I am a professional software engineer. I make my living THINKING - long, hard and deeply. Interruptions are very expensive, and I don't suffer them lightly. Magazines, email, and things like this journal entry aren't interrupts: they are tasks I run when I am blocked on my main tasks (e.g. during compiles and downloads to the target.)
Phone calls, on the other hand, are interrupts. And since I don't know who is calling me until I take the call, I cannot leave that particular interrupt masked most of the time.
As a professional, I can get a very large number of professional magazines free of charge - EDN, EE Times, and the like. They get their money by selling ads, and their revenues are based upon their circulation.
And I have no problem with that - I will look at the ads that relate to my current situation, and ignore those that don't. They don't cost me time.
Now, when a magazine wants me to renew, and sends the renewal form on the front of the magazine, and they pay for postage, then I will renew the magazine if I find it valuable. If I don't find it valuable, and they pay for postage, then I will do them the courtesy of sending them the renewal with a "No thanks".
If they think I am going to chase up a stamp to send the response back to them, they are stupid. I am not going to spend 39 cents to tell them I am not interested - they can infer that from my lack of response.
I *also* do NOT give out my fax number, telephone number, or email to magazines - if they wish to communicate with me, they can do so by the US postal service. Again, I don't want to be interrupted.
Long ago, I decided upon a very simple rule with respect to magazine that call me on the phone about renewals: I cancel them. Immediately. I waste no time on the phone - I say "I'm sorry, I don't take magazines that call me on the phone at work. Goodbye. <click>".
That's a pretty clear "NO", isn't it?
Evidently, not for EDN. They have been calling me about once a week for the past month. They called me yesterday. They got the standard response.
I also decided that the next time they called me I was going to be "smart lazy" rather than "dumb lazy": I would spend more time on the line to insure that I wasted no more time in future.
Guess what happened a few tens of minutes ago? If you guessed "they called me again" then you are paying attention, which is more than I can say for the phone monkeys employed by the company that EDN employs for "circulation retention".
So, I made it very plain that:
- I had no interest in any magazine that called me on the phone.
- EDN was such a magazine.
- I was NOT going to renew.
- I had so informed them on multiple previous calls.
- I wanted my name removed from their calling list.
- I wanted my name and number ADDED to their DO NOT CALL list.
Now, I know how these telemarketers (and that is who I am dealing with, telemarketers) operate. Anything less than a clear "FUCK OFF AND DIE NO I DON'T WANT YOUR CRAP STOP CALLING ME" is ignored - these guys are judged on their "retention rates", and paying heed to a NO that doesn't fit their narrowly defined parameters will hurt those rates.
I don't give a shit about their rates. I said NO. Honor it.
Of course, this being a business line, it is NOT eligible for the Do Not Call list.
So, instead, I will pass this on:
DO NOT SUBSCRIBE TO EDN (Electronic Design News).
DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, GIVE ANY "FREE" MAGAZINE ANY CONTACT INFORMATION BEYOND YOUR ADDRESS.
SHOULD THEY GET YOUR EMAIL, FAX NUMBER, OR PHONE NUMBER, TELL THEM IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS TO REMOVE YOUR INFORMATION FROM THEIR DATABASE AND NOT CONTACT YOU AGAIN.