest also collects food from restaurants and markets. No, I don’t volunteer with them, I am just aware of their program.
      If you don’t want to give food or cash, give of your time. There is a lot of work out there that needs to be done, and not enough of us to do it.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 2:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.4   mamason bang

      When you say work, do you mean there’s actual effort involved?

      Jan 28, 2010 at 4:38 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.5   Gandalf

      SSSSHHHhhhhhh…. Don’t let it get around!

      Jan 28, 2010 at 5:24 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #18   Berty Jingle

    So are they collecting food for those affected by the elderly? What kind of charity is that?

    Jan 28, 2010 at 2:30 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #19   cptn hammer

    I hate the homeless-
    ness problem.

    Jan 28, 2010 at 2:42 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #20   Lucy

    We noticed when taking a shift as bell-ringers for the Salvation Army that those who look well-to-do give nothing.

    It’s the single moms with kids, African-American families in the South who either lived through bad old days of desegregation – or had parents who did – who are the ones willing to spare their change or a few dollars.

    My view: The affluent believe that all of the poor have character flaws, addictions or are lazy and it’s why they are poor, and so they don’t give. I wonder if after the finance industry melted down, and as management jobs blew up in this economy, and some of the affluent set’s neighbors’ McMansions were lost to foreclosure after job layoffs, if some of these same people will have a more realistic understanding of how easy it can be to wake up one morning having fallen from middle class into having nothing.

    Jan 28, 2010 at 7:26 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #20.1   splint chesthair

      That’s quite a biased load you’re peddling there. The affluent give quite a bit to charity, many many millions. Just because they don’t drop it in the Salvation Army bucket doesn’t mean they’re not giving.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 7:29 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #20.2   anglophile bang

      You will never see me drop money in the Salvation Army bucket. I don’t like the way they run their charity.

      And just because I might look well-to-do now, doesn’t mean I forget the days when I needed help myself.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 7:37 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #20.3   Canthz_B bang

      I don’t think all the affluent judge the poor that way.
      I just think many affluent people cannot understand how much work is involved in being poor and trying to try climb the ladder.
      Fact is, there are those who are addicted to substances or just plain lazy.
      The vast majority are just trying to make a living….just like the middle class (and those who’d like to think they are middle class, but are in reality poor).
      To do a little Jeff Foxworthy on it: If you owe more on your Walmart credit card than you take home per paycheck…you may be a poor person. ;-)

      Jan 28, 2010 at 8:06 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #20.4   K

      I would never, EVER give money to the salvation army. They put a lot of their donated funds into opposing same sex marriage, and forcing people in underdeveloped countries to convert in order to be fed for a day or so. If you want a definition of evil, look no further.

      I was in that freaking CULT for fifteen years. I know.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 10:03 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #20.5   mamason bang

      All the SA bell ringers I saw this past holiday season, looked rather addicted and homeless with major character flaws.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 10:41 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #20.6   Geek Goddess

      In my community, mama, some of the people who are helped by the SA give back in return by taking a shift or two on the bells.

      Don’t know about character flaws, but at least one of the volunteers in this video would be banned from living in most areas.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 11:54 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #21   splint chesthair

    I can’t believe some of you, giving people a hard time for not donating food at the office or at your favorite charity drive , or donating the wrong kind of food, jeez, no wonder people don’t donate.

    Frankly, most of the time I don’t know anything about your fly by night charity drive. Is it spouting off political rhetoric or religious dogma as a condition of receiving the aid? I don’t know. You might be asking to donate to a front for Holocaust deniers.

    I donate to charities and drives that I feel are in line with my values and provide the best value to the needy. Don’t look at me funny because I’m not doing backflips to donate to your pet charity drive.

    Jan 28, 2010 at 7:26 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #21.1   mmbb

      hey, splint, why do you continue to work there? doesn’t that burn you up that, every time you go in to work, you don’t know if your own office/company is covertly supporting holocaust denying, pet-eating, pinko communists, rush limbaugh worshipers? maybe time for a new job, eh?

