Hostage Marketing and Education

Two recent items for the furstration file. One for me, one for a close friend.

Upon receiving my new bankcard from BankAmerica, I called the activation number. After entering the proper codes they blast an advertisement about their identity theft program. They make me wait for my confirmation number until this ad plays out. Then I press “No” for the I.D. theft sign-up. Then they play the entire ad again. I press ‘NO’ a second time. Then before they finally let me go, they give me another shot at signing up. This makes me worry that I have to wait until after this ad to REALLY be activated. Hostage marketing! Not interruption, not permission, but hostage marketing. I know we all go through this, but three times?

Another hostage situation: I’ve been advising a friend on his thesis for undergrad degree in communications. His area of study is visual communications. Specifically he has been doing field research on the perceived effectiveness of visual literacy programs in regional elementary schools.

After doing three months of research, he presents his rough to his advisor. The advisor, I’m not making this up, declares herself unqualified to accept the thesis based on her inexperience in this area of study. Visual literacy is not a “communication” topic, said she, but rather an educational topic more appropriate for the educational dept. at the University.

What? Visual communication is not a “communication” topic? That is bad enough, but to “advise” this student for an entire semester, to hold him hostage to her class, and then tell him “no deal”?

It boggles the mind.

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