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Sometimes, when it’s late at night and there’s nothing on television except reruns of Two and a Half Men and I’m too hopped up to sleep just yet, a young lady named Shannon speaks to me through the TV.

Shannon wants me to call a 1-800 number and request more information on career training. Shannon promises that it’s my future and that I have nothing to lose. Well you know what, Shannon? You’re a liar with really bad teeth and Kate Gosselin hair.

About a year-or-so ago, as I neared the end of my last job, I started realizing that the job market into which I would soon be entering wasn’t exactly the greatest. So, during my near-constant online research into other job opportunities, I came across some Internet ads about a local college with some two-year tech programs. The Lie of Shannon lulled me into a sense of carefree abandon: I‘ve got nothing to lose! I thought. So I naively, innocently and downright stupidly filled out an online form Requesting More Information.

And that’s when the phone calls started. They started calling at work, where I was contractually obligated (or something) to answer the phone at my desk. While I fumbled through excuses as to why I couldn’t talk about it now, I was conned (okay, verbally manipulated) into giving my home number.

Luckily, I rarely used my land line, and no one of any importance even had the number. So I learned to ignore that particular phone.


The mature, adult thing to do would be to explain that my plans had changed, that I was no longer interested in Medical Technology or Pharmacy Technician-ing or Pet Grooming or whatever other boxes I checked willy-nilly on the online form. But I was irritated, and close to my breaking point. I only wanted them to send me something on paper; I asked for the free brochure, damn it, and it turns out they wouldn’t just give it to me without some sort of proper phone introduction. Had I taken the time to talk to the Representative On The Other End, it would have likely ended in a horribly rude exchange.

The moral of the tale is pretty obvious. Ain’t nothin’ free, honey, so don’t even think about picking up that dang telephone unless you really be wantin More Information.

And, for the record, don’t even get me started on inquiring into Online Degree Programs. Oy.

After about two months (and no, that is NOT an exaggeration) of thrice-weekly phone calls, they did actually stop calling.

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