Years ago I worked for a rather large church in our community as an assistant and on occasion I did reception since we rotated so she could go to lunch.
This church was pretty big and very generous with the community. We paid bills for people, helped with groceries and mortgage payments etc. We gave away hundreds of thousands to help the community and other missions.
One day I got a call from someone who said her gas bill was $500 and she couldn’t pay it. (This wasn’t uncommon for an old house in winter to have a bill that high.)
The convo goes as follows and I’ll be me and she will be GBL for gas bill lady.
Me: thank you for calling such and such church how may I help you?
GBL: hi I’m hoping you can help. I have a gas bill of over $500 and I can’t pay it. Would you be able to help me?
Me: I’m sorry to hear that I understand how that is. Unfortunately the woman who handles all of this is away at lunch but she’ll be back in about an hour or so. You can either call back then or just come into the church. We would like to do our best to help you. All you will need is the bill and your drivers license.
GBL: why do I need that?
Me: well, we need the bill in order to pay the gas company and also we need to verify this is you and your address.
GBL: don’t you trust me?
Me: it’s not about trust it’s just our protocol. We do this in order to ensure everyone who needs help gets it and to be fair.
GBL: I don’t understand why you can’t just cut me a check. That doesn’t seem fair.
Me: I’m sorry but we won’t do that. We will pay the bill but we don’t write personal checks or give out cash.
GBL: you don’t even know me! How can you not trust me? I’ve never done anything to you!
Me: you’re right, I don’t know you but this isn’t about trust it’s about being fair and being sure those who truly need help get it…
GBL: you know you are all a bunch of f-ing a-holes. You don’t help people you just hoard the money for yourself!
Me: I’m sorry but if you’re going to cuss at me I’m going to hang up.
Slam!! She hangs up on me.
Oh well! 😬
Later, I asked the woman who takes care of that stuff if they ever called back and she said she didn’t. She was probably just looking for drug money. It was sad how many of them were.