Oh, and Did He Mention the Brooklyn Bridge?
Dear Margo: I began seeing a therapist because of my weight, plus family problems. He charged $250 an hour. At the first session, he wanted me to take diet pills. Since this guy was a Ph.D., not an MD, I asked if they were prescription. He said yes, but his father was a doctor and could get them. I said, “Sorry, I don’t take any drugs unless I clear it with my physician.” Then he handed me a box of nutritional supplements and said to take them as part of the therapy. They were non-prescription, and he charged me $25. At the next session, he insisted I buy (from him) what he called “pharmaceutical grade supplements” for which he charged me $200. Eventually, I stopped taking them, saying my doctor advised against it.
He then told me he had a client who wanted me to do a voiceover in a big-budget sequel and was offering me $200,000. He just needed a recorded sample of my voice. I gave him one and heard nothing back. Next he told me he had a client who wanted my T-shirt designs to sell in his store and asked me to give him a sample of my portfolio. Over the next few months, I heard “He’s interested” or “He wants to think it over.”
Then he told me he was starting an arms export company and wanted to send me to South Africa as his representative. At this I said, “Are you insane? I could get killed dealing weapons in South Africa. It’s not even legal!” He told me not to worry; he’d hire a Navy SEAL to go with me. This therapist told me that he has top security clearance. I soon discontinued therapy.
Here’s the problem: I suspect he made this stuff up to keep me coming back for more sessions. I saw him for several months and spent more than $12,000. Would I have grounds to sue him and have his license revoked? I feel he might’ve crossed some boundaries. –Swindled?
Dear Swin: Might have crossed some boundaries? It wouldn’t surprise me if the guy had no license to yank and got the Ph.D. from a Cracker Jack box. This quack is clearly a con man, but do check with the licensing board, just in case, and by all means feel free to sue him for misrepresentation, malpractice (if applicable) and whatever the charge is for con-mannery. You might want to see an actual therapist about your extreme gullibility. –Margo, amazedly
Closing Down Ms. Busybody
Dear Margo: I’m 25, and many of my peers are getting married and starting families. I’ve been in a solid relationship for six years, but I’m not yet engaged because neither of us is financially ready, though someday I see it happening. I’m fairly content with this for the time being, but I am bothered by a co-worker who enjoys pushing my buttons.
Anytime there’s an opportunity, she brings it up, asking why I’m not engaged, why aren’t I getting married yet, don’t I want to start having babies? This woman in particular is the worst because she sets a pretty bad example: She got pregnant as a teenager and is now heading toward her second divorce. I’m also not about to propose and buy myself a ring, so getting engaged is kind of out of my control. Do you have any suggestions for a snappy comeback that isn’t rude enough to get myself in trouble? –Perfectly Happy for Now
Dear Per: Your co-worker, the one with amnesia, sounds a bit on the dim side, socially speaking. The next time she starts in, you might answer, “Life is really very nice now the way it is, and we really want to be sure. Don’t you think that’s a good idea?” –Margo, dismissively
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Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via e-mail to email@example.com. Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.
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