My sisters-in-law have sent me most unusual emails this week. First, the one that just had a baby sent me a note to tell me about the baby. I sent her one back, congratulating her, telling her that we'd like to stop by sometime, and asking if there was anything she needed. She responded by saying "Thank you for offering to get us something. i could really use a hamper (i like the wicker ones either white or honey color). Her room is eventually going to be bright colors like pink & green." Now, on the one hand, it's nice to be able to get something that someone actually wants. But, on the other hand, that wasn't exactly what I was asking. I was thinking more in terms of, you know, bread and milk, or a package of diapers. But, I had intended to get a gift for the baby, so why not a hamper? At least I can be fairly sure it will get used.
My other sister-in-law is doing some sort of fund raising effort for the Amer. Cancer Society. My husband's dad had esophageal cancer this year, and seems to have beaten it. My sister-in-law, K, is a passionate girl, and always has a cause that she's working on. So, she was soliciting donations for her effort last month. This month, she was pissed that no one had donated and so she sent out a chastising email, telling us all how we should be supporting her. I am of two minds about ACS. My dad had Rheumatoid Arthritis, and when my mother contacted the Arthritis foundation for help, they told her there was nothing they could do for her. This was way before the internet, so this was supposed to be how you found support and information before blogging and Dr. Google. So, I have a rather cynical view of these societies and foundations. I'm sure they do some good, but I'd rather support charities that I know are actually serving people directly, like the Red Cross. In addition, I do not like the Amer. Cancer Society, because I'm pretty sure they were the source of my favorite telephone solicitation call:
I was living at home after my dad had passed away, and I worked evenings. One day, the phone rang and I answered it.
Telemarketer: Can I speak with Mr. or Mrs. Smith?
Me: (Clearly they don't know us, or they would know that Mr. Smith has been dead for over a year) They're not home right now.
TM: I'm from the Amer. Cancer Society, and I'd like to send some information to the Smiths.
Me: Well, I don't think they'll be interested, but feel free to send whatever you like.
TM: OK, I'll just need to verify the address.
Me: Like I said, I doubt they'll be interested, but go ahead and verify the address.
TM: What is the address there?
Me: If you're verifying the address, shouldn't you already have it?
TM: Well, we just have a list with names and phone numbers. We don't have access to the list with the addresses. That's kept separately.
Me: Well I'm not giving you the address. You can call back when you have it, and I'll be happy to verify it then.
TM: This is very important information, and I know the Smiths will really want to have it. So I will need to verify the address.
Me: Look, lady, if you're verifying the address, then you have to already have the address. I am NOT giving you the address. You tell me what you have and I'll tell you if it's correct. That's what verifying is.
TM: I told you, I don't have access to the address list.
Me: Well, I'm not giving you the address. You can call back when you have it.
TM: Fine. I WILL call back and I will tell Mr. and Mrs. Smith how rude their babysitter was and you WILL be fired. *Click*
Me: Hello Mom?
Me: Did you know I'm going to be fired?
Mom: WHAT?!?!? (For God's sake you just got that job, what are you talking about)
Me: Yeah, the dog's going to be very disappointed that I won't be able to babysit him anymore.
Mom did not fire me from babysitting the dog, in case you were wondering.