Friday, January 16, 2009

The Way of a Professional Mooch

I've been asked what it means to be a professional mooch, as I've indicated that as my profession on my Blogger profile. Mooching is the ability to get by through the deft use of the kindness of others. The professional element, I believe, is the ability to do this without being a complete freeloader and maintain some kind of dignity, tact, and restraint on how much mooching should be done and when.

One of main advantages of mooching is to save money, but I believe the best mooch is to combine saving money while passing off one person's trash that can become another person's treasure. That is where the art of the Freecycle comes in.

The concept is simple: People have things they no longer need/want for various reasons, but are still perfectly usable. They can either kick it to the curb and see if anyone picks it up, donate it to a place like Goodwill for resell, put it up to Craigslist or Freecycle to give away to someone who could possibly use it.

People can ask for things they need, as well, for there's a chance someone out in the network has what one needs lying around, gathering dust. I once posted an ad for my work to get legal-size hanging file folders, and one of the responders happened to be one of the company's board members, and brought them later that week to the monthly board meeting. When I had a torrid saga with an unwanted roommate I had (a mouse), I asked for a no-kill mouse trap after exhausting all my home brewed contraptions failed me.

Along with a mouse trap, I've also nabbed a vintage Schwinn bicycle (that still needs to be tuned up), picture frames, blank audio cassettes, and three boxes of Cat Fancy magazine (for collage purposes, I swear). I've given away things like old vacuums, folding bed frames, a futon, and some other miscellaneous junk.

It's also a way to get to meet good people who are saving things from landfills, but it's always good to err on the side of caution if your spider-sense is tingling: if you get strange vibes from someone for a pickup, make sure you tell someone where you're going.

If you don't mind the emails, it's good to see what people need that you may have and vice versa, but it's also fun to see what people are giving away, like disposable contact lenses and animals, or asking for things like animals, cars or a Segway someone may have collecting dust.

My, the world is full of things, and it's fun to extend the life of some of them.


1 comment:

  1. what's wrong with Cat Fancy!?

    LOL is used to have a subscription back in the day...