If you read this before you call, today may be your lucky day.
It will be mine. That’s for sure.
How do I know?
Well, you see, receiving advanced notification is one of the perks of working in the news media. When a storm is approaching, the folks who track bad weather contact the news media to warn communities in the storm’s path. When other dangers, man-made and natural, threaten our community, the news media assist law enforcement in disseminating vital information to local citizens. And, on a happy note, when companies run promotional campaigns, like the phone campaign starting today by the telecommunication industry to update its vast fiber optics networks, we know about them first.
That’s how I got a head start on everybody else.
Today, the phone giants announced (to non-news customers) that the first 100,000 callers in each state will receive $100 just for picking up the phone and dialing their own number. It’s just that simple. Pick up your land-based phone or your cell phone and dial your own number. When the recording comes on, just state your name and address. That’s it.
There is no long wait on the phone. The call takes less than 30 seconds. The companies expect the first 100,000 callers in each state to call within the first 12 hours of the campaign. So, if you wait until the end of this column to call then there’s a chance you may be too late. Remember, only the first 100,000 callers in each state will receive the $100.
I was a skeptic when I first heard about the promotion, but when the press releases arrived from some of the most trusted and profitable companies in the industry, I decided it was worth a try. By the time you read this, I will have already made the call. So, will the rest of the folks working here at the newspaper office and at our local broadcast stations. If my calculations are right, that means (if my local news colleagues are the only ones who cheated) only 99,976 other callers in Florida will be part of the promotion. So, you better hurry and make that call.
It’s been said before. People working in the news media are not supposed to use the perks of the profession for their own personal gain. Yesterday, this was hotly debated by the Perry, Florida newspaper staff that I work with and the sides aligned by gender. Susan, Carolyn, Angela, and the rest of the women wanted to do the right thing and wait until the promotion was announced to the public before any of us called. However, I and the rest of the men followed Don’s lead. We were outnumbered, but we won the debate anyway. How? We won because we were going to call a second after midnight and get that $100 whether we won or lost the debate. Hey, in this economy, $100 is a lot of money.
I should mention that employees of AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Straight Talk, and other telecommunication companies are not allowed to participate in the promotion according to the press releases. It’s a good thing too. The employees of those companies knew about the promotion long before we did.
So, have you made that call yet?
If you’ve already picked up the phone and dialed your own number to get your share of the promotional cash or if you’re about to pick up the phone and dial, then you must have forgotten that today is April 1.
But if you remembered the classic grade-school test which required you to read all of the instructions before you began the test, or if you already knew what day it is, then good for you.
Turns out, today just may be your lucky day.