Greedy Goblin

Monday, January 19, 2009

Salesman's victims

I've posted two conversations under "fun". Lot of commenters thought that the second is not fun at all, actually I was "jackass" for making fun from the "friendly and polite" player, who made a completely OK suggestion. So my little funpost was promoted to a real post. First, please read the conversation:

[Kraljsava] whispers: wanna join in my guild plz?
[Kraljsava] Level 50 Tauren Hunter (Nexus) - Thunder Bluff
[Kraljsava] invites you to join Nexus
To [Kraljsava]: Where do you raid?
[Kraljsava] whispers: today raid is in Astraanar our guild raid wanna join in guild plz?
To [Kraljsava]: You raid Astranaar? Where is it? I don't know about that raid dungeon
[Kraljsava] whispers: its not dungeon
To [Kraljsava]: than why do you raid it?
[Kraljsava] whispers: for fun
To [Kraljsava] : Do you do real raids?
[Kraljsava] whispers: mate we have only 34 members sorry we are not so strong guild if u wanna plz join but if u want some strong guild sorry we are not that mate
To [Kraljsava]: Why would anyone join to a weak guild?
[Kraljsava] whispers: to make it stronger mate guild is hard to create strong immediatly it will be strong later, we are doing all we can
To [Kraljsava]: If you all do what you can, why are you just lvl 50?
[Kraljsava] whispers: cause this is my first month of playing and first char i cant be lvl 80 for 30 days with first char in life mate
To [Kraljsava]: If you want to grow to 80, raiding Astranaar is not the best move you know
[Kraljsava] whispers: i know
[Kraljsava] whispers: you want join in guild?
To [Kraljsava]: How many lvl 80 players are in guild?
[Kraljsava] whispers: 0 but we have 49, 50, 61, 58, 56, 55, 49, 47, 46, 45, just that of some little higher sorry
To [Kraljsava] If you are in 40-50, how could we play together? Those quests are all grey for me
[Kraljsava] whispers: we cant play together sorry
To [Kraljsava]: But if we can't play together, why did you invited me to the guild?
[Kraljsava] whispers: just to have more fun and some strong who will lead us
To [Kraljsava]: how can "not playing together" be fun?
[Kraljsava] whispers: lol,ok mate cya later,sorry for troubeing you,good luck and have fun, cya.

If you found it funny (or pathetic), it's OK, you don't need to read further. If you think he made a respectable offer and I was bad to make fun of him, please do read on!

Imagine that someone approach you with the following suggestion: "Dear Sir/Madam, I'm sorry if I'm interrupting you. I'd like to ask you if you'd like to give me your wallet and give me oral pleasure?" Would you find this offer respectable? After all he did not use dirty words, leetspeak, used proper greeting and told that he's sorry for troubling. How more polite could he be?

You mean his offer itself was outrageous? And a lvl 50 wanting to pull a well-geared lvl 80 into his lowbie guild (obviously for boosting)?

There are salesman wandering the real world and also WoW. One would think that such trading method will disappear since it's very ineffective compared to internet sales or supermarkets, because the production cost of the product is increased greatly by the salary of the salesman. Yet the salesmen are here to stay. Why?

Because they are masters of politely making you do something really-really stupid. They abuse the social law of "be nice with people who are nice with you". Let's see some common tricks:
  • Emotional approach: he is kind and nice to you, ask about your family, congratulate to your beutiful children/pet/home before he makes his business suggestion. The most easy trick, people feel bad about rejecting nice people.
  • Foot in the door trick: ask a little thing first (like join his guild for fun), than ask a bigger thing (like boost him). People usually do the little thing, due to niceness. However by doing it, they form a habit of doing it. When the bigger request arrives, they feel they are doing the opposite of their previous action by rejecting it. Typically the salesman first ask only to let him in and let him talk about the product.
  • Compromise-trick: the salesman ask a big thing, like buy his vacuum cleaner for $1000. After you reject it, he offers a compromise: buy it for $500. People feel compelled to make compromises, especially after the other party made steps towards it (decreasing the price). Of course $500 for a vacuum cleaner is still nonsense.
  • "The boss does not let it" trick. The salesman makes a really good deal with you. After that he contacts the "boss" (who may exists, may not) and "very sadly" he says that the "greedy boss" does not let him do this deal, he must elevate the price, he is very sorry. People usually give in and accept the higher price, since this change is "not his fault". Who cares about whose fault it is? - I might ask. The good deal went down, the elevated price is not good enough.
  • Fine print trick: the salesman makes a really good deal with you, however there is fine print on the contract. The salesman says that's just "boring legal stuff". If you would try to read it he asks "It's waste of time to read it, or do you think I'd lie to you?". You have only two choices: stop reading, accepting his words, or you say: "yes I think you lie, so I'd rather read it all". Of course most people wouldn't be that rude.
These are just the most obvious tricks, there are hundreds of sub-versions that the salesman learn in "top-seller courses". However all belong to the same scheme: he nicely and politely ask you to do something stupid, because good manners "enforce" you to be nice in return, and rejecting his proposals are everything but nice.

