Friday, November 21, 2008

Cambridge Con

As I was sat eating my lunch the other day, I heard the letter box cover go thwump! At this point I decided to forgive the postman because I was convinced he was deliberately keeping my mail back as it seemed somewhat late in arriving. Despite my initial arousal, I decided to finish eating first before investigating the postman's offering given that man shall not live by mail alone, but by every ham and tomato sandwich which issues from the kitchen.

Anyway, I discovered three letters poking through the letter box. One was from the County Council about the proposed A14 (killer road) re-routing improvement. This seems to have been talked about, debated and protested against for about the last two hundred years. I'm sure I'll be six foot under by the time they actually get around to building it. While we are on the subject, a word to the nimbys in the local villages. “No new A14 in our village” their placards proclaimed. Actually, its not routed through any village at all, but half a mile up the road. As one who lives a lot closer to the A14, it really is no big deal, and certainly nothing to complain about. And don't worry about your property values (the issue which is usually at the back of most rural protests), I doubt they'll be affected. Anyway, the credit crunch has already done much more demolition in that area than any nearly half mile distant road building scheme. If you want to continue protesting, then I am sure that you will have the sympathy of all the relatives and loved ones of all those who have been killed and injured over the years on this horrible road.

Another of the letters was addressed to my eldest son. He's out of the country so I'll be keeping it for him.

The third envelope was addressed to me, and me alone. This one looked a bit special. Good quality, pre-printed with gold embossed letters on it. With a feeling of mounting curiosity I ripped the envelope open and pulled out the letter.

“Response Necessary by 21st November 2008” was the bold proclamation at the head of the letter. Well, that gives me a lot of time, given that it was already the 17th. I also spotted that the letter was dated 1st November. Gosh, the mail really is slow these days. Must be clogged up with Christmas cards. The letter was from a company called “Cambridge Who's Who.” It began:
“You were recently proposed as a biographical candidate to represent Cambridgeshire in the 2008/2009 on-line Cambridge Who's Who Registry among Executives and Professionals."

 How wonderful. How great. How the hell do they think I qualify for such epic heights which I would have thought was strictly reserved for the captains of industry, the Lord Farquehars, the old Etonians, and Grandees of the Tory Party??? Surely not me, a fair to middling manager of no significant merit or social standing? What possible claim could I have to this hallowed territory? Have they read my blog? Do they consider me a literary giant along with the likes of Dickens and Salman Rushdie?? One final question – who the hell proposed me?? I decided to do some delving. It didn't take long.................

The “Cambridge” Who's Who is nothing to do with Cambridge as in Cambridgeshire. Its more to do with Cambridge in the USA. Its also more to do with a scam which is exactly what it is. Although it costs nothing to register your details with them, you are very soon contacted for a telephone interview for your biographical details where you are also very quickly put under pressure to part with vast sums of money. Naturally, as its such a fantastic privilege to be listed on this esteemed database, you would naturally be only too happy to part with hundreds of pounds for the privilege of owning a hard copy, or ensuring you remain on it for years to come. I decided to take a look at some of the members (suckers??) on the database. They were nothing special. They were so unspecial that there was no real reason why anyone, let alone a sharp suited executive would want to head hunt anyone from this list. I would suspect that the only people who actually look at the list are the same people who are on it. To be honest, they'd probably do better and find out more about people by looking on Face book. Needless to say, I will not be ingratiating myself to this bunch of con merchants.

Actually, it has given me an idea. It goes like this. Send me a load of details about yourself and a cheque for £500 and I will publish it on this blog. There – who said brilliant opportunities never come your way?

No comments: