Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission; an uncharitable charity.

Sells broken, non-functional appliances and do not honor promises and exploit and oppress their client workers.

We bought a television there, that proved to have an intermittent fault. We returned it, but they gave no refund, instead they promised a replacement. That was the last we heard. It was also the last I expected to hear, for in returning the television, I got a glimpse into the operation itself.

Earlier, we bought a fridge there. Quit in two days from a common fridge ailment, a rusted fan, which should have kept it in the spare parts bin. The replacement fridge worked, but was delivered without replacement shelves and shelf components critical to proper function. This is from an operation that had a wealth of spares and the clear ability to fabricate replacements.

It was delivered in a truck in such poor operating condition that it would be taken off a MEXICAN highway as a hazard to public safety.

You would expect a Christian organization to have a certain ambiance of cheer, of welcome and gladness. Instead, it has a seedy, down at heels and oppressive atmosphere, both in it's outlet stores and it's main operation site. It's mission is to help people who are "down and out," but it clearly feels that segregating the sexes during lunch breaks and making sure that they listen only to Christian radio or local CONSERVATIVE talk radio is more important than installing the virtues of pride in workmanship and a solid, positive self-image.

Large signs are posted prohibiting Unchristian behaviors like listening to rock and roll music or fraternization between the sexes. There was not a single sign or other indication of positive encouragement. It's pretty clear that a subtext of their charity work is to humiliate and oppress those who recieve it. This clearly affects the quality of the goods and services they provide.

All of my encounters with persons of authority there could be described as dismissive and rude. Perhaps it was due to the conspicuous lack of a cross around my neck, a fish on my car and a polyester wardrobe. Perhaps it's my somewhat autistic body language; I note that I get much more negative interpersonal reactions from religious conservatives than any other single identifiable group; something I cannot explain, as I don't make a point of saying, doing or wearing things that might offend folks when I call upon them. But it could be they treat everyone that way, and I'm just more sensitive than most.

But in any case, the lack of respect for customer and client is also evident in the ambiance they create and if you wish to see what the world would be like, if Dominionists succeed, just visit the warehouse and sorting depot of Reno Gospel Mission.

The only spirit in evidence there is the Spirit of Oppression. It is a dead-end swamp of futility and though the operation is clearly well-equipped to do the work they claim to do, it is only doing it to the extent that appearances and audits require. Don't buy anything there you can't sterilize and that's more complicated than a dinner fork. But better yet, go to the WARK stores. Those are cheerful places run by folks who strike me as reasonable and honorable people.

There are two very good reasons for not dealing with Reno Sparks Gospel Mission: Believing in Christian principles - or having principles of any other sort. But if you like oppressing the poor and are willing to put up with shoddy and dubious practices in order to feel superior while searching for a rare collectable - good luck with that.

I think they keep all the good stuff for themselves.

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