This case you have two options: be rude, or be victim. Choose!

PS: The "nice and friendly" guy who I was "jackass" with used "plz"3 times and after some questions he accepted that we couldn't play together. So he made it clear that he is fully aware that his proposal is unfair and he want something from me without giving anything in return. So he was a lousy salesman, that made his attempt funny.


Anonymous said...

You assume his plan is boosting, yet he just wants to raid Astranaar?

Honestly, he just sounds like a guy who saw you in town, unguilded, and asked if you want to join his guild. I could be very wrong, but I doubt /g was full of "OMG WE MAY HAVE AN 80 TO RUN US THRU BRD LOL"

He flat out tells you that his guild isn't strong, he just wants to have fun & raid Astrnaar, not level to 80 and then mindlessly grind until the next expansion then level to 90. He knew his proposal was unfair in a business sense, but that's probably not at all how he viewed it. He was looking for somebody to raid with, somebody to chill and talk with, etc.

Honestly, you talk about time wasting but I guess you feel it's okay to waste others time, but don't like it when others waste yours. Then again, you are the "Greedy" Goblin, so the world spins around you, right?

Anonymous said...

while I agree that the person in your conversation was looking for a boost (be it for simple boasting that his guild has an either or for outrite instance run through requests) I disagree that you only had two choices. there is a third choice - I call it an art of polite refusal.

saying "no" doesn't mean you are not nice or must be rude when doing it. with the guild offer you have gotten - I will bet you my druid's upcoming epic flight form that you knew from the beginning that the guild wouldn't be a good fit. while a raiding guild might make a whispered offer to an unguilded player, they will not do that randomly and without precedent (for example after you pug an instance run). you CHOSE to have fun with this person, when all you had to do was say "no, thank you" or if you feel like being extra nice "I appreciate the offer, but I'm not looking for a guild right now" or "thank you so very much for asking, but I'm not currently interested in belonging to a guild"

and because you are so nice, they actualy come away with impression that you did something for them.

now you can argue that people like that or what they think doesn't matter on a larger scale of things. which is why your readers accused you of jerk behavior. you did it simply because you could.

Anonymous said...

I can sort of see Gevlon's point, scarily enough.

This is because I had a chat yesterday afternoon with a random warrior, level can't-remember, but would have been 40+, I suspect.

The conversation was initiated by him whispering my level 80 (who was in Dalaran), to say, "Can u boost me in ZF!"

Since I wasn't too busy, I responded with,
"I _can_, but why should I?"
"So I can get level!"
"No, I mean why should I boost you? What do I get out of it?"
"Well, if the epic drops, you can have it and it's worth 10g!"
"I can make 10g without having to travel to ZF, thank you. So, why should I boost you?"
"Give me a reason why I should boost you?"

Oddly enough, he gave up. And his name's been bandied about before as someone who randomly whispers 80s begging for a boost.

To be fair, I accept that in English can and may are used in the same general fashion now. But the technical difference allows me to challenge their supposed "niceness" - and if he could come up with a decent justification for _why_ I might gain something from boosting him, I might have done it.

The usual responses are "Bcoz ur nice" and they just don't cut it for me, not with beggars.

And yes, in part I chose to give up a little of my time and waste his because it slows down him hassling others.

Kurt said...

"Foot in the door trick"

Your analysis of this trick reminds me of a story from Ben Franklin's autobiography. Early in his political career, he found himself often in opposition to an influential figure in Philadelphia. So, he asked him for the loan of a rare book that he knew the man had in his library. He promptly returned the book with effusive thanks. Now that the man felt Franklin to be in his debt, he took less pleasure in opposing him. Common sense would be that the way to make someone treat you better would instead be to do them a favor, but in actual fact doing people favors often makes them resentful, as people do not enjoy being indebted to you in such a fashion. But putting yourself in their debt both makes them feel powerful, and makes them take mental ownership of you, both to justify their earlier action and to ensure continuance of their good feelings of power and dominance. Perhaps this is a closer analogy to the situation that happens over time in social guilds to the salesman example, which does have plenty of close analogies in the ways that strangers ask for shorter term help in WoW.

On the question of whether he was asking for boosting in some way shape or form: even if he wasn't intending to have you boost him in instances or in world pvp, he was clearly of the opinion that recruiting 80's makes the guild stronger and more attractive to potential recruits, which is a common and arguably correct opinion in that crowd, and so he was definitely asking for a "recruiting boost".

