Jun 13, 2010

Fool Me Once...

I Came on my Bike Today
Originally uploaded by Snak Shak
My do-gooder project to connect a needy kid with a bike has been delayed repeatedly, and I feared it was a bust until this afternoon. Now, it's only possibly a bust.

Over a week ago, I answered a CL ad from a "Big Sister" looking for a repairable bike for her "Little Sister". I connected her to MMRB, and MMRB was happy to donate a bike if I would do the repairs. I jumped at the opportunity, hustled over and got the bike (thanks again for that, MMRB!) and gave it a once-over. After two conversations and a series of emails, we had arranged for the pick-up to be made on Wednesday. Wednesday was then rescheduled to Thursday. On Thursday she was a no-show (no phone call, no email with an explanation). I left her a voicemail message on Thursday night but didn't get a response to that, either.

Friday and Saturday passed with no word from my "Big Sister" either. Disgusted, I tried her one last time today and was ready to give up on this. To my surprise, she answered ("so sorry - lost my phone; computer broke... no way to reach you...").

"Uh-huh. Are you interested in picking up the bike or not?" I asked. She was. I told her to meet me on Monday and that I wanted to get this one taken care of. She agreed. We'll see.

Unlike most people I know who have ventured through the Looking Glass that is Craig's List, I have had remarkably good luck with people following through on sales. This experience has cooled me a lot on CL, however. I feel like I got jerked around for trying to do a good deed. Maybe I'm too naive or thin-skinned, but the hassle here as now exceeded whatever positive energy I hoped to get out of this transaction.

I just hope she picks up the bike and the kid likes it at this point.

People. Grrrrrrrr.


  1. That's frustrating. How annoying when you try to do something nice for someone and it just turns into a huge hassle.

    It reminds me of how each year around Christmas my church tries to round up some presents for kids in rough situations. Sometimes it's as easy as buying a bunch of toys the kids have requested. Other times it's a total pain in the ass where whatever you buy is the wrong size/color/style - and even though you've provided them with a gift receipt, the low-life parents send *you* back to the store 3 times on wild goose chases searching for some toy that may not actually exist. Kinda blows the mood of providing service for someone. You just have to keep reminding yourself: The people who are hardest to serve are *usually* the ones who need it the most.

  2. I have a co-worker who's had similar problems. They put up at-risk families and some are great, others are so used to working the system that they feel entitled. I agree that those most in need can be the most difficult to help.