As I write my paper about my experiences collecting money for the New Haven Animal Shelter, my business ethics were tested. I did not go to other people, businesses, family members, or friends for money because I decided to donate the full 110 dollar amount myself. Of course I could have made up stories or scenarios and expanded with multiple anecdotes but I decided to be honest and take the letter grade I deserve. I vividly remember being with my roommate when he went to the ATM machine right before his collections were due in personal selling class. I have talked with my classmates and understand their concern with not being able to collect the full amount but wanting the full letter grade. I do realize my actions may not have been what my professor wanted for this project; however, I do believe my marketing and selling skills will be tested to the highest degree while writing this paper. If calling up Daddy, receiving a check in the mail two days later, and finally making up stories to fulfill course requirements merits an A but my honesty does not, I am at peace with that. I live such a frugal life that for me to give a high percentage of my total income speaks for itself. I wish I was giving the same percentage except from Bill Gate’s income because the cause is so great, but 110 dollars will make a difference. My paper will explore why I hate asking for money, and why I was so compelled by animal shelters I donated the money myself.
I hate asking for money when you are not even offering a product or service. The contributor will never be able to hold or understand what his/her donation actually did. When I was 16 years old my mother was proud of me because I did not wait an instant before finding a job at Randall’s grocery store. I was a cashier and a sacker 99% of the time; however, one day I was collecting money in the front of the store for testicular cancer awareness. This will be easy because the cause is so worthy, I thought. I was eager to help because I always hear about breast cancer awareness which overshadows the cancer that is more relevant to my life. I was told testicular cancer increases dramatically with age, given a pin and bucket, and those were the only tools I needed to make such a lasting impact on the world. I was immediately surprised by the results of what I considered to be an experiment. I thought for sure males would be more prone to donate and females would be less likely. I was wrong. There was no way I could prove why but I decided it is the same reason a group of males prefer a waitress over a waiter. A young stallion like me may be able to influence women’s donations more so than men’s. An older gentleman walked through the store, and I explained the cause to him. He told me he had testicular cancer at one point, what a shoe in for donations I thought. I asked him if he would be able to donate today, and he responded with a no. I asked him why and he said he would be spending all of his money on diapers because he still goes to the bathroom uncontrollably from having cancer. Sure enough he walks out the door with a sack of diapers, thanks me for helping such a cause, and goes on his merry way. Maybe he is on a fixed income during retirement, or perhaps he thinks about his situation more than others who were less fortunate to battle a disease like testicular cancer. I could not help feeling entirely deflated the rest of the day, and I had a bitter taste in my mouth about helping raise money for worthy causes.
My next war with personal selling involved selling a semi-product. A great example of a semi-product is when your middle school and high school band organizations give you five coupon books and ask you to promptly return your twenty dollars for each book. What happens if you do not make the 100 dollar quota? You can either buy all the books yourself, or miss out on band trips to places such as Schlitterbahn and Disney World. The problem for me was I had five band buddies on my block, all of whom were going door-to-door to the houses I needed to sell to. I think when you are older and work for an established company this problem is reduced by separating salespeople into districts. To sell the books I always said after a few uses you will earn your money back, or I would ask about their eating habits. “Do you like pizza? Well in our coupon book we have discounts at Papa John’s, Dominos, and Pizza Hut. The coupons last the entire rest of the year, are you interested,” I asked. I always felt the people who bought my books were helping me much more than I was helping them. Twenty dollars back in the 1990′s is equivalent to thirty or forty dollar now, and for a coupon book? It sounds more like highway robbery than a fundraiser to me. I somehow managed to make my quota and go on the trips either by offering discounts on McGoodness or showing the immediate savings at places such as tanning salons.
I am glad selling tickets for arena football games or golf tournaments did not work out because I think raising money for breast cancer and animal shelters is a higher cause. By higher cause I mean something that does not necessarily invoke excitement but rather makes you appreciate life in a deeper meaning. I could have related with collecting money for cancer because my mother passed away from pancreatic cancer, my brother’s mother-in-law is going through radiation treatment for breast cancer currently, and my “step-mother” recently underwent surgery to remove colon cancer. So why did I not choose this subject? Because writing an emotional paper about cancer is not something male college students normally flock to. I will be writing about puppies, kitties, dogs, and cats for at no fault of their own need a home and an owner.
To talk about stray animals we should look at the situation geographically. In some places the problem is under control while in other places the situation seems to be growing at an exponential rate. While studying abroad in Mexico we could not pass an alley without seeing multiple stray cats and dogs. The actions of stray Mexican animals were different than others I have seen. Considering there is not a state or country agency to help strays, the poor animals reacted to humans like we were only here to hurt them. As with most stray animals a “wild animal” element is often considered but I couldn’t help but think the strays in Mexico were “wilder” than I have ever seen. On the contrary, my friend Zach visited New York City for his internship and did not notice a stray animal the entire time he was there. “New York City seems to have stray animals and animal shelters under control because they care. If I were to see a stray animal in New York City I wouldn’t doubt the animal would be sheltered quickly and efficiently,” Zach said. Now when we look at the city of Lubbock the situation is in a middle-of-the-road category concerning animal shelters. To discover the differences in animal recovery in New York City versus Lubbock, Texas I created a ratio of animal shelters per capita. New York City has 4, 639 search results for animal shelters divided by a city population of 8, 274, 527 which equals .00056% animal shelters per capita. Lubbock, Texas has 136 search results for animal shelters divided by a city population of 212, 169 which equals .00064% animal shelters per capita. I was disturbed by my results because it contradicted my very argument. New York City is better at animal control than Lubbock but there are fewer shelters in New York per capita meaning other factors must be involved. The size of the shelters, euthanizations versus animals with homes, and stray animals versus animals with homes factors into the equation. New York City probably has much larger animal shelters with more funding and possibly smaller annual euthanization rates. Also, the fact that Lubbock is more spread out and less populated per square mile
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