Pledge Drives and The Little Old Lady

Because you know. That’s how we do. I woke up after the explosive thunderstorm overnight (which the cat did not like, so I got zero sleep thank you very much) to a very dark, overcast  and somewhat equally explosive rainy day. I took a long hot shower, had a coffee, and drove up to the University campus to start my shift for the KUER (local NPR affiliate) annual pledge drive. Because I want to support my daily listening habit, but don’t have the cash to actually just sit at home and send in money over the phone. Whatevs. Anyhow, after having to wait a touch for the shift coordinator to come let us in (the weather made everyone late, really), I took up my station, grabbed another coffee, and slid on the headphones.

Support phone operator in headset with computer at workplace

Even in my “free time” I am helping other people raise money. Because: sucker.

It was actually really, really fun. I saw some of my old pledge drive buddies (yes, that is a thing) and made some new friends. I always meet the most interesting people, and the folks I met this morning were from all over the place. It being Salt Lake, we all had like two degrees of separation. Crazy. And people were really interested in my actual day job. It was nice to have strangers tell me I was doing something worthwhile with my career, especially given how crazy work has been since Davey left. Plus I got one of the biggest pledges of the shift, a nice lady up north that gave a hundred bucks a month and didn’t want a pledge gift.


Someday, I will be that middle/upper-midde class. Some day.

I then swung by the grocery store, listening to the radio and feeling like I had done my duty for public radio, and hit the grocery store to buy some grub to get my casserole on for the next week (along with the rest of the fricking neighborhood). I tidied up the house a bit and saw my sweet, elderly neighbor, who I always, always get the newspaper for and put on her ledge because she has limited mobility and it hurts her to bend. I felt even better, as she took the paper in her hands, and then watched (TO MY HORROR) as she opened her trashcan/bench and threw the paper away.


What. The. F.

She then disappeared inside, and grabbed three more of this week’s papers and dumped them too. She then ceremoniously slammed the trash bench shut, and disappeared into her house. I was dumbstruck. I’ve been diligently scooping up her paper, whether it is on her doorstep or ten feet down the breezeway, thinking I was doing one thankless thing to be nice, and she doesn’t even read the paper. The number of Kohl’s coupons I could have had, were I the type to steal other people’s mail.


Even Newbs’ mail. Which BTW, you need to come get your chairs, Joshy.

So I don’t even know what to do. If I stop snagging the paper and making it easier for her to get, I’ll feel bad that she’s bending to pick it up. But she only does that to throw the damn thing away. Should I just stop? Keep doing it? Start stealing it because I want a paper? Until next time, stay classy (and please advise!) Salt Lake.

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