Tuesday, 3 December 2013

donor services...aka kylie does data entry

i've picked up a bit of casual work and if i had read the massive envelope full of stuff HR sent me i would probably know that there are some kind of regulations about confidentiality. i haven't (yet) read it but i'll cover my butt and not mention names.
my chief occupations are opening mail and taking people off the mailing list of a large charity organisation. that sounds easy enough, right? well there are about 1000 envelopes per day returned to sender which all have to be opened and the intended recipient taken off the mailing list. in my very rough estimation the backlog is somewhere near the 7000 mark and i manage to slog through them (estimating optimistically) at a rate of about 150/ day. should they choose to keep employing me and should i choose to stay i can anticipate taking some time to get through it all!
i haven't worked for money in a couple of years so it's novel to be back at the coal face and its all a bit of an adventure, not least because i am obliged to take the bus, two buses actually, to get there. i haven't really travelled on buses much since my school days and what a different view of the world they offer! i have seen a lady feeding pigeons (why?) a very large backyard sheep and a very small dog habitually hanging out the window. who knows what other treasures are out there?
the mail that comes in is mostly standard stuff but occasionally someone takes the trouble to put a wee sticker on the envelope or write a quick message on a donation slip and how i like those people! then there are the letter writers, i am touched by the letter writers: their thoughts are usually not particularly relevant to what we are doing but they have taken the trouble to write and they have the faith to believe that someone is interested, their faith in humanity is greater than most and their motivation is, too. the other thing that i love is seeing the bank cheques and money orders. it takes serious commitment to organise either of those things, not at all like the convenience of phoning or making an internet transfer. there are quite a few people who are willing to make the effort to go to the bank or post office to get a cheque/ money order and then post it. those people impress me. the people who write shaky copperplate and are probably well into their nineties impress me too, they are obviously old and possibly dont have a great deal of income but they donate faithfully.
i wonder about the folks who write " my mother is *insert age* please stop mailing her"
dont get me wrong, i uphold their right to decline mail and i have just applauded the elderly donors but i cant help mentally asking those correspondents "why does charity end at old age?" or i might imaginarily ask "so how come 97 is too old but 96 wasn't?" then there are those who write "charities keep asking me for money" well, i understand that its overwhelming but do you want to be taken off the list or do you just want me to know that you are tired but you made the effort all the same?

every day can be an education if we are willing, cant it?


  1. A thousand envelopes a day? That must be a pretty big charity. The thing I notice is the number of charities and other organisations that never remove my name from their mailing lists even if I haven't responded to them for years. In some cases they're still mailing the previous owner of our house (that's 4½ years ago).

    When I worked for a charity, I was also very moved by the elderly donors who went to some effort to make a donation, even if it was only a pound or two. And it annoyed me when those modest donations were wasted on pointless management junkets and the like.

  2. Good luck on the paid employment front.
    I am a bus traveller - and revel in the people watching it gives me. The good, the bad, the seriously weird...

  3. You are working from home and that is a great blessing!

  4. Most charity mail can't be returned here in America because of the class postage that it's mailed with, so I just love it when a SASE is included. My father died in 1994, and I still get mail from people wanting money from him. I also resent it when I give to one charity only to get solicitations from 15 other charities. This is why I only give to groups that allow me to opt out of having my name and address shared.

    As for people not wanting their elderly parents to be asked for money, few old people have the discretion to even wonder is a charity is legit, much less the ability to conduct research, and a major bane of my father's last years were the parasites who never for a day stopped trying to rip him off, and they didn't stop at mailing solicitations, they went right into calling him at home and acting as if they were his best friends.

  5. i haven't posted for a long long long long time and i feel just terible><<>,i really quit for months and months but just lately, i was thinking you have always been my friend<><>when i stopped stopping by i remember you were just getting started in the birthing business and assume still<><><>as to charities i give 10% to my church and would love to have health care for everyone and go into people's homes as i am sure you do to visit give a blessing or food or just talk<><>we call it home teaching<><>a christian message and then a prayer<><>><do you ever see mormon missionaries where you live???????

  6. nick,
    it's one of the biggest

    i found a way to drive there so now i mostly drive: the extra half hour on the bus is a big deal at 6.30 am :)

    i am blessed so many ways!

    i hope i didnt sound harsh, i dot mind that people want their parents left alone but i always wonder what prompts the sometimes snarly notes, a charity request is not at all personal so theres no need for them to get emotionally invested. thanks for the perspective!

    welcome back!
    my start in the birth business has been very slow indeed. it took well over 12 months of dogged persistence to finally get my first booking. I now have two bookings with the first bub due in february.
    i offer prayer along with my professional service if people want it and one lady actually enquired whether i would do that but then didnt pursue my service, i dont know why.
    i do see mormon missionaries at times! they stand out a mile :)
    i once worked in a factory with a mormon next door, he was a funny old goat, always drunk! he polished up a couple of b rass vases and gave them to me before he left so i think of him when i see the vases


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