... to discuss the voicemails I get for The Dr. Phil Show. And no, that's not my ego crowing about my mix of storytelling, performance art and science in my Physics classes. It's people trying to get that Other Dr. Phil. You know, friend of Oprah. Has a big TV show. Is going bald.
Take today. Google "dr. phil" and I show up on hits 9 and 10 of the first page. Try "dr. phil show" and a site for fanmail for the Dr. Phil Show shows up as hit 67 and I don't show up until, well, I didn't show up at all in the first 300 hits. Try "dr. phil address" and ding-ding-ding!, I'm #5! Of course this web page says:
I am NOT the "other" Dr. Phil -- Dr. Phil McGraw -- who has the TV show. Please do NOT mail or call me with your problems!
I teach Physics courses to science and engineering students at Western Michigan University. Sorry. You might want to try clicking on THIS link to the Dr. Phil Show for help.
For Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon...
I then did a search on my university office phone number and hit #10 was this:
Yikes! Red flag alert! Look at the URL -- would you go to a place like that? And what the hell does an Oster food grinder have to do with the Dr. Phil Show? (evil grin)
I'm sure this isn't the only "sewer" site out there -- this is how people get my phone number. It's an aggregater site, with text run together from a whole lot of websites about Dr. Phil, so that it'll show up in Google. I got that from Google's cached copy -- the original page tries to go somewhere else and Norton Anti-Virus announces that someone is trying to attack your computer. Nice.
Though I will admit that the full text of my "I am not the Dr. Phil on TV" is in their page. Just not on their Google search snippet. Not that you'd want to go to a nasty piece of work like that to begin with.
So I Get Messages
Today there were three messages. The first was a hangup. Second told me in no uncertain terms that my outgoing message couldn't be understood and that I need to rerecord it -- repeated three times -- and that they are trying to get in touch with the Dr. Phil Show and would I call them back. And then they didn't leave their number. The third was from late last night, a very troubled sounding person desperate to talk to Dr. Phil from Washington state. Sigh.
I can't help these people. They don't believe me anyway, they are sure they HAVE found the second phone number for Dr. Phil and won't take No for an answer.
As for my outgoing message, I called it from my office on my cellphone. Surrounded by computers and such, I don't have the best reception here anyway. Plus cellphone fidelity combined with the Voice Over Internet phone system they switched to, isn't perfect. But the real problem with my message is that it explains that I teach Physics at Western Michigan University, and if you are a student of mine, to say which course you are in during your message. See, the problem is the message isn't understandable because the words aren't what these people want to hear.
To delete this message, press 7. To hear other options... 7... Message erased. Next message...