The Courtesy of a Reply?

The envelope almost shouted at me: “Please favor us with the courtesy of a reply.”  That not-so-subtle effort at instilling guilt in me resulted in just the opposite of what the marketer wanted.  That blatant suggestion—that failure to respond to the marketer’s unsolicited and unwelcome intrusion in my mailbox would be a discourteous act—backfired.  It also made me wonder what planet the copywriter inhabits.

Why would a marketer try to blackmail a potential customer by appealing to the prospect’s guilt-avoidance response? I never feel guilt for ignoring marketers’ unsolicited materials; I suspect I am not unique in that way.  What does this senseless strategy accomplish?

“The courtesy of a reply.”  No, I will favor the marketer with “the discourtesy of dead silence.”

I’ve noticed these insulting attempts to shame me into replying typically come from investment advisors inviting me to a steak lunch or dinner at an upscale steakhouse. Perhaps I should reply, after all.

“My former neighbor was kind enough to deliver your invitation, which was left in the mailbox where I used to live. I will be delighted to attend your event, inasmuch as I have been unable to afford steak since becoming homeless.”

Why do I feel the need to be such a damn cynic? There are days I wonder whether there’s a solution that doesn’t involve murder or suicide. Buddha didn’t come through, though it’s hard to place blame on Buddha.  But the way my mind works, I’ll try.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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