The Legacy of Teresa Human

The news of my father’s untimely death in 1988 has not yet reached every direct mail list company. Knowing this, perhaps it was a bad idea to introduce these diligent list brokers to my imaginary co-worker, Teresa Human.

Actually, when I ‘hired’ Ms. Human in late 2006, ostensibly an HR manager at Third Set Media, I used her name to apply for and access HR White Papers and webcasts. Ironically, the idea was that I would insulate myself from future offers by these pesky list brokers. This assumption has proven to be incorrect.

The other day I called a friend from an AT&T office line and he told me that the caller ID read “Teresa Human, Third Set Media.” This came as a bit of a surprise to me.

True, Ms. Human has fielded direct mail offers for healthcare insurance, Chase credit cards, software-as-a-Service, the Wall Street Journal, and AT&T is hot for her to buy something called U-verse. About once a week a call center agent reaches my office line and insists upon speaking with Ms. Human. When I reply that she doesn’t work here anymore, they don’t cross her off of their list – maybe she will return?

I’m not quite sure what to do next. And no, I’m not going to apply for a job, a phone line or a credit card in her name. What I’d like to do is circulate a death certificate for Ms. Human, but then I’d have to invent a fictitious doctor willing to sign off on it.

I may be stuck with my imaginary HR manager for quite some time. Besides, she would be difficult to replace – especially in this economy. Meanwhile, I have an opening for an imaginary IT support guy, but I will wait for the economy to turn around before filling that vacancy.