those phone calls yesterday. You know the sort I mean. The sort which begin with a bright voice asking, "Is that Mrs.... This is....." when you are not, and never have been, married. The sort of phone call which tells you that the person at the other end doesn't know you but is working their way through the telephone book.
I said, "No. And whatever you are selling I am not interested."
"I'm not selling anything. I'm calling from the X foundation...." I had never heard of them.
"We don't give to charity over the phone." (It's a firm rule in this house because how do you know who you are giving to if it is a "cold" call?)
"I don't want a donation. I'm trying to organise a door knock."
"I am NOT interested."
"But you just have to...."
"What part of "NO" don't you understand?"
I put the phone down. The Do Not Call Register still allows charities to call. I wish it didn't. I'd love to be rich, really rich and be able to donate a lot to charities of my choice. I'd like to know it is going to be well used.
The door knock one is the first time it has been tried on us. I have been asked to door knock by people I know but I have always refused. I do not wish to embarrass my neighbours into donating to a charity they do not support. I do not want to knock on the door of strangers asking them to support a charity they may have no interest in.
Perhaps that is wrong of me. Am I lacking in generosity? I donate to charities of my choice. I know where the money goes and what it is used on. They are issues important to me and to the recipients. I would rather give a good amount to a few than a little to many. Is that the wrong approach?
I looked up the charity which had rung us. There was almost nothing on the internet. I then looked up something else I was aware of. Yes, the charity which had rung is a splinter off the other. People have argued. This is a "new" charity now. They want to do things their way. They need money but the money isn't going to go on the needs of the individuals. It is going to go on setting up another charity we don't need.
I am of the serious opinion that charities need to come together. They need to spend less on administration and offices and fund raising. They need to get on with what they say they are there to do.
The young man at the other end had been well trained in all the necessary "patter". He was determined or, shall we say, "pushy". He didn't want to let me go until I had agreed to help.
He is being paid to make those calls. I checked on this. The new charity has to raise enough to cover the cost of using a professional fund raising organisation before it even begins the work it says it wants to do.
I wish them luck but I don't see how they can do it. They would have been better off not arguing with the parent body - and better off not phoning us.
Am I wrong to be like this?