My wife and I were maligned the other day reflecting on the poor quality of our mail. Generally, like most, it's credit card offers (offers you thought you headed off by signing up for some "leave me the heck alone" service or other). Then there's also catalogs, but only ones we buy from--for me, that's 10 gardeny ones and Eddie Bauer. Rejection letters for my writing, too, 6 last week (working on a 99.5% rate since August). Bills. Bills. Bills. Death threats. Some I send.
Then we've got environmental organizations. Children's cancer research funds. And all of "those" things, worthy and good in their own right. So two years ago I gave some money to the National Parks Conservation Association, The Nature Conservancy, and the Rainforest Alliance. Fine, I felt like I could afford it, I believe in that stuff, I was happy I could help.
Apparently, they all hold strategy sessions in far off mystical places on how to market themselves via my contribution. "How can we spend this sucker's money? We need more members. In fact, we need more members with the same name and address. Send him some stuff."
Alas. I have too many stickers and return address labels, and now, this week, wrapping paper. Wrapping paper. With gift tags.
The National Wildlife Federation promises a backpack. I apparently "Love St. Jude." I have to save the Save-the Redwoods League. The Wildlife Land Trust sent me stickers my grandma would've liked, or any old lady. Barf. I have to save the polar bears, too--the lovey-dovey images of mom and cubs tell me so. Don't I just feel awful? The Center for Biological Diversity's slogan says I should donate "Because Life is Good." Is it? I was driving behind an idiot from planet stupid this morning going a full 10 under speed limit, clearly confused as to why he was driving a car, so he swung over two lanes to turn left without ever signaling. The wind is at 45mph and it's 30 something degrees. My neck hurts. People who shouldn't be sick or homeless are sick and homeless. Just lost a football-field-sized chunk of rainforest. And another. And another. And another.
And look what I just got in the mail!
If I give you 10, 20, or even 40 bucks, it means leave me the hell alone. Not to get you off my back, and most CERTAINLY not to get you to spend my money on sending me crap, but because I simply feel moved to.
Speaking of which--when I moved this summer I cleaned out my stamps and labels drawer. I had about 5 billion address labels I'd never use, and a gazillion stickers from every season, holiday, and moonrise from the last four years. I sometimes put two dozen stickers on a letter just to get rid of them. I'm thinking of doing this IF and WHEN I give money to such organizations as the above again. Maybe I could pay in stickers? Wrapping paper? That'd make life good.
teehee. those silly labels, yet somehow I never use nor throw away!
I recycle as much of it as I can. I've tried to get off as many mailing lists as possible, but as soon as I get off one, I get put on another. It's such a waste of time going through all that stuff. It's just such a waste, period. grrrr. . .
When you get on a roll---I start my belly laughing. You are too funny. You might be mad at junk mail this week but we just moved and everyone wants to sell us something over the phone. I guess they found out that I get home at 4:45 every day cause that's when they start calling.
I work so hard physically that I actually lay down and nap when I get home. Well by Thursday this week....I had enough of this mess and went in to melt down with caller number who knows. I told him I was going to commit suicide if uttered another word. He didn't but then I was so mad that the next 5 salesmen that called I let have it too---I told the next guy that a black cloud would follow him the rest of his life and he would never know anything but rainy days..and by guy number 5 my mood had lightened up. Guy number 5 got to hear that I had 10 fingers on each hand and two feet on each ankle. When he started reading his script again, I would talk over him and create a new body part. When the fake Highway Patrol collection men of America called I told them I take a train every where I go. I told him that we are the only city in America without cars so don't bother calling anyone in our zip code.
I also told him to have a Merry Christmas. My husband hates all those freebie address labels with cutsie things. He uses them but then has to talk manly to get his testosterone working again immediately.
I agree. Another thorn in my side is unsolicited emails and phone calls. Though I have opted out, in Tennessee if you are non profit you are exempt and can call whoever you like. Ever heard of the FOP? They call monthly-so annoying!!
Ha!!! Oh, Benjamin. I unlisted my number to keep those jackasses from calling, and have caller ID as well--if I don't recognize the number, I don't pick up. (And half the time, I don't pick up when I *do* recognize the number. If they have something to say, they can leave a message.) Wrapping paper! Sheesh. But I actually enjoy those hideous return-address labels--I save the ugliest/smarmiest ones and use them on my bills. Just a little gesture...
Realize that The Nature Conservancy utilizes one of the most sophisticated PR spin and marketing campaigns in the world. As the world's largest real estate broker with billions of assets and more than $150 million annual net revenue at stake, their financial power dwarfs most for-profit corporations. Their ability to influence public opinion with mass marketing blitzes and media campaigns is awesome. I cover this topic in more detail on my Blog at http://tncscandals.blogspot.com/
For years and years I gave big bucks to Nature Conservancy, but between their executives self-dealing, and them spending all my money trying to get more money out of me, I quit and give to a couple of more grass roots local land conservation organizations where i know my money does something besides pay bloated executive's salaries.
Gardeness--I'm thinking now that wallpaper might be the way to go, a whole wall of return labels!
GG--Maybe we need to think of it as like getting presents at Christmas or on a birthday... each envelope hides a wonderful gift...?
Anna--Ha! I like the ones where you say you've no cars in your city! Before I got put on the do not call registry I'd speak FRENCH to people. HILARIOUS. Non, je ne comprend pas. Parlez vous francais? J'espere?
Tina--Yeah, how do those emails keep getting through my spam blocker? How???
OFB--OH yes, they go on my bills, too. And god save caller id. I've started picking up the phone again when I don't know the nmber: could be a publisher or awards committee!
Harley--Are you real, or one of those blogging spam things? Interesting blog that's started anyway! I never knew.
Don--Learn the hard way, I guess. Makes me sick how "good" things get twisted. I'm turning your way very quickly--give local to people you know REALLY need it and WILL use it how you intended.
LOL! Amen to your rant, Benjamin. And the pseudo environmentally friendly stuff kills me, too. Like "environmentally conscious" catalogs that get resent 4 times in a season. And "environmentally friendly" alternatives that are made it India. (Really? Shipping something sustainably harvested from India is better for the environment than simply doing without something? Who knew?!)
I hear you! You feel good giving, but then you're on every list for every known charity in the world.
Kim--HAHAHA weep weep weep. Why must we be walking hypocrisies? What's the benefit? Gotta be one...
Rosemarie--I've decided I'm done trying to feel good. From henceforth, I will just feel bad. (But that might mean I'd have to steal money.)
After just coming accross your article i thought i might aswell leave a short comment. Incase of any interest to you i actually got my address labels from a british labels company for a really low price. If interested may be worth taking a look at their website.
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