The phone rang this morning and Caller ID showed it to be a local number.  On the off chance that it might be someone from church or my kids’ school, I hesitantly answered. 

It was a telemarketing call for a charitable organization.  Cursing myself for answering the phone in the first place, I listened to the minute-and-a-half monologue before I heard, “Can we count on your support?” followed by a welcome pause.

“I’m sorry.  I won’t be able to help out this year.”

As instructed by her boring script, the caller went on about how they understand that everyone has been hit pretty hard by the economy…she even lost her own job recently…maybe I’d like to give a smaller amount than the three-digit figures she had previously suggested. 

Um, how can I phrase this nicely? 

No.

But I wasn’t that abrupt.  After all, she had my name on paper.  “I’m sorry, I just really can’t help out right now.”

Funny.  For someone who wanted to be all up in my business mere seconds ago, she sure was ready to get off the phone when I reiterated my unwillingness to help her cause. 

How about this, telemarketers?… How about you save us both some time and begin your conversation like this: “Hi.  I’m from ABC Charity, and I am calling to ask for donations.  Would you like to hear about our organization?”

And if the answer is “no,” THEN you can abruptly hang up.  And I’ll be doing the same.  ‘Cause let me explain something to you…I was kind enough to listen to your spiel even though I didn’t give a crap about it, so how ‘bout you be kind enough to thank me for my time before you slam the phone down in my ear?  Is it too much to ask that you show the same respect you just got from me?

And while I’m on the subject, here’s my take on charitable donations.  I have 3 (get that?  THREE.  You can count them on one hand) organizations that are dear to my heart and I earnestly want to support.  I’m not super stingy, but the money I have available to share is quite limited.  So when I do have it to share, you can bet your kisser it’s going to one of my favorite three.  And I don’t care about the tax write-off.  I don’t have or give enough for the taxable benefit to matter to me.  Besides, a tax break is not why I give to my favorite charities.  I give to them because I know the good they do, and I care personally about their work.  Plus, one of them is willing to spray my house with water if it tries to burn to the ground. 

Beat THAT, ABC Charity!!

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