I recently got a call from my old university asking not only if Id provide them with my updated information but to also consider donating to the school. Every year the conversation with them goes something like this.
This isnt a question, it's a statement: I know its you, Rye High. I'm ready and Im starting tough with you.
In a nervously giddy voice, the caller asks me that she is looking for someone with a name that kinda sounds like mine had you beaten it to a pulp and then ran it over with an eighteen-wheeler just for good measure.
Hearing my butchered name usually means one of two things: its a telemarketing company or some guy from India named Bob Smith who insists my Windows computer is infected and I have to do the needful, sir.
Me: Are you soliciting?
Her: Im sorry?
This isnt a polite Im sorry? to give herself a chance to collect her thoughts for a passable answer. This Im sorry is said by her because she genuinely did not understand me due to my accent. I cant really pronounce soliciting without it sounding more like
Me: Solicitation. Do you. Not know. What. That. Means?
This was said a la Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) in Pulp Fiction when he asks one of the kids if he spoke English, motherfucker.
Her, with some slight hesitation, confirms that yes, indeed, they are soliciting the alumni to generously open their wallets so that, and Im speculating here, the universitys dean can enjoy his 185k a year salary.
I know its not her fault. Remember university? If your parents didn't pay for your education and you had to deal with it yourself, you took whatever job you could find to make ends meet. So I get it.
Me: Listen. I know youre just doing your job and you probably go to Rye High, but dont sell your soul to make ends meet. Take me off this list, dont ever call again, and Ill be sure to consider donating to the school once Ive paid off the thousands and thousands of dollars I still owe."
Apparently, despite knowing it wasnt her fault, I still managed to be a dick. I blame you, Rye High, for putting innocents on the phones so you can escape our wrath.
For the record, I dont own the university anything. I paid my dues and did my bit and ran out with a piece of paper that says something along the lines, this sucker has earned this piece of paper, proving he has a modicum of dedication. Thats what university really is: proof that youre willing to eat shit and work hard to get what you want. Very expensive proof.
But the university calls every year, regardless of the many times Ive told them not to. They want a donation and they want my updated information. For what, you ask?
Im starting to think that the university mines all the information it obtains from you attending and uses it to send specialized advertising to each and every one of us. All the students provide a marketers paradise of demographics for precise advertising. They have names, gender, course being taken which indicates a career and how the person possibly thinks or leans politically.
As a result, Ive received so much junk mail advertising itself as special for Rye High alumni! offering thousands of credit cards, myriads of insurance plans and so many other ways to get further into debt. Is having a school loan not enough?
I know it sounds awful, but it really isnt. A schools gotta make money. They pay the professors a ton of cash. You know whats really awful? When you take a socio-political class and learn that trying to shove credit cards on the first day of university to a whole bunch of kids that are probably out on their own for the first time, is not socially acceptable. Meanwhile, on frosh day, the university is doing exactly that.
The girl on the other end is about to say something, but Im tired of this conversation. We just had it last year! So I hung-up.
A hang-up is the best fuck-you ever. Its like punching someone in the face without the going-to-jail part. I hear that telemarketers prefer it when you hang-up, so maybe next time Ill just do the needful, and drag her along for a ride.