Friday, February 05, 2010

Oh good grief

Last night I was interrupted during dinner by a phone call from the Psychology Department at the university I attended, Cal Poly SLO. I get one of these calls once a year, pretty much. I've even posted about it before. And last night, it went something like this:

(Picture her speaking in a really ditzy, teeny-bopper voice)

"So are you, like, currently working in the field of psychology?"

"No, I'm a mom. I have kids."
(Five actually, but who's counting?)

"Oh! Um, okay! A stay at home mom."
(Wow, thanks for the validation...) "Well, have you EVER worked in the Psychology field?"

(Not unless you count parenting FIVE CHILDREN day in and day out, including two who came home with some trauma issues. But whatever.)

"Ummm, okaaaaaay. So have you been back to visit Cal Poly since you graduated?"

(Didn't have the heart to break the news that I didn't, in fact, actually graduate...that sometimes God has other plans that far surpass your own. I also refrained from asking her if it's NORMAL to go lurking around your alma mater when you're in your late 20s. Because at best that seems desperate, and at worst, creepy.)

"Okay, well, like, I wanted to invite you to Open House this year. Do you think you can come?"

(Really? She knows I live in Colorado. What on EARTH would I be doing at Open House?)

"Um, um, okay. So like here's the other reason for my call."
(Riggggghht. NOW we get to the REAL reason this college student, who by this time I'm certain MUST be either a cheerleader or in a sorority of some sort, possibly both, is calling me.) "Things have been, like, really hard with the budget cuts. Things have been, like, so hard this year. Like getting classes, and stuff with education, and, like the cuts..."

At this point she droned on and on (making less and less sense, but I patiently sat and let her finish.) FINALLy she stopped and awkwardly asked, "Um, like, so can you make a donation?"

"No thank you."
(Sorry, our charitable giving is generally reserved for relief organizations, the kids we sponsor in Ethiopia and Uganda, our church, and the girl scouts when it's cookie time. I ALMOST asked if she'd caught the news lately or heard of a place called Haiti, and whether she REALLY thought things had been so hard for her at college, but of course I didn't.)

"Well, if you enjoyed your time at Cal Poly at all, you really should consider making a donation."
(Hmmm, not really a fan of school. At all. I went to college to get a work permit, but ended up scoring a husband instead. The Psychology program was good and I did well, but I have zero CP green and gold mustang pride. Sorry folks.)

"No thank you."

"Okay. GoodBYE."

So yeah, she was rude on top of it all. Unable to hide her bitterness that I didn't shell out some money for the suffering college students in San Luis Obispo, CA. I was polite, but I sure couldn't match her enthusiasm. (Must have been the Red Bull or something.)

The thing is, I DO have some fond memories of the PSY department. I had some great professors and all that. But I REFUSE to be guilted into donating, and so long as they have these sorority sisters calling me and acting like I owe the university something, I won't be. Not saying it's not a worthy cause, but REALLY. The way she was talking you'd have thought she was trying to raise money for St. Jude's.

Hate to be snarky, but it is what it is.

Except that, like, maybe it's a little fun sometimes.


Kristen said...

Funny story! And I just read the link to your post from 2006...and all 31 comments that followed. Sheesh! Who knew that asking for a donation could be so controversial! Ha ha.

Tracy Regusci said...

I love it! Not to mention half the student body at Cal Poly drive BMWs!! They really need your donations!

Brianna Heldt said...

Oh Tracy I KNOW! I remember when I went there and lived in the dorms, pretty much EVERY CAR in the FRESHMAN LOT was Well, except for mine!!! :)

Jamey... said...

Love the sense of humor. Fun post!

joy said...

Ha! Cal Poly called us a couple of weeks ago and asked for Cade. When I said he wasn't home, she said, "Can you just tell him Cal Poly called?" Sure, I'll tell my husband that our local university calle--not a particular person, or department, but the whole school.

Courtney said...

Thanks for the funny post. I am a Cal Poly Pysch alum as well, but they (as of yet) haven't called me for a donation. Thank goodness! Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed my time there, but I agree with you that there are so many other worthy causes.

Kristen Borland said...

oh yes, sister.

first, i didn't even know they called dropped outs like us. that's super exciting. i'll be anxiously awaiting my phone call. of course, i won't be expecting much enthusiasm from the english department. great department, but not very full of sorority cheerleaders.

second, part of me wishes you'd given her a good education about life.

third, "i went to college to get a work permit, but ended up scoring a husband instead." nice! love it!

fourth, we reallllly need to start our own club--women who chose wifely/mommy duties above a piece of paper with a nice salary attached. some people don't have to choose between the two. i personally will always have to make such choices (prioritize) because of my health. i'm all for degrees and think it's always great if you can get one, but when God changes your path, i think there's huge blessing in that as well. and living where we do now, i'm meeting more and more wonderful, HAPPY and financially stable people that do not have degrees. and that is awesome. the woman disciplining me is a lunch lady at a public school. i'd LOVE to do something like that some day if i had to work (though mike says he'll work three jobs before he asks me to work, but i may get a job just so i could see him every once in awhile)! maybe when the kids are grown and i'm bored!

okay, so that's getting off topic, but you know how passionate i feel about this!

Ginger said...

You're restraint is impressive...I probably wouldn't have been on the phone still, but had I been when she starting getting an attitude, I'd have been tempted to say that if students are really that strapped, then perhaps they should give up expensive extracurricular activities such as sororities, fraternities, partying, they'll have more funds for school & more time for perhaps a part time job. And had you talked about Haiti, Ethiopia, or the many many other truly needy places in the world, she'd probably have been left speechless!

Mama Mote said...

Owww!!! Brianna, my head hurts. I was trying NOT to hear the voice, but it wouldn't stop! So funny. We are getting letters and calls from the University of OR...where Danielle goes to school. WE never went there, but since we are PARENTS, they call us to help them out. I've given once - maybe shouldn't have, so I wouldn't get calls/letters. JK I don't mind giving once in awhile, but yeah, mostly to relief, cancer, staff kids' fundraisers. Anyway, thanks for the laughs. hugs

Brianna Heldt said...

Oh Kristen I KNOW, we really SHOULD start a club! I too feel passionately about this. I just would not change a thing about my life so far, truly. Had I not gotten married young, or had I used the pill, I would have a college degree. BUT I wouldn't have Anna. Nothing has brought me more joy or fulfillment than becoming a wife and mother. Maybe someday I'll finish school, but I doubt it. I'd rather spend my leisure time touring the LA morgue with you!

I really do value the educational opportunities available in our country...but I think Cal Poly should find some more professional students to solicit donations! :)

Shelly said...

Not a fan of people calling my house asking for money either... and they always find me when I move... HOW?? But...I lived in a freshman dorm at my college all four years doing residence life. It was a proven fact that the worst campus job was the telethon people and only those who needed money to stay in school really bad were willing to do it... so now... a decade later these freshman are calling me. Of course we will NEVER give them any money, but I do enjoy talking with them, encouraging them, telling them about the off-campus ministry I was a part of, talking with them about Jesus, and validating that they had the worst job on campus! I always end the conversations very encouraged that I made their work hours go a little faster.
Next time they call you could ask them if they want to talk to your kids and have your kids sing a song for them! This way you don't have to talk to them and they are still entertained :)


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