Every now and then I come across something in my e-mail that really catches my attention.
Last week, I received an e-mail from Executive & Professional Research. The subject line read: Your invitation for inclusion in the Executive & Professional Registries.
The text was even more impressive:
“It is with great pleasure that we extend you an invitation to be included in the forthcoming Inaugural Edition of the 2006-2007 Prestige Executive & Professional Registries.”
Don’t even know these people, but simply by being me I was somehow able to bring them great pleasure. Must be doing something right.
It continued:
“This unique volume recognizes those men and women who have achieved success in their respective fields. This special edition of the registry is designed as an outstanding networking source for the marketplace as well as a worldwide source for the Who’s Who of global decision makers.”
Don’t even know these people, but they are aware of how successful my journalist endeavors have been and somehow even found out that I fancy myself a global decision maker. Impressive.
Furthermore:
“We believe your accomplishments, as a highly respected professional in your field, merit very earnest and intense consideration for inclusion in this edition.”
Don’t even know these people, but they’ve managed to find out that I’m highly respected. They’re good.
Heck, who needs to do “very earnest and intense consideration,” obviously I deserve a listing. All I need to do is log on to the Web site, enter my acceptance code, complete the registration and I’m there.
Not so fast, Bubba. I think there might be a review process:
“Should your inclusion be confirmed, there is never a cost or an obligation whatsoever for publication of all information submitted by you.”
Guess there are a couple of other global decision makers who might think they deserve a listing as well. But surely there must be room for all of us. There can’t be that many phenomenally successful, highly respected executives and professionals out there.
Then again, maybe these people don’t know me quite as well as I’m giving them credit for.
The salutation on the e-mail was “Dear Business Professional.” That’s not really one of the names I’ve ever gone by.
Making the salutation a bit more personal might have been better. Like the e-mails I get that start “Dear mike.boyd.” I really wish my parents had told me when I was a child that there was a period between my first and last name. Think of how much faster I might have reached global decision maker status.
Not sure I really want to do any more very earnest and intense consideration — I might talk myself out of this well-deserved recognition.
There was one other thing that bothered me, though. The invitation was sent to editorial@csbj.com. You would think that as highly respected as I am, they might have sent it to mike.boyd@csbj.com. After all, editorial is just a mailbox, not a global decision maker like me.
What I needed to do was talk to a real person and get this cleared up.
Slight problem. No phone number on the e-mail.
No problem. Bound to be one on the Web site. So I called.
Because I wanted to make sure that they really wanted to include me in the listing and not editorial, I asked about the selection process. I was told that a staff of researchers worked full time culling through names and qualifications to determine who was worthy enough to receive an e-mail.
I was still a bit apprehensive about my invitation being sent to editorial, so I asked to be connected with someone in the research department. Foreshadowing would dictate that I mention that this is the point where things got interesting.
After about a minute on hold (in total silence), I was told that all the research lines were busy. So, being the global decision maker that I am, I asked to be transferred to a researcher’s voice-mail.
Nobody in research has voice-mail.
No problem. I asked for a telephone number so that I could contact the research department directly.
Imagine my surprise when I was told that the company only has a single telephone number. No wonder the lines are always busy. Guess I should be glad that my call went through.
After my little fact-finding expedition, I decided not to sign up for inclusion among the highly respected, global decision makers – even though the person I did speak with assured me that the e-mail offer I had received was not a scam.
I know that this decision will probably set my career back at least a decade, but, hey, perhaps editorial will receive an invitation in the not too distant future from a company that at least has two telephone lines and an answering machine.
Mike Boyd is editor of the Colorado Springs Business Journal. He can be reached at mike.boyd@csbj.com or 329-5206.