Do The Right Thing

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In my last post, titled Make The Time, I mentioned that we spent a fair amount of time riffing on obvious blog titles. I decided to steal one of them for this post, even though the subject will have nothing to do with the example given in the last post.

That’s one of the points of the obvious blog titles, that they stand alone in people’s minds, until you associate a specific piece of content to a title.

I listen to one podcast religiously, The Business from KCRW. I’ve blogged about that podcast before. I discovered it when a friend of mine dropped me a link to their episode on Wicked (our favorite Broadway show). I loved that particular episode, and subscribed to the podcast through iTunes, and have been a fan ever since. (In gathering the links above, I see that they’ve changed the host of the show. Since I’m behind in listening to the most current episodes, I have yet to hear a show with the new host…)

I normally listen to two episodes at a time, when I exercise on my long walks. That takes care of the first hour (each episode is 29 minutes long). If I’m walking longer, I switch to music after the first hour.

The other day I was doing exactly that, and before and after the actual episode, they appealed for listeners to become members of KCRW, in order to financially support the podcast. Since this is the only podcast that I really listen to consistently, and I derive a lot of pleasure from it (in addition to gaining some useful information), I decided to become a member.

Even though I live in NY, never listen to the station, don’t listen to any of their other podcasts, and never stream their shows on the web, I decided to donate $50 (which seemed on the generous side to me for listening to this one podcast, though you may disagree). When I signed up on the site, I had a lot of technical difficulties completing my donation. I almost gave up (cursing in the process). In the end, I decided that I was committed to Do The Right Thing, and I persevered until I was successful.

At the $50 level, I was offered a list of goodies to choose from. I actually felt guilty picking anything, because that would mean that part of my donation would go to my gift. But, one of the choices was a cool KCRW T-Shirt, and I’m a T-Shirt freak. I also rationalized that I would be advertising for them whenever I wore it.

I was glad that they added another $5 for shipping, so I was slicing less into the actual profit (the T-Shirts never cost much to manufacture, even when they sell for a lot, or so I tell myself…). 🙂

I now feel better that I am supporting their effort to continue this wonderful series of interviews and analysis.

On to one more example of Do The Right Thing.

I have a fair bit of Delta SkyMiles, that I’ve had for over 10 years. We don’t fly much any more, but perhaps one day we will, likely for some big-time vacation (that we will have waited 15 years to take!).

Delta recently changed their expiration policy (I can’t blame them whatsoever), and all of my miles were set to expire on 4/30/2009. They were very good about informing me of the upcoming expiration, multiple times, starting in December 2008.

There are quite a number of things you can do to extend your expiration date by two years. The most obvious one is to fly on Delta. That wasn’t likely to happen. So, I searched the list of other things I could do.

By far the cheapest thing to do would have been to order one magazine, paying for it with SkyMiles. If you pick a monthly, you can get away with only using 500 miles. We don’t have any interest in adding to the amount of snail mail we get, so this would have been purely to roll the miles.

But, I continued to look down the list, and saw that you can also donate miles to a number of charities. We looked through the list, and decided to make a donation to the Children’s Miracle Network. It was substantially more miles than it would have cost to just order a magazine, but we felt much better about doing it.

After completing the transaction, the website informed me that the transaction might take 4-6 weeks to complete. I was worried that there was a chance that it wouldn’t get credited before 4/30/2009, and somehow, I’d lose the rest of my SkyMiles, and possibly even not get this donation completed.

So, purely as an extra safety precaution, I decided to order a magazine as well. While going through the ordering forms, I realized that I could send a magazine subscription as a gift to someone else (something that wasn’t obvious until you were deep in the process). We decided to send a subscription to Golf Digest to our godson (this is the first he’ll be hearing about this, and it won’t start for another month or so). 🙂

So, in trying to protect our miles, and also our donation to the Children’s Miracle Network, we were rewarded with the ability to give our godson a gift that we hope he will enjoy. Doing the Right Thing ended up enlarging the circle of rewards. A day later, the Delta site showed both deductions from my SkyMiles account, and also showed my new expiration date as 4/30/2011.

Success all around!