So how did GateHouse Media celebrate the one year anniversary of my layoff? Apparently, they deleted my old “Working… With Kids” blog.
Luckily, I backed the entire thing up a year ago out of fear of just that happening. I only looked just now because a friend mentioned she’d tried to find my reaction to Megan getting a credit card invite online and couldn’t find it.
Printed, apparently, without fear of copyright violation, because you can’t violate something that doesn’t exist anymore!
This is Megan. She’s 7 years old, sleeps with a stuffed dog named Kate in a big-girl bed that received a Christmas makeover from fairy princess bedding to a comforter bedecked with Crayola purses. She’s in the second grade, loves collecting shells at the beach and, if she had a “Total Merrill” Visa card from Merrill Lynch, with unlimited Merrill points, no annual fee and an annual 1.9 percent Introductory Annual Percentage Rate for cash advance checks until December 2008, she says she’d buy our family a mansion, a limo, and, for all her friends, every Webkinz in the world.
You would think that she wouldn’t have access to the “unique card experience beyond the expected — Beyond Rewards.” You would be wrong. Apparently, my daughter — did I mention she’s only 7? We’re very proud — has a fantastic credit history. In just the last year, she’s received credit card offers from American Express (she qualifies for gold!), Capital One and a stunning number of financial institutions who are all eager to sign up my budding consumer.
Maybe their spy satellites have picked up the bank on her desk, the re-purposed Planters Peanuts jar with the slot cut in top filled with dollars from the tooth fairy and whatever spare change she manages to tickle out of her grandfather. Maybe they got wind that she recently opened an account at the credit union in her school, and she received five whole dollars for that purpose. Maybe they’ve heard her insightful commentary while watching “Project Runway” and figure, with a taste level that rivals Michael Kors, they should get in on the ground floor and offer funding before her American Girl Doll clothing line really takes off.
The child does not receive any magazines in her name. Even the American Girl catalog comes in my name. Her donations to charity have been limited to the Salvation Army bell ringer and the shamrocks Stop & Shop sells in March to raise money for the Jimmy Fund. Maybe the school’s Parent-Teacher Group has been selling off the names from the Octoberfest basket raffle — I thought that playground went up too quickly for mere Boxtops for Education funding.
Merrill Lynch was no help in resolving the mystery. I called them, as I’ve called every other credit card vendor who has wanted to pimp out my daughter, shortly after opening the offer. Did I mention that she can use the Merrill Points to apply towards a 529 College Savings Plan?
“Hi, my daughter received a credit card application in the mail today…”
“And we can get that out to her immediately, could you read the number as it appears above her name?”
“No. You don’t understand. She’s 7.” (”And three-quarters!” Megan pipes up.)
“Ohhh. We’re so sorry about that.”
The initial woman had no idea how Megan ended up on their list, and how I could track down the initial entry point, so I asked to speak to her supervisor. He had little to offer as well, although he assured me that a financial institution such as Merrill Lynch would never, NEVER solicit the child again.
Would you believe he then had the gall to pitch me the same exact offer?