Thursday, March 7, 2013

Membership cards

Apologies for missing last week's blog. Here is an extra to make up for it: A slew of "2013 Membership cards" has been arriving lately, with start-of-the-year solicitations. Originally, the idea was to renew membership first, and then receive a card when the dues had been paid. Then someone realized that sending the card with the renewal requests would not only save labor and postage, but also act as a nudge to the recipient to respond with payment of "dues". It didn't take me long to realize that these cards should find no place in my wallet. Some tell you that there'll be (say) a 10% discount on merchandise available at some gathering or at a bricks-and-mortar store. Most of them have no use whatsoever. So these "membership cards" in our household are promptly recycled. There are other ways in which "good causes" separate money from supporters, actual or potential. There are raffles. When I enter I note the "Dear Friend" (only a minor turn-off), and I realize that I'm really just supporting our beleaguered Postal Service. Although it is clearly stated that making a contribution will not affect one's chances of winning, there's the wording on the back where one notes whether one is enclosing a donation or not. I suggest that most folk believe that if there's no mark to show that a gift is enclosed, the envelope wiill not be opened. Then there are those unsolicited labels. The idea is that if you don't send some payment, you'll feel "guilty". Then there are those ghastly photos of children needing extensive facial reconstruction. These techniques, heart-rending or even subtle, are in use for one reason only---they work...

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