MAY 6, 2009

Do you want my blood, too?
       Apparently my business isnít enough. Have you noticed the increased presence of beggars in businesses lately? And by beggars, I mean the staff trying to get you to give money to charity.
       Hey, donít get me wrong, Iím all about helping those in need, but itís become ridiculous how many ďextrasĒ weíre suckered into.
       At a local fast-food restaurant itís up-up-upsell. No, I donít want gravy on the side. No, I donít want apple pie for dessert. No, I donít want to donate a dollar to support local schools. I would like my meal if weíre done wheeling and dealing here.
       The reason I say no to the donations in these places is because a dollar here and a dollar there from customers is one thing. But now ďRestaurant XYZĒ makes a generous donation to a local charity and the company is touted as being a saviour, meanwhile itís the patrons that made the difference. And is this considered a tax writeoff for these places? Might be something to think about.
       Again, Iím just as generous as the next person, but with the scare-tactic reports our economy is doomed, Iím going to try hang onto every penny I have for the next little while.
       While watching my expenses and cutting costs, I recently cancelled a service Iíd had for 12 years. I was an AOL Canada member but didnít use the service anymore. At the time I subscribed, local Internet companies werenít common. Rather than cancelling my membership years ago, I scaled it back to $6 per month and the connection would piggyback on my local Internet.
       I finally came to the conclusion this was $72 per year I was wasting. To call and cancel, well, thatís another story.
       Testing out the response time, calling to sign up for a new account was speedy fast. To cancel, it was a wait and a hassle dealing with the operator.
       The operator threw all these, ďDid you know that forÖ?Ē and ďWhat I can offer you isÖĒ My response? ďNo, no, no. Cancel it.Ē Still with a few more roadblocks thrown at me, I kept cutting off the assumed script reader and said, ďItís done. No subscription. Cancel now.Ē
       And, itís not just businesses that are greedy. Next week, find out how a local animal shelter handled queries about pet adoption and also about making a donation. (Hint: two totally different responses.)
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