I have a bit of a love hate relationship with the American Red Cross.Â I love what they do, but I donâ€™t always love the way they do it.Â Iâ€™m referring to their various blood drives and my part in them.
Once I started donating years ago, I began getting phone calls, emails, and cards in the regular mail.Â Each offered opportunities for me to give, and while I appreciate choices I donâ€™t like getting pestered.Â And pestered. And pestered.Â Often Iâ€™ve already scheduled an appointment when I get a call asking me to, well, schedule an appointment.Â When I tell them Iâ€™ve already done so, they ask me to wait while they check the computer.Â â€œOh! There you are! See you soon.â€ Then I get calls and cards reminding me of my commitment to giving blood.Â Werenâ€™t they the ones who forgot Iâ€™d already signed up?Â Ug.
Today was a new experience.Â I had missed the local blood drive while out of state, so I checked to see what was nearby.Â I discovered a Culverâ€™s in the next town over was offering a promotion called â€œa pint for a pint.â€Â When you give a pint of blood, you get a coupon for a pint of Culverâ€™s custard ice cream.Â Sweet!Â I signed up.
I had visions of being laid over a table leaking blood as customers ate their burgers and slurped their shakes.Â But no, they had a blood donor RV, or whatever it is called, outside of the restaurant.
Letâ€™s just say the bloodmobile was cozyâ€¦two intake cubbyâ€™s and four beds for blood letting.Â In addition, the Red Cross workers said this was their first day with a new computer system and there might be â€œa fewâ€ bumps.
All in all, the donation went fine.Â Sure, it took longer than anybody wanted as the workers figured out random glitches and surprises, but they remained in good spirits.
As I headed for the tiny space where water, juice, and treats were kept, I was not offered my coupon, my reward, my carrot dangled above the puffy bag of blood Iâ€™d given.Â An older gentleman, who had also given blood, was tucking his coupon in his shirt pocket as we guzzled water and proved we could remain vertical.Â I eyed him with lust.
â€œHowâ€™d you get your coupon?â€ I asked between drinks.
â€œDidnâ€™t you get one?â€ he said as he looked down the narrow aisle of the bloodmobile. â€œTheyâ€™re having a hard time with the new system and probably forgot.â€
He looked down the corridor again.Â â€œHey! She didnâ€™t get her coupon!â€
I tried to look pale and needy. Only custard ice cream would help.
A Red Cross worker quickly produced the prize and disappeared into the confusion once again.
Iâ€™m sure the emails, calls, and cards will continue.Â Iâ€™m sure I will continue to give despite the onslaught of requests, reminders, and guilt.Â But Iâ€™m liking the pint for a pint offer.Â It was the best part of my day.