Thursday, April 24, 2008

No, Thank You.

I am generally a polite person. As an acquisitions librarian, I find my good manners stretched to the breaking point when vendors call peddling self-published books, databases of obscure and newly digitized materials, subscriptions for music publications in German, or new videos about some injustice or other. When I find such things in my email or snailmail inbox I am free to simply discard them or pass them on to someone else. But the phone calls are far less easy to dismiss. I am obligated to be courteous, professional, and polite. I have to let them down gently. I find myself saying things like, "Oh, I'm afraid we've reached the end of our ordering year," or "We'll be reviewing our subscriptions in the coming months, may I get back to you?" And what would I like to say?

1. Stop calling me.
2. Please call the Dean of the College and remind him that your prices increase by at least 10% each year and that a measly 3% increase in our annual budget wouldn't even pay for the bandwidth required to view those 200 year old letters that you've digitized.
3. Where is Darfur anyway?

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