Most days, I don’t bother picking up my apartment phone when it rings. I know that the person (or machine) at the other line is probably not someone I really care to talk to. Plus, people who really want to talk to me just call my cell phone. But tonight I was trying to watch a DVD and the ringing was disruptive.
The first call was a recorded message. Click.
The second call was a UCLA undergraduate calling members of the alumni association. She wanted me to sign up to host a Dinner for 12 Strangers. Um. Not likely. I have no room for 12 people at my apartment. Oh, and I don’t really cook. I’m much more likely attend one of the dinners the alumni association holds from graduate students.
The third call was another UCLA undergraduate, M. She thanked me for my donation last year to the UCLA Fund and then launched in to her spiel which would end by asking for another donation. The additional funding had helped keep the library open for 24 hours. M discussed the governor’s proposed budget cuts. And then she stopped. She asked me if I had worked for MEChA. I suspect my former employer information might still be in some kind of alumni database. I told her I had worked for one of MEChA’s programs, a counseling and mentorship program called MEChA Calmecac.
“Oh, I worked for MEChA too,” she responded.
“Which program? Calmecac or Xinachtli?” [Xinachtli is the high school outreach program.]
“Cool. I worked at Calmecac a while ago.”
As soon as I knew M had worked at Calmecac too, I felt a connection with this undergraduate working at the UCLA Fund. I decided I’d renew my donation then. I could hear the happiness in M’s voice. I have friends who worked the phones at the UCLA Fund when they were undergrads. My recollection is fuzzy, but I think the students calling had fundraising quotas. Honestly, I wanted to help M meet her fundraising quota more than I cared about donating to my alma mater.