For all the years I worked for Baltimore County, I would donate blood every time the Bloodmobile came around. Sure, it's easy to say I did it for the cookies and the free drinks, but it felt good to be able to help out. And there was always the fun of being interviewed and asked if, within the past six months, I had been tattooed or been to Haiti or Zaire. Or if I had any "unexplained night sweats." I stated firmly that I was able to explain all of my night sweats.
I gave so often, I wound up in the Three Gallon Club, but I never heard about when the meetings were held, so I guess I'm out of that by now.
When I retired, there went the chance to hook up with the County blood drive, so when the Red Cross called me at home and asked if I would come over and drop a half pint or so, I said I surely could, after this knee surgery thing. So they called last week and we set an appt. for today, the 18th, at 2 pm.
The next day I got an email from the Red Cross with all sorts of instructions: eat a good meal! Drink plenty of fluid! Call if you need to cancel!
The day after that, I got a phone call, reminding me of my appt. on the 18th at 2 PM at the White Marsh Center.
I didn't hear from the Red Cross over the weekend, but they called this past Monday to remind me of my appointment on the 18th at 2 PM at the White Marsh Center.
Yesterday they called me twice to remind me to come in and give my blood. I felt this was excessive so I asked if they could stop calling, as I am reliable enough to remember to keep appointments that I have made. The young man I spoke to said he understood and would check off a box that would indicate to all concerned that I did not need reminder after reminder after reminder to show up and give blood. That was the first call of the day, around 10 AM.
At 4:30 yesterday afternoon, as I was settling down with my Eyewitness News (they said it was hot and they would "see us through" the heat wave) the Red Cross called again, breezily informing me that they wanted to remind me that I have an appointment for a blood donation on Thursday, July 18th at 2 PM........
I asked for a supervisor so I could be placed on their "don't call to remind this guy" list. A woman named Kate got on the phone; she was in Canton, Ohio. I asked her if they had a problem with people scheduling appointments and then forgetting them or just failing to appear, and she said "Oh no! It's just that with the hectic pace of everyday life, we know that things can get overlooked, so we just like to call and...."
Which must be written in their manual as the official response to questions like mine. I mean, who talks like that? But it said to me that yes, lots of people make the appointment and then forget it, or something comes up and they can't make it, or they only said they'd come just to get the Red Cross off the phone.
If there is one thing that people will say about me, it's that I do tend to show up where and when I am supposed to. I hope that when I get to the Red Cross today, Ashton Kutcher will be there to explain that all those reminder calls were just an elaborate annoying prank.