Alumni Appeals And Deaf Ears

I received my J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.  I’m proud of the education that I received there.  I root for Georgetown sports teams, I’ve contributed to prior fundraising appeals, and I’ve attended alumni gatherings.

Now, I keep receiving postcard requests to participate in an “important alumni project.”  They ask me to IMMEDIATELY call a “call center,” give a personal ID number, and then confirm “biographical information” for an “alumni directory” — a “definitive reference” that I’ll then have a chance to buy, of course.

I’m not sure how many of my fellow alums have dutifully made this call, but I’m not biting.  Everything about this deal screams unnecessary hassle.  So, let me get this straight:  even though every red-blooded American hates to communicate with the strangers manning phone banks at a “call center,” I’m supposed to call one voluntarily?  And then I’m supposed to give the random person who answers the phone personal contact data — including my cell phone number that is known to only a select few and has saved me from countless telephone solicitation calls?  And after spending whatever precious moments of my life are needed to “confirm” my personal data, I’m going to be willingly subjecting myself to a sales pitch for a directory?

Do the schools that take this approach realize how annoying these pitches are, and how they send a message that your time just isn’t that valuable?  It’s like stores that ask you to go on line for a “five-minute survey” about their shopping experience — you waste your time answering foolish questions, and the store ends up with free information.  I figure giving the store my business should be satisfactory; the promise of a possible “free prize” isn’t going to change my mind.

Of course, we all know what would happen to the information I would provide for the “directory.”  It would be used to ask me to make more contributions in the future, buy more school-related paraphernalia, and attend more gatherings where personal fundraising appeals  can be made.  And there’s always the possibility that my information would be sold to eager telemarketers who would love to add my phone number to their lists and turn our quiet evenings into Solicitation Hell.

The postcards I keep getting show my alma mater knows how to find me if they need me.  I just wish they’d have more respect for my time and my intelligence.

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