Thursday, October 22, 2009

World... Vision?

Last Tuesday evening I was home alone, reading in the living room, when I heard a knock at the door. It was already dark out but I decided to answer the door anyway.
A girl who looked to be about 21 or 22 was standing at the door, holding a clipboard and a pile of photos.

She smiled brightly at me. "Hi, is your mom or dad home?"

I stood gawking in disbelief for a few seconds before replying dumbly, "Ummm, NO."

Without missing a beat, she responded, "Would you mind telling me how old you are?"

Rather speechless, I replied angrily, "Twenty six!"

She laughed. "Oh, I wasn't sure if you were over 16 or under 16, so I just thought I'd guess! Oops, I was wrong!".

She went on to explain that she was going door-to-door representing World Vision, and that she wanted to give me the opportunity to sponsor a child in need. She gave me a pile of photos of children from different countries and as I looked through the pile she gave her pitch.

"Isn't it sooooo cool you can support these cuties? All it takes is a bit of spare change each month and in return you get the MOST awesome letters back from these kids telling you how you've changed their lives!"

"Well", I said, "I can give you some money now... I have some cash in my purse."

"Oh.", she replied, disappointed. "We don't take cash at the door. You have to sign up for pre-authorized monthly payments through your credit card company. I can stand outside while you call your company on the phone and I won't overhear any confidential information! You can do it right now."

Concerned that I was being pressured into something before I knew what I was getting myself into, I responded,

"Well... is there a website or any literature I can read to learn more about World Vision? I'd like to think about it first before I commit to something long-term."

She looked impatient. "Why can't you just sign up right now? It's easy and it's cheap. Just do it! This is an amazing opportunity! It's only a couple bucks every few weeks."

Feeling pretty annoyed myself, I answered defensively, "I am not the only decision-making person in this house. I would rather discuss it with my husband first before I commit to anything financially, and he's not home. Can't you leave any information for me to read over and consider before I sign up for anything?"

Defiant, and definitely angry at this point, she responded, "It's not like he would be MAD at you for signing up for a charity! These children need your help, right this minute! You don't need to discuss it! Seriously, you need to just do this!"

I realized I needed to just let this girl down firmly. "Yes, I do need to discuss it with my husband. And I'm not going to sign up for anything right now. Thank you."

She was distressed at this point. "Can I ask you why? You would be helping children in need!"

"I would really rather think about it. I'm not going to do it right now." ... "Sorry", I added, for good measure.

With that, she turned around abruptly and stomped down the stairs, back down the front walk to the street. No "thank you for your time", or, "here is a brochure explaining World Vision", or even, "Good-bye".

I stood open-mouthed as she marched down the sidewalk without even looking back once.

As I shut the front door, all I could do was shake my head in disbelief.

5 comments:

Kristi 12:57 AM  

Wow! You should have asked her how many cuties she sponsors... I had a guy a couple of days ago come around. I already sponsor a child through Compassion Int'l (which I recommend if you are thinking about it) and told him that (but not that it wasn't through World Vision). He then asked if I would still sponsor the child if it were $2 a day? I told him straight out that I didn't want to sponsor another one and he persisted for a bit, but he did leave us a pamphlet I think. Not as rude as your experience (he asked if I was the lady of the house).

The Leb 10:00 AM  

While Kristi was talking to the gent mentioned above I tried to emerge from behind her with my best "why are you talking to my wife" look.

That is so strange Annie, WV seems to be a little sketch though. Mega-overhead.

Sonya 12:42 PM  

I don't know which part of that whole thing I found craziest: the fact that she couldn't deduce your age (which frankly, I would take as a compliment) or how rude & pushy she was. Insane!

Annie 5:51 PM  

The more people I talk to the more I realize World Vision has a sketchy reputation! No wonder they're so pushy.

Mandie 12:20 PM  

If you really want to sponsor a child, I can give you info to set you up with one of the kids from Pan de Vida. I know it's legit because I've met all of the kids and people who are in charge :o)

But wow, pushy woman. That's unreal. Also, if someone comes to your door claiming to be from your gas company, it's a LIE. Don't ever show anyone your bills! We've caught them in their lies many times. Sketch!