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How much courtesy do I owe?


This morning, as I was going through the 1800 email messages I received while I was gone this past weekend, I received a call from the 402 area code. Not recognizing it immediately, I answered it. It was a sales guy from Omaha Steaks, where I had bought steaks from recently. We receive a box of steaks every Christmas from Kris' parents, but they're always gone by February. I figured I'd help out on the quick, but tasty, meal front and order extras in March to last us through at least July. Much more than what I ordered and we would have zero room in our freezer.

So, the phone rings, I answer, the sales guy starts speaking. After an introduction, he starts the sales pitch, "I'd like to tell you about our specials happening right now," ending with the rhetorical question, "if I may?" I immediately responded, "No, you may not."

This threw him off for a moment, as I continued, "This is a business phone. Please remove it from your call list."

"Oh, sure, let me do that. What number can I use instead?"

"I don't have another number. Please remove this one from your list."

"How about if we call you quarterly?"

"No, remove the number."

"But we have our best deals quarterly. Take for example the reserve filets where we take ..." and he went off on the exact spiel I tried to avoid by requesting my number be removed from his list.

I listened for about ten seconds, my annoyance growing. Sure, I was impressed how deftly this guy turned the conversation around to exactly what he wanted to be saying. However, it was exactly what I didn't want to hear.

How much courtesy do I owe someone who is being particularly rude? How long do I listen to someone's sales pitch for something I already declined? Sure, the best deals are by phone, but how often do I make those purchases (oh, once so far)? And how much will I have? Maybe eight, ten dollars?

Not worth it. I hung up.