OCHAZUKE: Say, What?

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By MAGGIE ISHINO
Originally printed in The Rafu Shimpo on March 15, 2012.

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It seems that organizations and businesses always ask for donations mainly during the months of October, November and December as if to “clear their table” and make a new and clean sweep over their financial matters.

Each year I receive a plea for a donation from a certain organization and each year I have given. I have yet to receive a “Thank You” letter or an acknowledgment that the gift was received. It is only through my cancelled check that I know my gift was received. It is truly a pity that even though the organization has sent hundreds of letters asking for a donation, a “Thank You” note has never been written.

Sometimes when I receive a letter asking for a donation from an organization that I feel is financially secure due to the events it has been able to, shall I say, “hold” during the year, I wonder why it asks people like “poor little me” for money.

It seems when I donate to a “nonprofit” organization, I receive letters asking for donations from other “nonprofit” organizations I have never heard of. It’s like when, once I order something by mail, the next thing I know I am being flooded with brochures, catalogs and/or pamphlets from several mail-order companies. I firmly believe that nonprofit organizations and mail-order businesses are in cahoots. Of course, I do not HAVE to give to any organization, be it nonprofit or otherwise, But!!??

I recently agreed to subscribe to a very popular magazine because I felt I was getting a “good deal.” After I sent the letter agreeing to the “deal,” I have had “low-cost” subscription appeals from four other popular magazines. Woe is me!

Another thing that really aggravates me are credit card companies who assure me that I am already approved and all I have to do is enclose the initial annual-member fee, sign the letter enclosed and mail it. These companies have already “approved” me and have all the financial data on file from the company with whom I initiated my credit card. Things like this should be kept confidential and it really is too bad it ain’t.

Because of the downgrading economy situation, it seems things such as I mentioned above are happening more frequently and service and assistance by phone are becoming more and more unsatisfactory. Those who answer the phones are becoming unnecessarily curt, discourteous and unwilling to really assist you. I have been transferred here and there and I say to myself, “How in the world did I get connected to someone in Virginia or Texas?”

I want to scream when I get incorrectly transferred to a Spanish-speaking office clerk, not because she is Latino, but because she is rattling off in rapid Spanish and I cannot understand a word she is saying and I did NOT ask for a Spanish-speaking clerk.

I receive correspondence where there is a phone number for me to call if I wish more information and/or want to ask a question. When I call that phone number, I find that they don’t know what I am talking about and give me another number to call. I call the number given and find that number is incorrect, so am given another number. By the time I get assistance, I have been transferred three times and forget why I called in the first place.

I have talked to some of my friends and they, too, have had the same problems and inconveniences I have experienced. Three of them have said, “Maggie, why don’t you write an Ochazuke about the matter?”

So be it, dear friends.

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Maggie Ishino is a Rafu typist. She can be reached by email. Ochazuke is a staff-written column. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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