On the question of whether being rude in return is reprehensible: if someone in real life comes up to you and acts rudely or makes unreasonable requests, the chances are this person is either pitiable or dangerous. Hence, a mocking or rude reply is not often appropriate. Since someone who is playing an online game is probably not insane and homeless, and unlikely to do you physical harm, to merely argue by assertion and analogy to everyday life that rudeness in return is reprehensible is a flawed strategy. Of course being rude doesn't really have any advantages, but it does explain for me why I'm much more likely to be rude in return when someone is rude to me online, than I would offline.

But, I didn't really think Gevlon was being rude in this example, I thought he was wasting his time trying to educate this guy out of the goodness of his goblineque heart, wasting partially in the sense that it's an altruistic alt, partially in the sense that it was most likely doomed to failure, and the guy seems to have learned nothing from it. And indeed, why should he, thinking rationally about how you are taking advantage of others is a lot of work when there's a sucker born every minute. My question to everyone who thinks Gevlon was being rude-- do you realize that your politeness to failures only makes them believe they are in fact, not failures? I play both alliance and horde, and it's amazing how a heroic on ally side will be 10x as polite while going 1/10 as smoothly. typical horde pug = kick and mock someone doing subpar dps. typical ally pug = Politely explain why not standing in the fire or whatever simple strategy they are failing to execute, failing to attempt to execute, or more probably, failing to comprehend how they could attempt to try and execute--could result in a possible nonwipe. Of course this is a generalization from a limited sample of only 1 horde server and 1 ally server, but I played on different servers in vanilla wow, transferred for BC, transferred again for Wotlk, and I'll bet dollars to doughnuts the majority of the people complaining that you weren't polite enough are female night elves on pve servers, with RPey names and max crafting achieved well before 80.

Kurt said...

"To be fair, I accept that in English can and may are used in the same general fashion now. But the technical difference allows me to challenge their supposed "niceness" - and if he could come up with a decent justification for _why_ I might gain something from boosting him, I might have done it"

"can" and "may"? You're thinking he should have said "May u boost me in ZF?" :P

That's an interesting point though, if he uses the phrase "will you" it carries the implication 'Think of your plans and tell me what they are', since you didn't plan on boosting him previously, you're likely to say "No I won't". But if he says "Please, boost me in ZF" he sounds like a beggar, saying please implies you are either being polite and reasonable or are familiar with the other person, to say please when neither of those situations are true is very undignified, which tends to repel people. So people settle on "can you", which is the kind of thing someone who is close enough to you to expect that you would if you could, would say. This kind of feigned familiarity, as if a close friend or your child, while still retaining a semblance of dignity, yet in actuality having none, is repulsive those who understand it fully. I don't mind leetspeak, and I'm not too put off by impoliteness ingame, I would much prefer someone be dismissive and insulting than use the above strategems. That doesn't mean people shouldn't ask, sometimes I go run instances that I don't need for gear anymore, just out of nostalgia. But I react much more positively to someone saying "Interested in X run?"--I might do that for kicks-- versus "Can you help with X?", where I assume they are annoying and always say no.

Anonymous said...

"This case you have two options: be rude, or be victim. Choose!"
Or you have the nice neutral option : "No thanks !"

Anonymous said...

"Imagine that someone approach you with the following suggestion: "Dear Sir/Madam, I'm sorry if I'm interrupting you. I'd like to ask you if you'd like to give me your wallet and give me oral pleasure?""

That is analogy does not work at all for what happened. A better analogy would be someone offering you a product you probably wouldn't ever want. You can either decline to purchase it or waste your time harassing him for trying to sell it. You chose the latter.

Gevlon said...

@Josh: The overpriced vacuum cleaner has SOME value for my money. However "selling" an empty box for money is called scam.

While he sold guild tag (box), the guild couldn't offer ANY normal guild activity (HC instance, raid, premade BG) for me (empty inside).

He was aware that he is selling me big nothing. He was not a seller, he was a scammer.

Panos said...

I will agree with Gevlon. I got plenty of people I can/am willing to help, plenty of people I can boost, already in my friends list. What will I win from a complete stranger? Sorry for the cynical not but I'd rather put my limited game-time towards things that will somehow pay off something - even if that is as abstact as doing something for tha sake of an in-game friendship. Nowadays even not wasting your time is a reward...

Would you join a company that is about to bankrupt, wont pay you, wont give ya a chance to develop your skills just because one dude said so? Even if he was polite...

Dradis said...

I would just like to say that conversation was awesome! I really like how Gevlon attempted to use some logic with the kid, and it obviously went over his head. Several times even. Thanks for the laugh Gevlon!

