Here is an almost verbatim transcript of a fundraising call I received this evening:
Caller (with "private" showing up on the caller ID): Hello, Mrs. Gardner?
Me: Um, no. May I take a message.
Caller: Yes, please tell Mrs. Gardner that Robert Smith called.
Me: Okay, Mr. Smith, can I tell her what company you're with?
RS: Insight, we're a telecommunications company.
Me (thinking this call is about to end): Thank you Mr. Smith. We're on the Do Not Call Registry. Are you aware of that?
RS: I'm not trying to sell you anything. I'm calling to raise money for the Sick Kids Leukemia Fund.
Me (again, thinking this call is about to end): While I'm sure that's a worthy cause Mr. Smith, we only give money to St. Jude's Children's Research Center.
RS: Well, that's selfish! You're only giving to 1 hospital. Do you know how many kids have Leukemia? By giving to us, you're helping ALL the children. Not just the lucky ones who go to St. Jude.
Me: Mr. Smith, I appreciate your concern for the kids, but St. Jude is my choice because my cousin is the child in the silhouette logo for St. Jude's. So that's where my money goes. Thank you for calling.
RS: I don't think so. MY nephew was the ORIGINAL poster child for St. Jude's in the 70s and 80s. Where is your cousin now?
Me: Dead. And I don't think that trying to get into a pissing match with me is any way to get me to donate to your cause.
RS: I'm not trying to get into a pissing match with you. But your cousin is NOT that child in the St. Jude's logo.
Me: Mr. Smith, I was trying to be nice to you. But I never give money to anyone who just calls me out of the blue and asks for it. For all I know, you're a fraud. Take me off your GD calling list.
So what did Mr. Smith do wrong?
- He lied to me by saying he was with a "telecommunications" company rather than telling me upfront he was
- He insulted me by calling me "selfish" for giving money to one of the most respected children's research hospitals in the world, rather than to his unknown charity.
- Finally, he got into a pissing contest with me over who had the most sympathetic personal relationship to St. Jude's.