Working on busy Tottenham Court Road has it's advantages; there are loads of good restaurants within spitting distance of each other (allowing you to spit at the dinners of other restaurants, if you so desired), there's every type of shop you could possible need within 3 minutes and there is a thriving drug scene by centrepoint allowing you to get your afternoon fix of heroine to numb that Monday feeling.
TCR however does have some major drawbacks. One is that it is simply not possible to walk more than 10 metres without a begger, chugger, free london "newspaper" vendor, big issue seller or scientologist (Crazy-Cult HQ is about 50 doors from my office) stepping in your way.
However having worked here for over two years I have developed various tactics I thought I should share with you on how to combat these.
This time...I tackle the Chugger.
Technique 1 - The Shield
This is probably the most effective way. As you approach the chugger get behind someone walking slower than you so that they are directly in line with you and the chugger (ie acting as a shield). This works pretty much all the time. The only risk is if there are more than one chugger and the "shield" is stopped by the first, or if they suddenly change direction or cross the road, before reaching the chugger. In this case all you can do is follow them in their new trajectory and hope that they don't notice.
Technique 2 - Out-Chugger them
This works better if you are a guy and the chuggar is a girl or newbie. Chuggars rely on high confidence to stop you. they make you change your plans by trying to act more confident that you in the situation and taking control. All you need to do act even more confident.
As you approach a chugger, start singing or dancing (a combination works best). Wink at them and wave. Once you reach a certain thresh-hold of ridiculous over-confidence they won't be able to compete....hopefully and you can actually probably get them to do things for you.
This is probably the more risky.
Technique 3 - Lonely Drunk
The easiest. You see the chuggar.....immediately act drunk....also make a beeline straight for them. As above, singing will help in this situation, but remember to slur your words. They will immediately try to find someone else to bother to give themselves an excuse to ignore you.
If they try and talk to you about their charity just start talking about something else, but remember to slur it so that they don't understand.
If you don't actually have anything pressing to do, and you are a good actor, you can have fun by hanging around the chuggar for the rest of the day. Leave every now and then because the most fun part is seeing their face sink when you return.
There are many more ways but the above are by far the most effective.
Next time - How to safely make someone who is drunk and wants to hit you, cry.