Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Need to Catch Up

Yikes, I am so far behind on things. It is funny, I thought that after our events were over, I could relax a bit and get back to normal work. Except, I still have a lot of people to contact that were involved in the event, checks to deposit, grants that need attention, bills to pay, a few more auction items to get to people and also I need to work on getting auction items sold that didn't sell at the event. I also have a lot of work to do to help Michelle with our NH efforts and also with Carolee and our CT efforts. There was a really sad thing that happened last week- the night before my big event, my mom fell down a flight of stairs at a house she was showing and broke 2 bones in her foot. She wasn't able to make it to our event and it was really sad not to have her there. We had such a great turnout and it was such a good event, I really wish she could have seen it. To make matters worse, she fell on Monday while using crutches and badly sprained her wrist. It is really hard to see mom like this- she has always been so active and energetic, so to see her laid up with broken bones is dreadful. I've been trying to help as much as I can to make sure she is comfortable and to help her out with her work when she needs. I know that things will be OK with her and on the grand scale of everything that could go wrong- a broken foot and sprained wrist is not so bad, but it is very stressful to see her like that. I know that work has been suffering these last couple of days because of everything that is going on. Usually I would stay up late to catch up on things, but these last couple of nights I have been so tired, I haven't had the energy to go back to work.

It was a horrible sight last week to see mom being taken to the hospital by ambulance. Ever since I can remember, I've always worried about something happening to her. I can't imagine life without my mother- it is such a lonely, painful thought. I know that in the natural progression of life, it will happen- but I don't know how I could ever be whole again without her in my life. I can't imagine going through my days without ever talking to her, without telling her all my silly stories and without all the encouragement she gives me. Just the thought of it makes me cry. I need to get off this train of thought- she only has a broken foot and a sprained wrist- it's not like we found out she has a serious illness. Hopefully, things will heal up quickly and in 4-6 weeks she will be off the cast and moving around normally. Someday, I will have to walk in this world without her, but hopefully that day will not be for an extremely long time and in the meantime I will enjoy the time we do have together- just like I always do.

It's been so nice how some of my friends have offered to help out if I needed anything. I really appreciate that. It means a lot to know that people are there when things get rough.

Anyways, what else is new? Well, today I went to pick up our auction items that were sold for way less than the min. bids at our Anniversary event. There was a guest who attended our event and towards the end of the night, wrote in bids on our silent auction items that were so far below the min bid listed on the auction sheet, that it wasn't even funny. The ladies volunteering at our payment table inadvertently allowed the payments to be processed and the woman left with our items. She bid $10 on a number of items which was just a tiny fraction of the min. bid. The items included golf outings, autographed sports memorabilia, theatre tickets, hotel stay, symphony tickets- really nice valuable items. I called her on Monday when I saw the bid sheet and explained that the items should not have been given to her since they didn't meet the min. bids- she told me she had already given them all away and got off the phone. I called her back a short time later because I wanted to come to a resolution, she didn't call me back. The next day I sent her an email and mailed her a certified letter asking for the items to be returned and we would refund her money or a donation made to cover the amount of the min. bids. I explained that businesses donate these certificates in order to help us raise funds (not to be given away as if we were running a flea market) and that the money that our items could have generated is extremely important for us. She emailed me back that evening saying she would send me back the items and I could refund her money. I picked them up today at her home. I didn't want to wait for them to arrive in the mail or deal with the whole "guess they were lost in the mail" excuse. I was so happy that the situation was resolved and we got our items back. I was so angry and upset that someone would attend our charity event and walk out with a gift certificate worth $225 that she just bid $10 on (as well as the 8 other items)- even though each bid sheet clearly stated what the min. bid was. I don't know why someone would do that.

I really made an effort to communicate effectively with her- I was as polite as possible, but also firm. I wanted her to understand why it was a problem that she spent so little for our items and to give her options to resolve the situation. I also wanted her to know that I was serious about needing the items back. I did tell that if I didn't hear from her or if she didn't return the items or pay the difference to reach the min. bids that I would take steps to have the gift certs. voided. In this situation, I wasn't going to give up until it was resolved in our favor. I work too hard to get all those items donated and also, it is my responsibility to protect Project Smile's interests. And it is in our interest that merchandise worth well over $1,000 is not sold for $140. The gift certs. can be used in other events or other ways to help raise funds.

Well friends, that's it for tonight. It is so early, only 11:53! I am going to go clean up in the kitchen, write my list for tomorrow and maybe read for a little bit. That was another of my self promises- that when our events were over, I would read more. I do enjoy reading, but it is hard to find the time. I'm so tired, I'm not sure if I'll actually get to the reading portion of the night- might be more like the usual- turn on ESPN and roll over and fall asleep immediately. Until tomorrow..

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wow!, I'm glad you got that situation worked out with that lady, that really sucks!!

It's annoying enough that people will come in and wait for the clock to end and then low ball the item. And then to go even further by not even paying the min! That's horrible!

Good work getting it resolved Catherine!
- Blake