Sunday, September 30, 2007

Alma Mater Calling

I received a phone call from my Alma mater a couple of nights ago.

The caller graciously as he could (considering his wage and status as a temporary telemarketer) conveyed a congratulatory message written for him on his computer's monitor, slightly above the din of clattering worn computer keys and the muffled voices of his cohorts.

The university wanted donations from its alumni.

"Look buddy," I said, "it must be rough but I have to say this. I'm still waiting for my initial investment to pay off. Still waiting for those high-dollar corporate recruiters to show up who are looking for professionals."

Sure there were the job fairs with the usual suspects looking for clerks, typists, sales persons, and the one idiot who tries to do it all until he or she gets burned out, blows a circuit and winds up working for tips at Deja Vu.

I'm with a Temp agency making minimum wage. I did the telemarketing job twenty years ago.

"Oh, uh, well, I'm sorry to hear that..." he said. He went off script and it sent him over the cliff of improvisation into the stuttering scrub.

"No problem, I got the same message you did from the temp agency, but I decided to ignore it. I'd be you right now if I picked up that phone. We probably work for the same company."

Then I apologized for taking his time because I knew that he had a minimum quota of calls to reach that night. I wonder if he was also a graduate from the University of Illinois?
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