The Sonia Show

Writer. Mocker. Beer drinker. Old movie watcher. Mother. Goober.

Attack of the clipboarders


Yeah, so every time I go shopping there’s someone with a clipboard waiting in front of the store ready to make me feel like a bad person.

I don’t want to sign your petition. I don’t want to hear about human rights violations. I don’t want to take “five minutes” to save the planet — especially because it’s not really five minutes; it’s 20 minutes and $50. I want to go into Macy’s and buy more shit that I don’t really need. Sometimes I want to do to these clipboarders what Rex Kramer in “Airplane” did, but I’m not that cool.

So, I try very hard to avoid the clipboarders. I never make eye contact. Sometimes I practically run by them to get to the door, or I try to hide behind some unsuspecting sap. If, by chance I get stopped, I wave them off with a polite, “I’m sorry” or “No thanks.” And following proper clipboarder etiquette, they let me pass.

So, last week I was heading into Macy’s when a clipboarder approached me: “Can you take five minutes to learn about starving children?”

Me: “Sorry.” [polite wave]

Clipboarder: “Sorry that there are starving children or sorry that you can’t help?”

Me: “Ummm, both?”

Oh, did I mention that I’m a bad person?


Author: The Sonia Show

I'm a writer/podcaster/mother/goober in San Francisco who likes to drink beer, shop, laugh and make other people laugh, watch old movies, feed my unhealthy obsession with pop culture, kick breast cancer's ass, go on adventures with my mighty, mighty good man David and my awesome autistic son, Calvin, wear orange and root for the San Francisco Giants, participate in general jackass-ery, talk about TV, eavesdrop on strangers' conversations, make nerdy “Star Wars” and “Simpsons” references, and post personal things about myself on the web for all to read, which makes me some sort of literary exhibitionist.

9 thoughts on “Attack of the clipboarders

  1. Very annoying, I agree. They’re always in front of Safeway too. Typically, I’m in a hurry and would just like to do my grocery shopping and get the hell out of there without being accosted? Since they normally only stake out one door I’ll leave through the other, even if it means a much longer walk to my car.

  2. I do the passive thing of pretending I’m in a deep conversation on my phone when I approach clipboarders.

  3. Like Jennifer, I have now started pretending I am talking on the phone. I’m glad I’m not the only one. BTW, my neighborhood in the Inner Sunset is a hotbed of ’em. Right now, styrofoam seems to be an epic problem.

  4. Ditto what “heyjoe” said…

  5. I just say i have already contributed to a charity. even though I have no money to do that, but it shuts them up. Or if its the people trying to get you to sign a proposition i say i need to go online and read it before i sign anything, that works too!

  6. I thought I was the only one who would go to these lengths to avoid the clipboarders. One time at Whole Foods on Fourth, I went all the way through the elevator, into the parking garage, down the stairs and looked around like some kind of shoplifter before proceeding onto the sidewalk. It took longer to do this than it did to walk back to work.

    My husband taught me a good one, though. Nice and simple. “Thanks, not today.” I like to append “I have a headache” quietly in my head.

  7. You are not alone, Tasha! Next time, I’m going to try Jennifer’s “I’m talking on my cell” trick and see if that works.

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