Telemarketing 101

I just barely survived an 8 minute and 31 second phone call with my university alumni association. 
I'm lucky to be alive, because man, that freshman was persistent in asking for some money!
He started out with the touchy feely how's your life/job/past 10 years been?  Have you been back to campus lately? What was your major?  Why did you choose it?  What's your sign?  What are you wearing? (not really, but it makes the story juicier) The he shared a lot about himself.
I felt we were bonding, you know, making a connection.  He's a freshamn, so he's what?  18 or 19?  An engineer major, so probably a tad bit nerdy, but determined.  Eager to do well.  Eager to learn.  I kind of imagined him with curly hair, maybe freckles.  Maybe we'd share a latte, hit up the bookstore together....
At this point in the small talk, I was starting to feel myself cave.  I was actually thinking to myself, You know, you do have a job.  You can pay your bills and take care of your family.  You can probably give up some cash to help your old school. He was really softening me up. 
Then wham!  The direct  money request.
 "We're hoping you can give a generous amount this year.  How does $250 sound?"
WHAT???!!!  Ah hell to the no.
And like all good phone solicitors, he gave it the ole Boy Scout effort, did more sweet talkin, and then asked again, this time for $150! 
Excuse me??  I thought we had something here, young freshman.  And it turns out you just want a load of cash.  That I can't won't spare.  It's Christmas time.  And the car registration is due.  And the mortgage.  And I really want those new black flats I found on  Designer Shoe Warehouse
And I feel bad, I really do.  I've given as a proud alumnus over the past decade that I've been out of college.  But never regularly.  And never right before the holidays. And never an amount worth mentioning or showing pride about.  There will be no plaque or bench in my honor, no listing of my name on their generous donor list.  Rather than some young college student get help with a scholarship or some building get a new computer lab, I'd rather the Bossy Girl and Wee One get spoiled like you wouldn't believe from Santa.  That is the true meaning of the season, afterall.
So, I had to let Mr. Freshman Engineer go.  I had to drop him and that phone call like a bad habit.  Maybe I could have worked on our relationship, like with negotiation or compromise.  (Marriage language I've heard of, but don't speak fluently.)  He started at $250, I could've started at $1.75.  We may have found a way to meet in the middle.  But I realize now, he would've hung up with me, and then dialed up the next older woman looking for more cash, and my eight and a half minute solicitation would have been meaningless.
I loathe telemarketing.

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