Despite our having ID on our phone, most times we are in the habit of picking up on the first ring. As a result we get caught with a beggar on the other end. How often we've discussed how to handle these persistent callers. Some friends say they don't give the caller much time to identify himself, then hang up; another said she'd heard to blow a whistle into the receiver would stop that caller; someone else said he picks up the phone and if there's a second of silence, he hangs up. I have tried and used the last suggestion. But after much thought about those calls from organizations I know are worthy, I've adopted this remark:
"Now who are you calling for? Oh. You know, this is a difficult year for us and we can't contribute as we should. Thank you for calling." Guess it's the southern hospitality that creeps into my voice that I can't use the second of my expressions: "You know, you've called just too many times and I've told you to take my name off your political list.DON"T CALL HERE AGAIN!" I feel good with that last remark.
Once a politico called asking to support some man running for senator. I asked, "Where is he from?" The state was Ohio. "Now, do you suppose I want to support a man I don't know with my hard-earned money? You must be kidding." Caller paused, then agreed and hung up. I have to argue sometimes with the sense of a request.
After the conversation I visualize the caller and remind myself they are trying to supplement their earnings to pay a bill, buy books for school, add to the grocery money desperately needed. For a few minutes I am ashamed. But that thought disapates in a few minutes. That caller should know that no one likes a call asking for money.
I make up for contributions to the fallen policemen, the veterans, the Southwestern Indian tribe, the light bulb company, the crippled children's hospital, the political groups and all others who represent large bodies. I look around and find someone locally I can help, like the young woman whose pay goes to defray a bail for her son, the woman who struggles to keep alive a school to teach children to obey the laws of man and God, offer a loan to someone needing ready cash to pay on a medical bill, or clean out my closets to provide a girls' group with needed clothing.
That kind of contribution is satisfying because I know where the goods are destined.