I subscribe to a mailing list called Wachusett Regional MA Freecycling where people can post things they would like to give away. It's a really useful list especially if you're cleaning out a basement or trying to declutter your life. Have an old coffee table that you never use and is taking up space? Post it and someone will want it.

Sometimes I post items myself and get great responses from people who are happy to drive to my door to pick up what I'm offering for free. The only effort needed is posting the item, sending the interested party directions to my house and placing the stuff outside near my mailbox for pickup. Easy Peasy. I come home at the end of the day and my stuff has gone to someone who can use it more than I can.

But I've noticed that as the popularity of this list has increased--so have the annoying posts from people looking for a handout. Someone will post, "Unwed pregnant daughter needs diapers" or "Son wants to take drum lessons-anyone have a nice set of drums I could have?" Regardless of the hardluck stories, I always think to myself that these people can't be hurting too badly when they can afford the cost of an internet connection and many have AOL email addresses. I don't feel too badly when someone asked for a "laptop-must be WI-FI compatible".

What sparked my blog today was this post: "Wanted-someone to install my car CD stereo I bought at a yard sale. I live in holden and have a 1989 cavalier Z24. Can anyone help?" Is this person for real? C'mon. Posting something like that on a freecycle list takes a lot of nerve. Hell, maybe I'm just resentful that I don't have the guts to post stuff like that. I can think of a few things I need in the way of services:

  • Wanted-someone to tear down an old wooden fence on the side of my yard and put up a new one. You can have the old wood if you can haul it.
  • Wanted-someone to install my XM Satellite radio that I bought for a good deal at Best Buy (but I just can't afford the installation charge...but I was smart enough to buy a service plan!)
  • Wanted-someone to paint my iron railing on the back entrance of my house. I have the scrubber brush, steel wool pads and black paint.
  • Wanted-someone to make a nice pine octagonal picnic table for my backyard
  • Wanted-someone to install my new pool.

I know my fictional wanted list is strictly to make a point, but I think these people who post things like asking for a service need to go to Craigslist or some other place to share their hardluck stories.

The person looking for someone to install a car stereo shouldn't have bought the stereo unless he/she knew how to install it. The person looking for diapers should have bought a condom and the mother wanting a drum set for her son should go to Kurlan Music to rent one. Enough already!

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