Monday, March 19, 2007
Interesting Concept
As I have posted before, Prince Charming and I recently purchased a new washer and dryer and a new riding lawnmower. We weren't desperate for these items, to be certain. The old washer and dryer still work - I used them yesterday - and the old lawnmower still functions. Yes, we are those evil material Americans. I wanted more efficient equipment in the laundry room that would use less water and my prince wanted a new lawnmower. He deserves it. That's good enough for me.

But, this left the old stuff to get rid of somewhere. The items still work, so the curb is not a good choice in my mind. I thought maybe Habitat for Humanity, The Salvation Army, St. Vincent DePaul, or Goodwill would be interested. I called all of these organizations and none of them wanted them. NONE.

Which really depressed me. I did not want to pay to have them hauled off. But then, someone told me about This organization matches people with stuff to give for free to people who need stuff. You can join a group near your community and post offers for stuff.

I had some difficulty with the website, but eventually was able to join a number of groups. I posted an offer for the washer and dryer and I kid you not, had a response in an hour. An hour! And, over the course of 2 days, I have received emails from multiple parties interested in the things. Of course, you would expect the demand for free operable washer and dryers to be good, but I had no idea. I'd never even heard of this service before. In the end, I chose my recipient (that is your right as the giver) on my own parameters, bizarre as they are.

First, I weighed their response time. The first lady emailed me within 30 minutes of my posting the offer, for example. Then, I weighed their proximity to our own home (better to help your neighbors and get the stuff picked up faster). And then, I judged their communication skills.

It is a pet peeve of mine, people who communicate poorly. I think people should use proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar. I think people should be polite. I think people should make it easy for me to figure out what they are saying, instead of having to hunt through their email for meaning - or even words. I shouldn't have to read my own words, for example, to find where they've replied. It irks me. Put your response at the top of your reply. I know what I said, for heaven's sake!

So, that's it. You are forced to judge people based on some parameters of your own choosing and award the gift to someone. This, for me, was the weirdest part. It is amazing what some of these people will say in an email to a perfect stranger in order to tug on the heartstrings.

It was an eye-opening, let's just leave it at that.
posted by Phoenix | 12:50 PM


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