Saturday, May 29, 2010

High Street Good Samaritan

The most obvious translation of the parable of the Good Samaritan into the present day is the 'have a go heroes' who intervene when someone is getting beaten up by a gang. Here is a different version of the story, involving a man on the road from M&S to WHS.....

Whilst in Yeovil WH Smiths today I witnessed an elderly gent being accosted by the Talk Talk sales team (Safety in number). They enticed him into a conversation which it was obvious he did not want.

I left them to talk for a while, I was in no doubt this gent did not have the slightest interest in the product. The sales man was still keen to keep going.Enough was enough, I intervened, I asked the gent if he wanted to know more or be free to continue on his day. The gent looked relieved.

I asked to see a manger for WH Smiths, I think I spoke to the assistant manger (no introduction or badge). Who didn’t really appear even slightly interested, he said that the sales people on the door are arranged by head office, and that they had complaints before. With a little more pressure he agreed to speak to the sales people.

Save someone from a gang of robbers today! Thinking about Christian witness on the high street, maybe a far more effective and loving 'ministry' would be to replace the open air preaching/drama/dance/thurible juggling with teams of Good Samaritans who can loiter near the people with clipboards who prowl the pedestrianised zones and shopping centres, intervening to give people the chance to walk away if it looks like they're being pressurised into signing anything.

ht Yeovil Blog.


  1. I am so with you on the street sales stuff. I once worked for an organisation that raised money on behalf of charities by accosting people in the street. I'm sure you know the type, I mean they are on practically every medium sized towns streets, usually on a Saturday, just to add to the annoyance. having worked for this org I know that while they like to give off the air of being whiter than white and working in the charity sector, they still have their targets and if you don't reach them you don't hang around that long. Hence the pushiness. Personally I think it does them more harm than good as now, it always puts me off whichever charity or business I see harranging people on the street.

  2. Thanks Red, we also get folk at the door who are all for a good cause but never have a leaflet to leave with folk like me who refuse to make up their minds on the spot. It seems not to be about raising money so much as hitting targets for signatures on the night.