On Friday the 20th of June I organized a dress down day at work for YoungMinds. I also held a raffle on the day. I did feel very stressed at the start planning the dress down day especially when I saw that the last one only raised £36.
The original plan was that my sister and I would go around the floor collecting the money. Well I was planning on just wondering around looking sad behind while she collected the money. Unfortunately my mum ended up in hospital with my sister being off to go and see her tidy the house ETC.
The night before I was crying so worried about it saying I wish I had never organized it, I wanted to raise money but my sister was going to help me do it and because she couldn’t I didn’t want to anymore I no longer felt comfortable with doing it. Obviously though I couldn’t have just organized the whole thing and then not gone to collect the money no matter how much I felt like doing it.
I was also worried about being a failure at it not even collecting £20 even though I had organized it all. I also HATE talking to people and the idea of pestering people who didn’t pay was just euuughhhh.
So Friday morning I had very low hopes I wanted to make at least £50 but probably wouldn’t and everyone would be talking about how awful the day was and how I couldn’t collect anything. I sold my raffle tickets in strips of 5 I planned if I sold up to the ticket number 20 (so only selling 4 lots of tickets) I was doing well but probably wouldn’t get there again.
I was planning to collect at 9:30 unfortunately I got into work at 7:15 so had the whole morning to worry about talking to people. 9:30 came and went I really didn’t want to collect and was trying to hold off as long as possible, but then I thought to myself the later it gets the less I will collect. I also told my self my favourite words of “It’s for mental health!” I tell you those words could make me do anything.
So with my repetition of “It’s for mental health!” in my head, I went to the first few people. I already spent time worrying about how I would ask for the money so I had worked out exactly how I was going to say it. The first person I actually asked for the money from was someone who I know has panic attacks. Easy targets when you are collecting for mental health!
I just carried along that row of desks no one laughed at me and said, “Why is she collecting for that?” No one even questioned the fact that I was bright red and dripping sweat from the pure fear of asking people for their money. Yes I felt pretty uncomfortable that day but no one commented on it.
The next biggest thing was when I actually finished in my section and had to ask in benefits. I’ve never really spoken to benefits and I have no idea why but when I have to ask what someone’s name is it makes me feel embarrassed and stupid and I needed people’s names for the raffle tickets. Again I planned how I was going to say it despite the fact I would have liked to have said as little as possible like just “Name?” I decided it would be a lot less embarrassing if I said sorry can you just tell me your name? Its funny how you walk past people all the time but never know their names” With most people this brought up discussions of “I know what you mean so many people in this building” Thank god.
I also made it my goal to go back to everyone who said “I haven’t got the money on me now ask after lunch” My thoughts were “It’s for mental health! They are not getting away with not paying” and so I made my self pester them even though this was really hard for me.
I finished the day having collected £143.03 for YoungMinds A lot more than expected. I realized the less I thought “Argh I don’t want to ask people for their money” the less scary it was and the more I thought, “It’s for mental health!” the easier it was to be hard with people, as I felt angry at our services and the money that goes into them and that made it a lot easier to collect.
On the whole I feel I have accomplished something MAJOR that I never would have been able to do before. Before I had hated saying HI to people and there I was pestering people because “It’s for mental health!”