The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

A phone call I got at work earlier this afternoon:

Me: Hello.
Voice: Hello, can I speak with Costa?
Me: This is Costa.
Voice: Hello Costa, this is (not-worth-remembering). How are you today?
Me: [Anti-salesman defenses up] Good, thanks. (Notice I didn't reciprocate by asking how he was, because I don't care, and hopefully it'll turn him off ever so slightly.)
Voice: Costa, you put your business card in the "win a free lunch" jar at (this-or-that) Deli recently...
Me: Oh yeah, that was about 2 weeks ago or so.
Voice: [Now off his rhythm and starting to mumble] Yeah, yeah, well it's been busy, I've kinda been backed up... so in any case, because you put your card in the jar, you now get lunch, and that also comes with a free financial portfolio review.
Me: ... Oooh-kay. (Pause) What exactly is that?
Voice: [Mumbles even more] Well, it's a free review of your holdings, your savings, assets... you know, with the weak economy, it's more important than ever...
Me: Yeah. I wasn't aware that this was part of the deal. It's not something I'd be interested in.
Voice: [Realized he's blown it] Okay then, thank you.

I can't think of anything lower than trolling for sales by coldcalling business cards that were deposited into a free-lunch jar at some greasy spoon. Pathetic.

I'm not raging mad, but I'm definitely irritated that my information was hijacked under completely false circumstances. It's not a case where I didn't read the fine print, because I always read the fine print. What happened is that a deli where I went to eat put out a jar with a simple sign that said "Win a Free Lunch", and neglected to mention that the cards would then go to some fuckhead who would waste my time with an unsolicited sales call. And who, I'm sure, will try again at some point--at which time I'll give him an earful.

I don't care what the circumstances are. I'm sure this is probably some relative of the deli owner. I don't care. It's a slimy way to do business.

What do I do now? It was the first time I ever went to this deli, and it probably would've been the last, even if this hadn't happened. I'm really tempted to print up a couple of sticky labels that explain what the true purpose of the jar is, then go to the joint and slap them on the appropriate areas. I might... but the easier, lazier and probably better solution is to just never go back. We'll see.