      (seems to me that, if you work there, you know the character of your cow-orkers and your company. maybe that’s just me, though…)

      Jan 28, 2010 at 7:37 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #21.2   splint chesthair

      I know who organizes these fund raisers and no, I don’t trust that he’s smart enough to understand that some charities are just fronts for groups which may be fringe at worst, or not very efficient in their dollar pass through at the least.

      Again, I give and volunteer with organizations I have histories with and know something about.

      I know some people just like to feel good, I’d rather know exactly what I’m giving to or supporting.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 7:59 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #21.3   mamason bang

      Mandatory community service does not equal volunteering.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 10:43 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #21.4   splint chesthair

      I enjoyed it so much I went back after my 200 hours were up. True story. I likey whiskey.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 10:54 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #22   Pterosaur

    This seems less like corporate altruism and more like a PR/team-building/“we’re not as evil as we look” event. Why didn’t the company offer to match donations? Why didn’t the CEO buy a forty-pound case of canned goods at Costco to get things started and set an example? Why didn’t they split the office into teams to compete for who can collect more food?

    Because management is full of shit and the employees know it. The company doesn’t give a damn about the poor and hungry. Management chucked a cardboard box in the break room to show their abused employees that they “care.”

    I guarantee that the bitch that wrote this email donated a single dusty box of expired mac & cheese. I bet she made a big show of putting it in the damn collection box, too.

    I would’ve mailed a big, fat check directly to the food bank to avoid participating in this corporate sham. By the looks of that empty box, I’m not the only one.

    Jan 28, 2010 at 8:47 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #23   David

    I hate it when people are “affected by the elderly.”
    And punctuation ommisions.

    Jan 28, 2010 at 8:58 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #24   oi bang

    aw, the comments! my heart is filled with raw emotions. my eyes are watering like a broken dam!


    to donate or not to donate is a personal choice. just because it’s a good virtue you can’t bully people into doing it. everybody is here like oh I am totally broke but I do my good and you should be ashamed of yourself because you do not choose to donate. that’s wrong. by the same token vegans would get free pass to bash carnivores too because non violence is a good virtue too. i am not saying that people should have free rein to harm/steal/kill other people in name of nondictatorship but guilt/bully them even for doing something good is pushing too far. you are compassionate, good for you! donate your whole pay check, you might get fame out of it too. but you don’t have a right to dictate others’ choices.

    hmm reading it, I sound like a heartless vixen but I can lie and make it better by saying, “oh I donate 15% of my pay check every month.” and on the top of that I am preaching that guilt trips and bullying people for whatever cause is bad. wow! my name should go in the book of history. but I won’t. do I go forcing my values on others? nope. I do donate whenever I feel like it and normally keep it quiet.

    Jan 28, 2010 at 9:41 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #24.1   anglophile bang

      Would you like a cup of tea and a cookie, oi? I’m sure you’ll feel better in a minute. Just sit here in this quiet room for a bit, dear.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 10:54 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #24.2   oi bang

      too many articles? :D

      Jan 28, 2010 at 11:22 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #24.3   mamason bang

      Silly, oi! Vegans can’t bash carnivores. They’re much too tired and weak from the lack of protein. We’d just eat them, anyway.

      mmmm… vegans.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 1:15 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #24.4   oi bang

      true mama.
      I reheated fish crab lasagna(3) in microwave just for you.
      (3) if there is no such thing then you gotta forgive me. I am a vegetarian and when I do carnivorism, I go overboard.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 1:37 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #25   secondsout bang

    BTW, the charity will be grateful for the 25 lbs of food that the office donates, even if they didn’t meet the 100 lb min for a scheduled pickup.

    Jan 28, 2010 at 10:08 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.1   mamason bang

      Hey! If I have to actually drive somewhere and make any kind of effort what-so-ever… well, just forget about it. It aint happenin’.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 10:46 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #26   secondsout bang

    When I was in college, we used to do a donation drive in the dorms where we would go through and collect toiletries to give to the homeless shelter. The students typically got promo samples of things like shaving cream, so they were plentiful. We had a few people donate KY Jelly, though. I guess the homeless need a little motion lotion, too.

