My phone rings at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday from an unknown number. Telemarketers, I think to myself. But I’d recently seen my GP. What if she was calling to tell me my google diagnosis of leprosy, with 2-3 days to live was correct?
I immediately stop everything I’m doing, which is aimlessly scrolling through photos of bikini-clad models on Instagram, and answer the phone.
“Hello, is this Jayme-Lee?” The voice on the other end is kind with no sense of urgency. My completely-logical fear of having leprosy with a side of death slowly subsides.
“Hi, who am I speaking to?” I ask hesitantly. The charismatic-caller responds, “This is Jess from UNSW”.
Jess proceeds to ask me about my time at UNSW, which degree I studied and what I’m currently doing for work.
As we begin chatting I find out Jess is from Coffs Harbour and lives on campus at The University of New South Wales.
Throughout our conversation we laugh about the unforgiving stairs at UNSW, missing *OK skipping* lectures and how Jess misses her mum’s hearty-Sunday roasts.
At one point, I even forget that I’m speaking to a stranger. We chat about our aspirations post-uni life, and I tell Jess my dream is to one day move to Amsterdam and work there.
Jess then went on to explain that she works for the President and Vice-chancellors Equity Scholarship, which help students financially from low-socio-economic backgrounds. By this stage, I understand why Jess is calling.
Usually, when I receive a fundraising call, I’m quick to tell the caller my phone is about to die, before scrambling to hang up. Before you judge me, admit you’ve done it once before.
However, with Jess, it was the exact opposite. So, when the time came for her to explain what this Equity Scholarship meant and what my money would help achieve– I listened.
Because the passion is Jess’s voice made me genuinely take an interest in what she had to say.
Jess’s enthusiasm got me excited, which is hard to do, especially after thinking I was about to receive a call that death was imminent.
So when the time came for me to hand over my credit card details, I didn’t think twice, unlike my regrettable I-can-make-food-at-home-but-I’ll-waste-my-money-on-Uber-Eats purchases.
Later that week, I received a handwritten thank you card from Jess. At the end of the card, Jess wrote, “I hope your mum sends you to Amsterdam someday!”.
The point of this story is to not brag about the recent donation I made, although it might bode well on my Tinder profile.
The point is that whatever you’re doing in life, always be passionate. People on the receiving end will want to follow your journey if you sell it with enthusiasm.
You’re welcome for a Sunday roast at mine any time, Jess.