A social experiment......for the greater good!!

This is neither a post about food, or photography or travel!

I simply want to share something I've discovered in the past week.

The reality of human nature these days.

One of my favourite sayings is "successful people share" I've had a very fortunate adult life in the fact (aside from my knee) nothing bad ever happens to me. In fact everything always seems to go my way and fall into place....especially when I travel.

Sure I've had bad times, but I always find a way to rise above and push forward and I refuse to discuss my uber dark periods of my life. I'm just not one to air my dirty laundry, I find it irrelevant to the present.

As far back as I can remember I was always taught by my mum and grandmother to remain positive at all times and always give back. Anyone who knows me knows, I'm a VERY generous (probably too generous), positive person who dislikes negativity and victim mentality.

I also always hand over my change to fundraisers in the streets, if i dont have any I'm quite upfront and honest in saying I dont have any then pop back and drop some in their tins when I do.

So on Thursday June 20th I did the CEO Sleepout

for St Vincent de Pauls in Launceston in -3C (and have been suffering with terrible bronchitis every since)

This was all a very last minute thing. Sarah, one of the chefs I work with at Christmas Hills wanted to do it, so we nominated our boss in order to be able to sleep out.

Now part of the process to sleep out is to raise $$ for St Vinnies we decided it would be a great idea to get people to donate their tips. I created signs to put near the registers asking people to please tip generously as all tips will be going to the St Vinnies winter appeal.

As I'm the digital manager for Christmas Hills I only really work in the cafe once or twice a week, so I emailed the signs to the girls in the cafe and they posted them up.

And it worked! In the first few days we raised a few hundred dollars, I was really surprised when I walked in and saw the "tips" as its so quiet this time of year and not many people were coming through the cafe.

Christmas Hills are uber generous with their chocolate coated raspberries, they give them away left right and centre. (I must confess have a very bad habit of judging peoples greed by how they are with the delicious chocolates-but thats another story!) I for one dont eat them since giving up sugar, but I have eaten them and can totally understand what all the fuss is about.

Upon seeing the bowls of goodness just sitting there on the counter, some people ask permission, others simply take handfulls. It really is incredible how people act when something so deliciously decadent is given away for free.

My favourite sales tactic to customers about to pop on in their mouth for the first time is "They are going to rock your world!" and....they do!

So I decided to use the chocolates as an experiment...to test human nature.

On saturday and sunday I placed the big bowls of choccies right next to the signs. So close in fact that you could not take a chocolate without seeing the A4 sign.

WOW, is all I can say!

The amount of people who were happily taking handfuls of choccies whilst avoiding the sign was incredible. In fact people looked uncomfortable whilst taking them or simply avoided the fact there was a sign asking for donations for St Vinnies.

On Sunday I copped a a lot of slack from the more negative staff members in the cafe, but in true Danielle style....I ignored it and it just made me think they are simply not good people....more on that later down the page!

So back to the customers....we had a few people chip in $10-$20 notes and they were the people who had experience with homeless people.

Majority of people who donated simply emptied their wallets and pockets of small change and I was totally happy with that as thats what it was about, sparing small change...plus the tip jars at Christmas Hills are quite small!

But the hundreds of people who simply took without any acknowledgement of the sign really cemented my long term thoughts, that we live in a very selfish world and most people will just take without giving something back. They want everything for nothing, but dont return the favours!

One big group of locals came in with a tourist, out of the 8 who took handfuls of choccies he was the only one who a) took only one chocolate and b) read the sign and emptied his wallet of change. 

Because of this deed I happily gave him a handful of chocolates and thanked him profusely for his donation! No good deed goes unnoticed with me! Plus the looks on his friends face was priceless!!

On the saturday after the sleepout one of the staff members asked if  the signs could come down, at first I said yes, then hesitated and said "no, we still have a week to raise $$". But the reality was I wanted to test the goodness of the Sunday staff.

So the signs stayed and more $$ were raised on Saturday.

When I walked in on Sunday, the signs were gone.

I didn't question the staffs decision to take them down, nor the fact they didn't ask me. I just let it go, feeling sorry for them by knowing that I'm a far better, nicer, happier person than they will ever be.


Me enjoying a hot cuppa!                                                                  Mine and Sarah's beds for the night!

Myself and Sarah                                                                                Overnighters getting creative!!