I had the following bit of mail waiting for me in my office this morning…
I am proud to congratulate you on being selected for inclusion in the 11th Edition of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, 2006/2007.
Boy, that certainly makes me feel good. Or, at least it would if I didn’t know the truth. I get one of these things every other year. The last time, I was nominated for Who’s Who Among Information Specialists. I have to wonder what criteria are being used to determine these nominations. If my job description included dog groomer, might I also receive a nomination to that group? Who knows?
Attached to the letter was a nice little form for me to fill out with some biographical information. The largest portion of the form asked how I would like to receive my commemorative book with my name in it. The prices for these started at $89.95 and went up to $131.95 for the leather-bond edition with my name embossed on it. Of course, I was assured that membership didn’t cost anything. All they needed was my information.
But just how "free" is this really? The very first time I got one of these things many years ago, I fell for it. I didn’t order the book or anything foolish like that, but I did fill out the info sheet and sent it back. Some weeks later I received a phone call saying that my nomination had been accepted. This was followed by a hard sell attempt to get me to not only buy the book, but to become a member in this particular Who’s Who organization, with membership fees far exceeding the price of the book. I couldn’t politely get off the phone, and had to hang up. This, of course, only prompted a couple of repeat phone calls, which became very annoying. Given the amount of time I had to spend dealing with this, it was hardly "free."
I’ve seen several applicants that have listed Who’s Who on their applications. I always take that with a grain of salt. The sole purpose of these organizations is to make money by stroking the target’s ego. In my book, that should always be treated with skepticism.
[tags]Who’s Who, scam[/tags]