Archive for January 6th, 2010

Today I had a job interview.  I think it went well.  You never know though.  I met with some really talented people, so hopefully I measure up.

Before I forget, thanks to all the Facebook users who have visited the Year of Giving.  Also, for those of you who have not became a “fan”, check out the Facebook page.   Take a look, I will be putting up some video there which I have not been able to add so far to my blog.  Also, become a fan…who knows who will see that you have become a fan and be inspired to incorporate more giving into their life.

On my way home from the interview, I saw a Parking Enforcement Officer walking along one of DC’s downtown streets.  I knew immediately that I had to give my $10 to him.  I walked up to the 23-year-old who was typing away on his handheld parking enforcement device.  Stephén wins the prize for the recipient who was best prepared for winter weather.  The DC native had on some serious winter gear.  He had a total of about 5 square inches of skin exposed, that’s it.  Perhaps that helps keep his identity hidden as well in case somebody gets really angry with a ticket he writes!  Anyway, I was intrigued to speak to someone with a job that puts them in a high degree of direct contact with the public…and often the interaction is not civil. 

With an average of 50 tickets written each day, Stephén says that every day is an adventure.  He has been doing this for over a year and says that he loves it.  Even upset vehicle owners don’t deter him.  “If someone is wrong, then they’re wrong.  It’s that simple.” He understands people get upset, but, he wishes they would understand that he is only doing his job of enforcing the rules.  If you break the rules, then you get a ticket he says.  Despite plenty of irate confrontations, he says nobody has physically threatened him.  I would not have been surprised to hear that he had been assaulted.  People can go a little wacko. 

So what is Stephén going to do with his $10.  He said he would buy some lunch with it.  He thanked me for calling him a parking enforcement officer and not a “meter maid.”  “You’re probably the first person I have come into contact with on the street who has got that correct.”  He is a likeable guy.  The only thing I could possibly fault him with is his love for the Dallas Cowboys!  I can’t believe we have a lifelong DC resident that is a Dallas Cowboys fan.  Unbelievable!  “There’s more Cowboys fans here in DC than Redskins fans,” he said.  Given the ‘Skins performance this year, he might be right.

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Today’s giving experience will not disappoint.  I promise.

 On Tuesday’s I meet with a group of recently laid off professionals.  We openly discuss our career situation and try to leverage one another’s experience, ideas, and contacts to help one another out.  I left our meeting around 4pm and ran some errands.  On my way home I saw two women in front of a Starbucks asking passersby for a few minutes of their time.  This was interesting because lately it has been me asking strangers to stop and talk to me.

Interested and excited to see how this goes from the other side of the table, I stop and meet Theresa.  She is a 24-year-old Maryland transplant from Wisconsin.  It is bitter cold out and she says that her Wisconsin heritage prepared her well for just such a day.

She explains to me that she is working for Save the Children, an “independent organization creating lasting change in the lives of children in need in the United States and around the world,” according to their website.  She typically works nine-hour days, 5 of which are spent directly engaging with potential donors.  With an educational background in International Studies and a one year stint with AmeriCorps, she is well poised to be working in this field.

In only 22 days I have had some interesting encounters.  So I figured with her experience engaging citizens face to face to help the organizations that she has worked for, she probably has had some experiences that stand out.  She recalls one day that she was working for Amnesty International and asked a woman to become a donor.  The woman explained that she was a survivor of the Darfur genocide and in a witness protection program and therefore could not divulge her name or be put on any type of mailing list (personally, if I was on such a list, I think rule number one would be not to divulge that to anyone).  Another time she met one of the lost boys of Sudan who had actually been a recipient of Save the Children aid when he was a child.  He received soup and vitamin supplements from the organization.  He was a student when Theresa met him and not able to become a monthly donor, but he gave her $10 (sounds like I have a copy cat J).

So, speaking of that $10.  I asked her what she was going to do with the money.  Part of me was curious if someone who pleads with strangers all day, everyday to donate to a cause would give their own money as well to the cause when given the chance.  She didn’t hesitate at all and said she was going to donate it to Save the Children.

Theresa is a very energetic individual with a talent for her field of work.  I think I need to connect Jenny (Day 13) and Theresa somehow.  Theresa said she was going to check in with the blog…so if she does, I will connect the dots.

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