Saturday, May 03, 2014

Nothing Personal

As I was walking away from the mailbox, leafing through the day's correspondence, I was surprised to see the phrase, "June 21st isn't just like any other day." For just a spare moment, my heart leapt. What were the chances that the friendly folks at NEA Insurance Operations would be promoting the First Day of Summer, which by the most tired of coincidences just happens to be my birthday? What are the chances that these people would just happen to be sending out some sort of promotion that coincided with the date of my birth?As it turns out, the chances would be one hundred percent.
Before I opened the envelope, just to be certain that this wasn't some sort of eerie confluence of events, I considered the possibility that this company which is associated with teachers and their school-related calendars might have picked this date as the kickoff to Summer Vacation. This would provide me with that additional layer of connection which would make this whole junk mail interaction just a little more intimate. Once I had peeked inside, I was greeted with the enthusiastic pitch: "It's not just your birthday, it's also your chance to lock in $100,000 NEA coverage for 15 years for $23.08 a month." It made me feel all warm and special for a few more seconds before I rejoined the reality that was already in progress.
They weren't sending me out a special notice just for me. Their data bank spit out this invitation based on information that I had given them way back when I had first signed up to be a teacher and become part of the team that would deliver the finest education to the students of America as well as periodically be reminded of my advancing years via fill-in-the-blank missives sent to me in hopes of my further contributions to the profession: Life Insurance.
I'm not getting any younger, and there are plenty of institutions out there ready and willing to take the opportunity to remind me of my age and station in life. Every time I put my name and date of birth on a form, written or on Al Gore's Internet, I was inviting this kind of kind attention. I also explains the other envelope that came along with my NEA offer, only this one didn't have my name or birthday on it. This one came with "cards enclosed," making it ever so much easier to become part of AARP. The American Association of Retired Persons had already been rebuffed by me a couple of years back, and at that time they had even done me the service of getting my name right. This one came to someone named Dk Caven, which I recognized as a twist of initials and name that must have come from one of those electronic forms that was completed in a rush in order to sign up for some "free service."
There's still a month and a half or so until my actual birthday, and until then, I will steel myself with the resolve that those envelopes that come postage paid, even if they mention that all important date, shouldn't be taken personally. But it would be nice to get an actual card from the NEA, even though they were nice enough to include a 2014 calendar magnet as their special gift to me. What a shame the year will be half over before I can feel good about using it.

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