I received an email from the place where I received one of my bachelor’s degrees. Apparently, according to the email, students from that school have been trying to get a hold of me to tell me about campus activities, important events and to inform me of all the great things that other alumni are doing to support the institution. Having received numerous contacts from this university over the years, what they’re really telling me is that students from this school have been trying to get in touch with me to beg me for money for the university. Simple as that.
So, this alumni organization would really appreciate it if I would update their records with my new phone number so they can get right on that “informing me of things I’m missing out on”.
Look, I don’t mind that a university needs lots of money to pay its professors and cultural studies programs to explain why fish fall in love, but I’m not a spigot of revenue that a university can rely upon to help pay its Board of Directors, or to provide fuel to their limousines they use to drive to their private hanger at the airport.
If I was extremely interested in continuing to provide kickbacks to the executives from my university, I would have contacted them personally so that they would not have had to hunt me down with some undergraduate (or graduate) on a stipend or grant-writing scholarship.
I think what bothers me the most is the dishonesty in the email, in that they’re pretending to be doing me service that somehow gets provided by me giving them my phone number. The reality of the situation is that any emails they send me completely keeps me up to date on what’s going on with the alumni of that university, meaning that a phone call from some undergraduate isn’t going to provide me with more information than I already have. But what I have learned (from a graduate school, not from that school itself) is that foot in the door processes allow you to gain so much more if you can get someone to give up just an inch on ground. In other words, if I am willing to give my phone number, I’m more likely to donate money the next time someone calls because I already “agreed” to provide my phone number first.
So, I’ll pass on this “great” opportunity.