Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I decided to be honest.

Thanks to that "No Call" list, the only calls I get now are from charitable institutions I have helped in the past. If you've noticed, within the last couple of years, the calls have become more aggressive. I know they feel if they keep you on the phone long enough, you'll agree to give them money just to get rid of them. I feel badly when I have to turn down charities I have helped in the past, but when you can't pay your utility bills on time, there isn't anything left over to give them. I have one charity I support, Best Friends Animal Society, and they haven't received what I usually send. I just don't have the cash.

Remembering that the person on the other end of the phone is working, I try to be courteous. "I'm sorry. I have no extra cash," doesn't seem to be effective anymore. "I am in the middle of supper," brought the response, "Well then, I'll be brief." What? I have marked that group. If I get extra funds and can spread the wealth, then Special Olympics, the American Cancer Society, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the DuPage County Sheriff's Association, might get something. But I don't have extra.

I tried the comment, "If you can find someone to fix the [insert part] on my Jeep for free, I'll send you the money I would have spent to get it fixed." So far, no one has said they know someone and that doesn't stop them from trying my patience with "But we will take just $30 for disadvantaged veterans."

I know it's really, really tough right now for charities to make any ends meet. It is a thankless job to sit in a room and cold call people asking for money when I'll bet a full 90% of them turn you down. But the aggressiveness of some of the callers is getting to me. "Please don't call me again. If I have extra money, I'll contact you." isn't working either because of the loophole in the "No Call List". If you have consented to have a company call you, they still can, although they are supposed to remove your name if you ask. I've found that asking doesn't always translate into doing.

Last night, however, I found a tactic I think is going to work. I decided to be honest. All this week in my World of Warcraft guild, we've been attacking dragons. There are a lot of dragons in the fake world so planning a whole week where every day, we take on a new dragon was fun. In fact, there are so many dragons, we can't do them all in a week.

Last night was a double dose of dragon bosses. We did one event called "Obsidian Sanctum" with the final boss named Sartherion. It's not that difficult an encounter for us anymore, if you run in and kill all the dragons. But, there are ways to make the encounter harder. The main boss has three minor bosses that give different abilities if left alive while you kill the main boss. We decided to try leaving 2 of the mini-dragons up while fighting Sarth.

Unfortunately, we didn't have enough people come onto the game last night to do that. There is however, what's called an "Achievement" for killing Sarth with only 8 people. The usual compliment is 10. We had 8, so let's do it.

We are involved in killing some of the other dragons that inhabit Sarth's chamber and the phone rings. I almost ignored it but decided it could be important. It was a charity call. I said I was busy and the guy says, "Well, I'll be brief." I think that's what did it.

On my computer, I have voice software to communicate in real time with members of my guild when we do events like this. They were talking in the background as I'm on the phone. I know this guy could hear them. Shouldn't it sound as if I have company? Why would you want to keep someone on the phone if they have company? I said, "Look I'm in the middle of killing trash mobs. I can't talk." There was silence and I hung up.

We are about to engage Sarth. I have a couple people who have never done this and some people who need refreshers on how the fight goes. Phone rings. Another charity. "Mrs. Mon-tag-guee?" Dead giveaway that you aren't someone who knows me. "I can't talk. We're about to engage Sarth and I have to explain the fight to the other hunter. Goodbye."

I know they have to keep tabs on what the outcome of the call was. I just wonder what was put by my name. "She was fighting with a hunter?" I am going to continue to use this tactic when they call in the middle of my gaming. Oh man. There are some fights that will sound exceptionally weird. My luck, I'm going to get someone who is also a WOW gamer. "I can't talk now. We've got Icehowl down to 30% and half my raid is gone." "Oh wow. Did he smash them against the wall?" It still doesn't mean I'll have any money to give them, but the conversation would be interesting.

Beverage: Irish Breakfast tea


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