    Jan 28, 2010 at 10:12 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #26.1   mamason bang

      Everybody likes a little lube.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 10:47 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #27   mamason bang

    Not acceptable donation items?

    ♫ All we are saying, is give peas a chance.

    Jan 28, 2010 at 10:58 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #28   Aardvaark bang

    I don’t understand food banks. Ours won’t accept home grown vegetables because they are perishable. They want big cans of beans from Sams Club.

    Jan 28, 2010 at 11:12 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #28.1   BonzoGal

      Aardvaark, go volunteer for a week or two at a food bank and you’ll understand why they can’t accept fresh veggies. One problem is that sometimes folks who receive the food have no way to cook it. (Some homeless shelters here don’t give meals.) Another problem with fresh produce is that we aren’t always able to get donations to people right away, so perishables perish.

      Please do consider donating fresh produce to soup kitchens, though- often they have programs to accept and use fruits and veggies from people’s home gardens.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 11:30 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #29   bliffit

    Some days it feels great to be self-employed! You may not know where your next check is coming from but you don’t have to worry about bending yourself around someone else’s corporate culture.

    In my neighborhood the local Boy Scout troop collects for the food pantries. They drop an empty bag off one Saturday and will pick them up the following Saturday with no weight limits and no guilt trips if you don’t participate.

    Jan 28, 2010 at 11:13 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #30   BonzoGal

    I’ve re-read that email a couple of times now, and I really don’t see any passive-agressiveness in it. We do a food drive at my work and the people who donate always want to know how we did compared to our goal.

    To those who don’t like being pressured to donate, that’s fine, it’s your right to choose when, where and whether to donate- but don’t freak out and claim “guilt-tripping” when an someone just states that the drive didn’t meet a certain goal.

    Jan 28, 2010 at 11:38 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #30.1   splint chesthair

      It could depend on knowing the person who sent it.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 11:52 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #31   marge simpson

    “… Oh, the next time there’s a canned food drive, I’ll give the poor something they’d actually like, instead of old lima beans and pumpkin mix. “

    Jan 28, 2010 at 1:16 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #32   h3llc4t

    I work for a large corporation that does food drives at least once every 2 months. Sometimes (depending on how cranky I am with my job) it’s easy to be annoyed with constantly being asked to donate or not follow through with making a donation. I try to stop myself and think: would I be able to look a person who needed that food in the eye and say “Sorry, I was too caught up in my own crap to donate anything”? Whatever my issue is, I can surely manage to do *something*. It just occasionally requires a little attitude adjustment beforehand. In the end, it’s not about whether I felt vindicated or wasn’t inconvenienced; it’s about whether someone got something that I had which they needed.

    Jan 28, 2010 at 4:53 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #32.1   splint chesthair

      That’s fine but at some point you have to draw a line and say, “No, no more.” You’ve got office drives, school drives, Boy Scout, Girl Scout drive, sports drives, church drives, plus whatever volunteer work you’re doing on top of your daily chores. Sure, each place is only asking a bit but you can’t do it all or you burn out. And since you can never know what a person is doing, you should just keep judgements to yourself.

      Jan 29, 2010 at 7:48 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #33   Beckmann

    Listen, volunteering is, in a way, a form of secular religion–each person should get to choose how and when and where they volunteer, and for what cause they volunteer. An office running a food drive is absolutely fine . . . but you don’t have the right to shame the office in this manner. People will either participate or they won’t. Just leave it at that. Who knows what charities people are involved with outside of work? Emails like this are the reason shows like The Office and movies like Office Space have such cultural resonance–people bring their sad, weirdo grievances/obsessions to work and force them on you, expecting you to participate.

    Jan 29, 2010 at 7:23 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #34   That'sMe

    “…but I am sure they will be greatly appreciated by those affected by homelessness, job losses, and the elderly.”

    I think we’re all looking over an important part of our society – those that are affected by the elderly. Those people need our food donations. :)

    Feb 4, 2010 at 4:53 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #35   Those special "charity pens"? They were nicked from the office supply closet. |

    [...] Starve on! [...]

    Aug 31, 2010 at 6:21 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up


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