This Redditor was heavily pressured by her boss to “voluntarily contribute” to charity. When she showed her intent to refuse, she became a target to get rid of!
The Pressure Is On
OP (Original Poster) is an office worker, and every year at her company, there is a massive fundraising campaign.
She said, “They solicit from all employees to voluntarily contribute towards charities directly from their paycheck—pretax. You are encouraged and very heavily pressured to donate to preselected charities of their choice in smaller amounts per month for the year or one lump sum.”
Because of this, the encouragement from OP’s workplace was intense, with tons of email reminders and posters all over the company walls.
They even dangled the carrot of prize drawings. However, those prizes always seemed to land in the hands of company executives.
Participation Is a Must!
OP’s company had “running totals” for departments, showing how many people contributed. Ultimately, they wanted “100% participation” from every department in the company.
She shared, “It was supposed to be private and anonymous and only show numbers.” However, OP soon realized it wasn’t as anonymous or voluntary as they claimed!
It Wasn’t Voluntary at All
If a couple of people hesitated, the administrator would approach and pressure them to join in.
What struck OP as odd was how the usually “stern and stoic” department administrator suddenly became “giddy” about the charity campaign. It was bizarre and raised some red flags.
Her Financial Struggles
One year, when OP was strapped for cash, she decided not to contribute. She was flat broke!
But then, the department administrator walked into the office suite, excitedly informing them they were almost at 100% participation. OP found it strange how she glanced around and began questioning everyone about their contributions.
OP noticed that the administrator kept “eyeballing” her, trying to make her way over subtly.
When she finally reached OP’s desk, she asked, “Have you made your contribution yet?” Without thinking, OP said she was still deciding on a charity.
Her Very Own Sob Story
The administrator then started telling a tear-jerking story from one of the charities and how the money truly made a difference for those in need. She asked OP to pull up the charity website and practically walked her through the contribution process.
So, as a “good, little, young, naive worker,” OP complied, making a small donation of $24 per year at $2 a month from her modest salary. This secured 100% participation for their department.
Testing the Waters
The following year, OP intentionally delayed her contribution to see if she’d have the same one-on-one chat with the “administrator lady.”
As expected, here she came with the same memorized sob story, talking OP through the process while watching closely.
Get Out, and Get Out Fast!
OP soon became a target to get rid of, as the administrator seemed intent on taking her job. She distanced OP from colleagues she got along with, including her direct boss, and made OP report to her directly.
OP knew she had to make a quick exit to keep her job.
The Right Choice
So, OP started applying for other positions and transferred to a different department within a few weeks. It turned out to be an excellent move and one of her all-time favorite positions.
A Revelation From Her Colleagues
OP’s new department organized and ran multiple company, city, and country-wide events; one of the biggest would be the charity campaign for her whole company. Once, she brought up her previous department’s administrator’s weird actions during the charity campaign with her new coworkers.
They explained that, of course, she wanted 100% because it would benefit her, too. That’s when OP realized that administrators get a bonus when their departments are at 100% participation!
Spreading the Word
Shocked at what she discovered, OP began informing everyone in her old department about this tidbit of information to prevent her former boss from getting a bonus.
Then, the following year, OP’s former department had one of the lowest participation rates!
A Fresh Start
Since then, OP’s life has improved. She genuinely appreciated her new department and its leadership, so she willingly started making contributions.
This newfound commitment was because the new administrator would use the bonus to treat everyone to lunch to express gratitude in some way. She never took it to fill her own pockets, unlike what her old boss did!
The Community’s Pieces of Advice
Commenters shared their opinions on the issue, expressing their disapproval of forced charity requests.
A top commenter wrote, “Give me a substantial pay rise, and I may consider a small donation.”
“Not exactly the same, but I can’t stand the charity requests at supermarkets and drugstores. If I want to donate to a charity, then I’ll donate to them directly. Not through some corporate scheme to lower their own tax liability,” said another one.
Many Similar Experiences
Several users recounted their experiences similar to OP’s about being extorted for charity.
“My previous employer hounded us for charitable donations to United Way. I told them twice, politely, that I wasn’t interested. A few days later, they came at me again, wanting my participation, as I was the last employee out of almost 100 who hadn’t donated. I told him to pound sand and that I don’t have disposable income to throw away. I’m the sole source of income in my home with a wife and three young kids. My obligations are to them and my financial obligations to maintain my household. I went on to say that I will never under any circumstances donate money at their request and that I’d prefer they never asked me to do so again,” a user shared.
Another Redditor wrote, “We had the same thing. Called it the United Extortion. It was nominally voluntary but strongly encouraged that you give what they told you was your ‘fair share.’ One year after all the pledge cards were turned in, the director called a meeting and said, ‘You people don’t seem to get it. We’re going to do this again, and let’s see if you can get it right this time.’ Well, that backfired in a big way because several people decided that if what they could reasonably afford wasn’t good enough, then they would just keep their money and pledge $0. After that, all the solicitations were supposedly anonymous and invisible to management.”
Was OP’s intention to “sabotage” her boss’ bonus justified? Should the blame be placed on her boss and the company for this situation?
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This post first appeared as Her Greedy Boss Is “Heavily Pressuring” Her to “Donate” Her Hard-Earned Money to Charity, Just So She Could Fill Her Own Pockets. Tired of Her Threats, She “Sabotaged” Her Bonus! on Quote Ambition.