“At this festive season of the year it is more than […] desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time.”
Well, thank God all that charity and benevolence was flushed out as the New Year rang in.
Since graduating from the university at which I studied for my LL.M, I’ve found they have an annoying tendency to come cap-in-hand begging for donations on a fairly regular basis. And their quarterly magazine aimed at their alumni simply doesn’t make up for the inconvenience of being frequently hassled. When I flick through it (usually with scant attention before I toss the thing aside in mild disappointment), I am often hit by a wave of guilt that I should make a donation.
I freely admit that I absolutely loved my LL.M and save for that awful summer I spent cocooned in my home office slaving over my dissertation, it was a wonderful experience I’d happily repeat again and again.
Anyhow. Completely out of the blue, I received a call a few weeks ago from one of the university’s marketing people (he sounded like a student himself - probably was). After making some very thinly veiled smalltalk, he proceeded to tell me all about the valuable research the university was doing and how vital contributions from its alumni are in keeping that going. Yadda, yadda, yadda.
However, I really wasn’t prepared for the hard sell I got. After asking whether I would be willing to contribute £3.00 a month, I politely but firmly declined. When the chap pressed me why - whether it was the amount or some other reason - I felt my blood pressure rising. The simple fact is, I hate having my pocket picked by these do-gooders. (I never give to beggars either; I’d rather get a knife stuck through me than voluntarily part with loose change).
Clearly feeling he could press me further, he asked whether a one-off donation of just £20 or £10 pounds would satisfy me. Whether it would satisfy me? Because having your pocket picked is always so satisfying isn’t it?
Appalled at the nerve of the chap, I told him (in no uncertain terms) that it wouldn’t satisfy me, and that the only thing that would was if he got off the phone and stopped hassling me for money. Bastards!!
Unfortunately for them, I had been seriously contemplating making a donation (of my own volition) towards the end last year. However, after that pestering call, I have reconsidered and think I’ll be holding on to my money, or at least giving it to a worthy charity that don’t pester me with phone calls. The RNLI, for instance.
Let’s hope not all of their alumni are like me - else they’ll never get any money!