Friday, June 29, 2007

Sam versus the nice, well-intentioned people



"Hello Sir, I'm calling from the American Red Cross. First of all, thank you for your donations with us in the past. I'm calling you today to let you know that the Athens area blood supply is currently in a state of Ultra-Turbo Crisis. And at the current rate, . . . "

"No it isn't"

" . . . um, I'm sorry?"

"Nothing, go on"

"Oh, well, at the current rate, the Athens area will be out of blood in abouuuuut . . . tweeenty minutes."

"No it won't"


"The blood supply won't run out in twenty minutes, or in two days or a week. You guys say that every time you call me, and do I see any "Nation Out of Blood" stories on the news? No, never happens"

"But at the rate that hospitals are using blood, our current supply . . . "

"Your current supply' doesn't take into account the blood drives you run every day of the week. The daily intake has to fluctuate, so there's no way you could be accounting for that. I don't think you even try to factor it in. You stick your head in the ol' blood freezer, ballpark it, and divide by the "current rate" of use, which itself is a load of crap since the usage rate has to fluctuate also, and based on that you call me up and make it sound like we're running on fumes. Your logic is specious, and I will not stand for it."


"Are you an English major?"


*indiscernible mutter*

"Well . . .regardless of the time it will take to run out, I assure you that the supply IS in a state of crisis"


"YES, Ultra-Turbo-"

"Yeah, yeah, whatever. I'm telling you, I get these calls every year. It's always 'a critically low condition' or 'mega-terminal shortage' or 'like, seriously dood, we're so low on blood that this morning we had to pump a guy full of ranch dressing! You need to get in here quick cause Doc's eyeing the thousand island!'. Sorry, I'm not buying it."

"But, Sir, that just goes to show how bad the crisis is."

"No, because see, if you're always in a crisis, then that's not really a crisis is it? 'Crisis' implies that there's a normal state of being, and that the current state is a negative deviation from it. You can't be in a 'crisis' constantly because at some point the 'crisis' BECOMES the 'normal'. So how come don't I get any calls like that, huh? Where's my "things are just fine, donate if you've got a minute" call?"

"Well . . .so you're not going to help us save lives just because you think . . ."

"No, that's not it at all. I believe in the blood donation system. I donate a least a couple of times a year at your drives, and I think it's an important part of our society that every capable person should take part in. Anyone tries to preach to me about voting as a 'civic duty' had better be coming straight from the juice table."

"Then, what's the problem?"

"The problem is" *deeper voice* "the problem is that you are lying to me, sir. You have been trying to frighten me into believing something that isn't true and like any other person I eventually stopped taking you seriously. You want people to donate? Then stop making things up. Just call and say "Hey, everything is ok, but it's ok only because people like you are making it ok. So get off your couch, turn off the 'Friends' rerun*, and come down here. We got Nutter Butters tomorrow, it's all good'. That's all I want, Mr. Red Cross-caller-guy, I want just-one-honest-call."


"So, would you like to make an appointment?"

"No, your appointments are worthless. I make one, then when I go up there they've never heard of me. You just pretend to make appointments so people will feel obliga . . ."


"Until next time then, Red Cross . . . until next time."

*Unless you are Superman, in which case our needles can't penetrate your skin. Plus you've probably got weird alien blood anyway.

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