Deceptive Charities?
December 9, 2003

RANT #214: Society & Politics
Summary: A couple of years ago, I would an allusion to a rapper's calling for an authentic version of a person to stand up. But this is about tele-chairites Warning: Shady people may be involved.
Full Text:

When I get home after spending my day at my campus, learning important information that will be useful when I graduate and get into a career (at least Im supposed to be, whether I am or not is another story like how will IntelliCAD help me?  but thats another story), I look at the phone, and it prints on its backlit LCD screen 2 new callers.  So I see who called, and more often than not, they are long distance numbers, usually from the 416 area. Sometimes they are 1-800 numbers.  They dont bother to leave messages, so I normally just shrug and do whatever it is I do after school.

Today was different.  Since the term is over, Im home during the day, and on this particular day, Im studying.  The phone rings, so I turn down the music a couple of notches and pick up.  The first thing I notice is I hear no noise from the other side. telemarketer I think to myself.  Hello? I say.  Ive always wondered why the majority of people make their hello sound like a question. Most people have call display, and like 30% of people have private numbers.  Most phones let you program a directory, so if a private number calls you, and you know them, itll tell you. But I digress.

Hello. Can I speak with a Thomas Wilkinson please? someone with a woman-sounding voice says, or something to that extent.  Im paraphrasing here. But I wont assume that this person is in fact female, for they have technology to alter voices over the phone. I think for a moment, what the hell? More than half of these long distance numbers ask for seemingly random people who Ive never heard of at MY number  Dont even get me started with the whole Derek Dereuter story.

Nobody with that name exists at this number, I say. Sometimes I like to add variety from the typical; youve got the wrong number.  So this person recites my number to me, in the odd chance that her randomized number dialing program called the wrong number (why I think there exists a randomized number dialing program will be revealed in a minute, or if you are really astute, you might figure it out by the title).  Oh. the person says on the phone.  Well, she adds, Im calling from [insert the name of some obscure, though probably somewhat important or prominent charity in 416 region], and was wondering if you would like to make a donation

So, firstly she [this person is getting repetitive] calls for someone else, probably looking for money. I bet she asks everyone for a Thomas Wilkinson.  And then, without even inquiring as to who I am, she asks me for money.  Once, maybe ten years ago, a man came to my door with two pizzas. Upon answering the door (I was like eight or nine at the time), he was like Im here to deliver pizza. Nobody ordered pizza from here. Upon getting my mother, who told him that we dint order pizza, he says would you like them anyway? Ill charge you half the price.  If only they didnt contain pineapple. Hawaiian pizza is wrong for so many reasons, but once again I digress.

So, I get all these calls during the week, and I wouldnt doubt if half of them are all from some charity. But if they are all calling under some guise, looking for some fictional guy who would donate to them if his wallet existed, and then saying oh while Im talking to you, maybe you would like to donate? I would be really surprised, and even more disgusted.  Seeing as Im not Thomas Wilkinson, perhaps I dont know anything about this charity.  But she didnt even tell me what they do!  If you want me to donate, then dont even bother looking for some guy.

Then again, maybe it was an honest mistake. But too many people call me for random people for it to be a coincidence.

So, I end the conversation with I cant right now, sorry. Well, I wasnt really sorry. I mean she didnt even want to talk to me, nor did she want me to know what I would potentially be donating to.  And then she hangs up without any acknowledgement.

At least she wasnt a telemarketer.

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