Many of my friends used to be regular blood donors. At least once a year they would give a moment of their time to sit down and give a nice portion of their blood so that it could save somebody in need. At first I didn’t give due to an intense fear of needles. Now I don’t give because my blood isn’t good for donations and I could be one of those people who needs the blood one day.
Especially after being in the hospital back in high school, I look at what my friends do and I am grateful to have such generous people in my life. Some people don’t give at all. Some people give once or twice and forget. Some people give when they hear about an event in the area. These friends of mine, one in particular, would seek out places to donate on a regular basis. That is, until LifeSource came into play.
Around here LifeSource is the main organization involved in blood donations. I never thought twice about it until my friends started complaining.
They don’t know how to find a vein. They had to try too many times and I was all bruised up.
Oh my G-d they called again! I don’t pick up the phone anymore when I see their number!
That was the biggest complaint–the never-ending phone calls pressuring people into donating. We see you haven’t donated since Date X. My friends memorized the LifeSource phone numbers and refused to pick up when it appeared on the caller ID. Not only were the calls persistent, but they were riddled with pressure and guilt to get people into donating more. My friends stopped donating as frequently. Some won’t donate at all if LifeSource is involved.
Now, I don’t know exactly what goes on in the phone conversations and I’ve never seen anybody’s arm directly after donating via LifeSource. What I do know is that it takes a lot of negative feelings to get a passionate blood donor to stop donating because the organization involved is unbearable.
I haven’t taken any action yet and I’m sure some people wonder why I would say anything if I never donate anyhow and cannot donate, but that is exactly the point. As somebody who may end up on the other side of a transfusion someday, the last thing I want for anybody or myself is to sit there wondering if the blood we are being given came willingly or through somebody guilting another party into donating. I want everyone to have a clear conscious that somebody wanted to do something positive for the community by giving blood. Can you imagine taking blood from somebody who gave just to get somebody else off his or her back?
I also have a passion for giving good customer service the good word it deserves and the bad customer service the bad word it deserves. I’ve been known to contact “corporate” for seeing cashiers mistreat customers who don’t speak English or are using food stamps and also for seeing cashiers give their own change to customers who have come up short and have to choose an item to put back in order to afford the groceries. You don’t create change in the community by sitting back.
But groceries stores are one thing. Donating blood is a whole different story. If you’ve ever been “mistreated” by LifeSource or another organization involved in blood donation, let me know. I feel just as involved in this one as the donors do.