Free, free, free!Bill's Briefs, Bottom Highlights Thursday, August 20th, 2015
Social Chaos: Bill's Briefs
Faithful readers, let’s face it, in some areas we do not seem to grow smarter with age. Figures constantly show we are the ones who most often fall for the scams and rip-offs which besiege us by mail, phone and email. Today my topic deals with some which seem simple yet are fraught with unpleasant consequences.
They all revolve around the word “free.” So simple. So effective. You think, “What can I lose? It is free.” And so, before your luck changes, you call or write for the miraculously free gift. You blithely provide your name, address, phone number and email address and soon after (often before) your giveaway arrives, there starts an unrelenting barrage of phone calls, emails and letters all enticing you to commit to a “special offer” involving, guess what, your money. The constant requests will come also from other businesses which have bought your name from the original company.
Do not try to get off their call-list by pushing the button “to stop further calls.” That tells them you listened to the whole spiel and so are still a possible sale. Just hang up. Sorry to say, but some of the religious ones are the worst offering holy water, pray shawls, praying hands of pure Jerusalem gold, weekly magazines, prayer requests, and the list goes on. I’m not saying they are not deserving of a chance to beautify your home. Just be aware of what the initial free offer developed into.
Before sending any money for the blind African orphans or an AIDS clinic in Appalachia, Google something like “check credibility of charities” for a list of the good and the bad organizations.
Finally, don’t forget “plus handling and shipping.”
A house call
To the senior set it is no secret that slowly but surely, like it or not, we end up handling things ourselves, so to speak. In my case, time progressed until the whole thing became too much and thoughts of seeking outside assistance crept into the picture.
My frustrations reached the breaking point last week and I now confess: I hired a professional. I went online which seems to be the proscribed route nowadays. It was not easy with so many personal ads touting a wide selection of services. I was like the indecisive donkey starving to death between two bales of hay.
I questioned several with the required physical attributes as to their understanding of what an older person wants – and doesn’t want. You wouldn’t believe some of their suggestions. There are limits you know; unfortunately more and more as I age.
The price was set and he arrived garbed and equipped as we had agreed. I was nervous, but being a pro, he soon put me at ease. I explained how he was to proceed and he didn’t object to anything. Why would he? I am not one of those with bizarre, freakish expectations. I admit to a moment of unease when I showed him the bathroom and he produced a pair of rubber gloves reaching to his elbows.
I hurriedly excused myself and left to survey the rest of the apartment which I had spent hours cleaning to make a good impression. Finding all was suitable, I instructed him on what to do in the bathroom and when finished there he could start on the kitchen and the blinds.
He was excellent and I’ll hire him again. I’m through handling those chores myself. It was money well spent. If possible, hire a cleaner. You deserve it.
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