Telling the Who's Who-ers what's what
The letter is full of flattery about my many accomplishments and sharp business acumen. All I have to do is buy the book that will include my listing in their Who's Who list and, ta-da! - I'm not sure what.
So, giggling about my business acumen (2+2 has always equaled 5 in my mind, so you see why I'm giggling), the letters go in the circular file.
A few months ago I got another one of those letters, but this time it didn't say anything about buying anything, so I filled out the form and mailed it. I was curious about how this would play out.
One day I got "the call" from a man with that Who's Who list. All I needed to do was answer a few questions. Curiosity got the best of me, so I agreed to answer the questions. He wanted to know what kind of business I was in (Hey! I thought that letter said I had sharp business acumen!), what my title is, how long I'd been in the business, how I got into it, what my proudest accomplishment was - that kind of stuff.
Then the man asking the questions, who used my name in every other sentence, said that most people want to be accepted for the list because of the exposure it would bring them or because of the network opportunities it would provide. So, "Mary," he said, after planting those seeds, "why do you want to be included?"
If I told him it was to find out what kind of scam was being run with these things, I was pretty sure he'd hang up on me, and by this time I had figured out he didn't have space on his form for "other", so I said, "For the networking opportunities."
At that very moment he said, "I can tell by your answers, Mary, that you have been accepted, so let me be the first to congratulate you."
I could barely contain my excitement!
Then he began to tell me about the two levels of "packages" that they could offer me (Mary) that included all kinds of wonderful things. I was busy, so I kind of tuned out those details as I continued working on my computer. I had a sneaking suspicion about where he was going.
The first package, if I agreed to it now, would be only $700 a year with no monthly fees. The other one was $500 a year.
I told him that I don't like making decisions about those kinds of things over the phone, and asked him to send me the information in writing.
"Well, Mary, because of tight publishing deadlines, we can't do that. May I ask you, Mary, if this is a financial concern?"
I assured him it was not, that I simply do not make financial decisions over the phone. (Dang! Now that I think of it, I should have told him it was. I probably would have been offered a special deal.)
He repeated that publishing deadlines would prohibit him from mailing me the information for me to study.
"In that case, I'm afraid I'll have to decline," I said.
(I would have used his name, but he never gave it.)
He started in again on all the benefits of the packages, and then the line went dead in mid-sentence.
Apparently he exceeded the specific amount of time in which to wheedle $500 - $700 out of me.
Guess I blew my chance at being a Who's Who of This or That - or not.
I got another letter from the same who's who outfit that I timed out on a few months ago.
This time, I don't think I'll bother replying.