Late last year I wrote about putting a face to the recession; this afternoon I put a voice to it too.
One of the few downsides of my coffee shop, most coffee shops, is that one is forced to overhear the phone conversations of neighboring tables. The following is an account of one side of a conversation from a mid forties woman next to me.
Good Afternoon, this is Jane Doe.
Mmm, hmm… mmm, hmm.
I’m sorry but I can’t donate this year.
Yes… mmm, hmm.
No, not at that level either, I just can’t do it this year.
I understand, but please…
No I can’t…
Listen, I know that I’ve given to your charity in the past; but I simply cannot do it…
I don’t want to be rude and hang up on you, but you are tempting me. Do you really want me to suffer the indignity of admitting to you and anyone within earshot that I am unemployed? Fine, I’m unemployed. I haven’t worked in ten months, can’t pay my bills, and certainly can’t give you “whatever I can spare.” I can’t spare a dime and you might want to rethink giving people the hard sell in this economy.
Yeah, I didn’t have any words.