Tag Archives: charities

I’m just a girl who can’t say no

This post is, most of all, a message to friends and family:  I no longer will answer the phone unless I recognize the number. Please leave a message. Don’t ever assume I’ll call you back because I won’t, unless I’ve known that was your number since the fifth grade.

crazy phone princessThe biggest problem is, I hate saying no. Hate it! All those people who call who want me to donate money for worthy organizations and charities? It truly pains me to say no. I have my list of groups I contribute to each year. I do add to it occasionally, but I’m getting to the point where I’ll soon have to pick up a second job welcoming people to Wal-Mart to cover my donations. It’s not that I’m such a wonderful person or anything. There are just so many, many, MANY organizations that need help.

I also hate saying no to PACs (I guess?) supporting candidates running in states that desperately need to take steps toward becoming a kinder, gentler place. I completely understand that having good people in Iowa or Michigan or wherever is just as important as having representatives I believe in here in Ohio. It all adds up. But all I can do is support my local senator and two political organizations I won’t name here. I wish I had the Koch brothers’ bankroll, but I’m not even on the same planet as those guys, let alone ballpark, when it comes to discretionary cash.

Now, it’s easy to say no to Rachel from Card Services or to anyone else who tells me not to worry, but they have important information about my credit card. Go to hell, Rachel. You’ve been calling me for years and getting NOWHERE. Knock it off, already.

It’s also easy to say no to the guy who claims to be calling from Windows because they detected a problem with my computer. My language gets a bit salty with that guy, calling him a liar who should be ashamed of himself, among other things. Sometimes he hangs up on me before I can hang up on him. I realize, of course, that it isn’t the same guy calling every time. I have yet to receive that call from a woman, however. I guess the gals are employed by Rachel, rather than Fake Windows.

Between getting riled up over the scams and feeling guilty about the worthy causes I can’t afford to help, answering the phone has become a crap shoot. It’s an emotional roller coaster. Will I be apologizing or yelling obscenities or just acknowledging that my prescription is ready for pick up at Rite Aid? I can’t take the pressure any more.

So if I don’t answer, please – leave a message.

You, I’ll call back.

Leave a message, or – I’m just a girl who can’t say no

Probably smarter people with caller ID have been doing this all along, but I am writing today to tell one and all that I am no longer answering the phone if I don’t recognize the number.

Please. Leave a message. If I am home, I will call you back immediately. If I am not at home or if the power is out (again), I will call you when I return and/or when the phone is back in order. And if I don’t want to talk to you, well, let’s just blame it on Time Warner voice mail, hmm?

The thing is, I am constantly being suckered in to answering calls from numbers with vaguely familiar area codes. Or, if the city ID is a place where I have friends, I can’t resist picking up the phone. Why? Curiosity and an overactive imagination are my downfall.

What if it’s someone I haven’t talked to in years? Some old buddy who, against all odds, has tracked me down to Madison, Ohio, and wants to take me along on a free trip to Spain? Or, what if it’s Publisher’s Clearing House and they want to be sure I’m home so they can surprise me with a big check (never mind that I never enter the sweepstakes)?

publishers clearing two

 

I really don’t want to miss a call like that.But of course, these calls are always from organizations asking for money. The conversations usually go something like this:

 

 

Me:  Hello?

Person on the other end (POE): Is this Kathleen MayHAR?

Me: (Oh crap . . . again) yeeeeeeeees . . . .

POE:  Today I’m not calling you for any money. I am just asking for your time. Could you find it in your  heart to mail out 300 letters to your neighbors in North Madison asking them to join you in supporting The Coalition to Prevent Cruelty to Two-Legged Farm Animals?

Me: The coalition to what . . . ?

POE: We are a new organization dedicated to protecting the rights and humane treatment of two-legged farm animals across our great country.

Me: Are you talking about, like, chickens and ducks and such?

POE: Yes! And geese, turkeys and for that matter, any animal struggling to survive on a farm on just two legs when it should have four.

ME: Like, double amputee goats?

POE: Yes! You’d be surprised at what’s out there. And they need your help. Can we count on you to address and stamp and mail those 300 letters to spread the word in Madison?

ME: Um, I’ve been kind of busy lately . . . .

POE: It’s thanks to the kind people like you that we’re improving the lives of two-legged farm animals everywhere. Can’t you pleeeeeeease FIND IT IN YOUR HEART to help?

High-welfare (whatever that means) turkeys from England

High-welfare (whatever that means) turkeys from England

ME:  But, you know I’m not a vegetarian, right? I EAT chickens and turkeys. Not so much ducks and geese, and I don’t like eggs, but shouldn’t you be trying to get help from the wacky vegans out there?

POE: Eating animals has nothing to do with it. Being NICE to them while they are alive is the point. So CAN WE COUNT ON YOU . . .

ME: ALRIGHT! ALRIGHT ALREADY! I’m in! Can I get back to “Parks and Recreation” now?

POE: Thank you Miss MayHAR. Can we also count on a small donation from you? Say, $20?

ME: Yes, yes – here comes Tammy to torment Ron, I gotta go.

POE:  How about $25, to help yet one more fluffy bird have a happier life before it reaches your table?

ME:  Oh, FINE. Goodbye.

And that’s how I end up financially contributing to a seemingly endless parade of charities. I just can’t say no.

So, please – leave a message. Especially if you’re an old friend who wants to catch up and laugh over old times on a river cruise in the south of France.

This is the Viking cruise ship I enjoyed in Germany. Wonderful trip! But if you call and want to treat me to a cruise, I'm thinking either the south of France or Portugal - if it's okay with you.

This is the Viking cruise ship I enjoyed in Germany. Wonderful trip! But if you call and want to treat me to a cruise, I’m thinking either the south of France or Portugal, please.