Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Student Achievement Center,, Norwalk, CA...A Bad Experience

Have you ever noticed that in a relationship, if one of the parties starts out with a lie, the relationship is doomed?  It is hard to change a first impression.  This is the experience I have had with The Student Achievement Center.  For six weeks now they have been calling me about once every two weeks and asking to speak with the parents of Matthew Muir.  In the past I have broken down or become angry, but today I must had had it.  I pretended like I was interested in the product so that I could get all of the information from them so that their own words would condemn them.

Him     Hello!  May I speak to Matthew Muir's mom or dad?

Me      Yes,  I am Matthew's mother. 

Him     Matthew was at a college fair earlier this year and signed up at our booth indicating he was interested in being better prepared to apply for college.

Me      Really!  How did you get his name?

Him     As I said, he signed up at a college fair for information about how to be better prepared to apply for college.  

Me     What is the name of your company?

Him     We are the Student Achievement Center.  We focus on preparing students to take the ACT and the SAT.  You know how competitive it is to get into a good college these days.

Me     Where are you located?

Him     We are located in Norwalk, California.

Me      Well, what is your name?

Him     I am David Rogers.

Me      Do you have a phone number where I can reach you?

Him     Yes.  It is 1 800 503 6964.

Me      Now, where did you say Matthew signed up for this?

Him     Our records indicate it was at some college fair.

Me      That would be interesting.  Matthew died 14 years ago right before his 2nd birthday.  I do not know why your company has continued to call me every two weeks for six weeks now, when I told you this very information on the first call. 

Him     No mam,  this is our first call. 

Me     No it isn't.  I am just wondering how we got on your list and why you won't leave us alone?

Him     We will take you off the list right away.

That is doubtful.  At least he didn't hang up on me this time.  Maybe that was because I had his name and phone number.  You can find this company at the following website:

So again I pose the question,  does any relationship, business or personal, which starts out with a lie ever improve with time?  Not in my experience.  How can you trust a company which is not forthright in answering the first question a parent would ask, as to how they got your child's name. 

This comes three days after what would have been Matthew's 16th birthday.  Not a good day for me.  As I was going about the busy May routines all I could think about was how this day could have been a wonderful day.  Matthew would be excited about getting his driver's liscense.  I would be reminding him that as soon as he completes his Eagle Scout requirements the liscense would be his.  He would be wishing he had a date planned for the weekend but somehow it wouldn't work out.  My children's first akward attempts at entering the dating scene are always entertaining to me, kind of like watching a child learning how to walk.  We would probably be planning a surprise party for him and would have had the party this very night instead of going to the New Member Mingle at the church.  Okay, I have allowed myself to  fantasize about what can not be long enough.  It is just hard sometimes to keep myself in the here and now, especially on a birthday, especially when I am getting phone calls about Matthew preparing to take the ACT, which I would really enjoy prepping him for myself.  The Muir's have done pretty well on the ACT by using  a combination the Barron's Review Book, flash cards, taking killer classes in high school, and having Mom as the ACT study enforcer.  So even if Matthew had signed his name to this stupid, dishonest company's list, the answer would be Heck No!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Not So Great Depression

Tonight Bob, Joe, and I went out to eat at Mercado Juarez.  We don't go there very often, but over the last couple of years whenever we have gone, we were some of the only customers.  Imagine our surprise tonight when we walked in to a full house.  I felt that De Ja Vu feeling, like I seem to remember a time when restaurants were full on a Saturday night, but it had been so long...I looked around and found a couple of reader boards advertising some really great specials.  There was a $6.00 dinner board and a $5.00 dinner board.  I looked carefully.  Were they advertisng lunch?  No!  Usually dinners run about $13.00 and up.  Yes, I know, the Muirs are really big spenders.

As we sat in the restaurant it was nice to see families celebrating, couples cozying up, and large groups of people gathering and enjoying the local Tex-Mex.  Do I really believe everyone was ordering off of the 5 or 6 dollar board? Probably not, but the full restaurant was heart warming.  What was even better was to see a bunch of new waitresses, cooks and bus boys.  This is a example of the new normal.  Maybe small companies doing this type of outreach will help to end this economic depression we find ourselves in.  I wish small actions like these could help, but on Monday will the stock market take another huge drop because Turkey's economy is failing because Greece is failing, even though Mercado Juarez was hopping on Saturday night? 

When Herbert Hoover talked to Congress about the economy in 1931 he declared that congress could not legislate away a depression, nor could he declare it over by executive order.  You may recall that Hoover, along with almost every other Republican got the boot in 1932.  When the economy is screwed up the government has to look busy and concerned, even if their efforts are fruitless, or risk getting kicked out of office.  Look at FDR.  He looked busy and concerned about the economy, but his New Deal was largely ineffective.  If it had been effective, the Great Depression might not have lasted until 1940.  But I think the US population, in general, was bouyed up by the fact that he was doing something more than sitting on his hands, waiting for the economy to self correct.

I was wondering what they called the Great Depression during the Great Depression so I did a search and found out that until 1931 it was referred to as The Crash, referring to the stock market crash of 1929.   Obviously no one knew it would be such a long, deep, widespread depression during the early days.  Herbert Hoover was the first to refer to it as the Great Depression.  He didn't say, we are experiencing the Great Depression, He just said that we were in a great depression.  So for the next three years the economic trouble was called The Depression.  Then in 1934 Lionel Robbins wrote a book called The Great Depression.  At that point, everyone started calling it the Great Depression.  This became a self fulfilling prophecy because, unfortunately, it lasted for 6 more years.

It kind of makes you wonder what the history books will call this period in time.  Obviously, from the title of this blog post, I have an idea for a name.  The Not So Great Depression graphically lets the reader know that the economy really sucks.  It also implies that we have hope that it won't last for 11 years. 


About Me

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I am a stay at home mom but the clock is ticking. My husband and I only have one child left at home. I enjoy shopping and finding great bargains.