September 1st, 2010


Oh Those Brilliant And Well Read TV Show Viewers


I've written about this before, but it happens enough in letters and phone messages, that it bears repeating. I am NOT the Dr. Phil on TV.

I was last in my office on Monday 23 August 2010 and now it's September 1st. Mostly students either don't try to contact me or they use email, so I sometimes forget to check my voicemail while I'm away from the office for a week or ten days. So I get in today and the message light is on and the phone's display says there are two messages. The first was a reminder for something that already happened, no problems there. The second one, though. Sigh.

The Long Ramble Of Paula F.

Paula just wanted to leave me a message about "the show today" and the girl with the eating disorder. Paula wanted me to know that this is a real problem. She then rambled on about some girl she knew. In addition, she had read an "awesome book", for which she provided a proper citation and a page reference to a particular part which she quoted. Finally, she was glad of this opportunity to set the record straight, etc.

(I had to listen to the whole thing, since the voicemail system won't accept the delete command until the message is over -- or else there is a STOP command which I don't know about.)

First, the voicemail system doesn't give you a time stamp, so I don't know which show was "the show today". Second of all, you didn't leave a phone number or email, so not only will no one from the show ever contact you, I won't be able to either and direct you to the right place. Third of all, I am NOT the Dr. Phil on television and never have been. And anywhere you would've gotten my office phone number would have told you that!

Somewhere In North America

Probably in the South, given the ac-cent, there is a nice middle-aged woman feeling smug in the knowledge that she has set the Dr. Phil Show straight and given him/them important information. Too bad her research skills don't go beyond book citations and page references and grabbing phone numbers off the web, to include actually finding the right phone number for that Other Dr. Phil who is on television.

Remember the spotting features -- this Dr. Phil has hair, both on the top of his head and all over his face. And if the web page you've found says that This Is Not The Dr. Phil On Television and has a picture of a hairy fat guy who doesn't look at all like Phil McGraw, believe it. Accept no substitutes -- for either of us!

Dr. Phil