Anonymous said...

Its amazing how many offers like this you get being guildless, my paladin is only level 67 and he gets offers every night i have even stopped replying to a few.

Anonymous said...

By a similar way of thinking, it's amazing the kind of deals you can sometimes get by talking the right way with someone you don't know in trade chat.

"/2 WTS Frozen Orb x 2"
Me:I'd like to buy please, how much?
Random: 150 for both
Me: Oh, that's a little steep :-(
Me: I could do 120 though?
Random: Sure

All the while knowing the item is worth the 150.

Come to think of it - I'd be interested in other readers views of the morals in this situation.
Is it wrong if the seller is content with the price?

Anonymous said...

The price for selling immediately over trade is the discount/benefit of getting an immediate sale vs. the AH wait.

For reference: I've gotten discounts for paying now, just as I've been dismissed for underbidding over trade. It's not that they don't know the value, it's often a cashflow or rarity issue.

As for the OP. I habitually ignore anything that isn't explicitly what I'm interested in, and always reply politely 'No, thank you' for an unwanted product (of any sort), the politeness is because the current scumbag may be tomorrow's paying customer. And tips are larger when you are polite and helpful.

krizzlybear said...

Again, I just want to point out the exception to the rule. Not ALL people at 80 are totally hardcore elitist "Heroics only" types. There are those who are jaded raiders who just want to relax and unwind after being burned out on the endgame content.

Those individuals are hard to find, but I see no fault in that player for asking in the first place. How will they find those individuals if said individuals don't speak up about looking for a laid back casual guild?

Sure, that individual in your case study appeared to be unable to get the hint, but that could also be attributed to "trying too hard" rather than sheer idiocy.

Anonymous said...

I think regardless of what the person was after your response was not out of line. If he was just looking for a boost then you wasted his time as much as he wasted yours and you got a little fun out of it. If he was completely legit then you hopefully educated him in the poor reasoning of inviting a player into a guild that cannot offer anything to that player.

.... shut up about the vacuum cleaner I was young and stupid! Atleast I didn't buy the 2000$ water purifier. Also learned that salesman and often players in WoW aren't interested in logic.

I do find it fascinating that you are so profitable because of these types of people yet your attitude at times towards the uneducated populace (and 12 year olds) is that they are simply all a waste of your time.

Juju said...

I can't believe you had to explain this to people.

Making fun of morons is an obligation. Not only is it the only way to keep sane in the face of their idiocy, but it's also the only way to discourage their behavior. If everyone treated this guy like this, he'd stop doing it.

Anonymous said...

@Artorin: The reason he is successful versus idiots is that he sells over the AH mostly. When you sell on the AH most people do not look at who is selling, but the price. They dont care if the guy selling is a @$$hole or not, just that the price is good.

Compare this to a real merchant out in the real world - the real merchant will see the customer and cant get away with being a @$$hole as easily as in a virtual world.

Unknown said...

The real-life merchant analogy is a bit flawed, unless you're advertising your services in the tradechannel. If you do all your business on the AH? You're more like a company restocking and pricing items in vending machines. No need for any dealings with your customers of any kind, other than getting them what they require, for a price. No sales pitches, polite greetings, "have a nice day" or "thank you come again", no customer service, no after sales department. Thirsty? Can of Coke: $1

The response wasn't what I'd have given, but I can understand the sentiment. This offer of a guild would have appeal to a hypothetica l fraction of a percent of the lv80 population, especially with all the "mate" being interjected every sentence. It's ambitious for someone lowlevel to try something like starting a guild. But when he and his fellow "guildies" ding 80, or get any offer for another guild, they'll swarm.

Trying to politely reason with someone is in no way "mean".

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the post, even kept reading when it wasn't necessary. Kudos.

McDuk said...

I know the feeling. I had an issue just like this.. what Do I mean had.. its on going!
Im generaly one of those nice guys who will go out the way to help people, give them a little smile, as long as the request isnt outragoues!

Well it started when some level 10ish fella was asking for an enchant of Firey Weapon, of course I said I would do it. Turns out he didnt have the matts and couldnt work the AH properly. So I spent a moment explaining how its used, he got his materials and came met me for the enchant.

He was enchanting he grey level 1 starting sword. We didnt have a twink here this was a complete newbie tothe game. I did the nice thing as he had nothing and brought him a green for his level for lik 50silver of the AH and enchanted that for him.

Now on a daily basis he whispers me as soon as I log in to say hello, which is great but it goes on.. and on... yesterday he asked me 'As you have lots of gold' making an assumption though he wasnt wrong if I could pay for the matts for Icey chill for his cousin as a present!! Ok im nice but im not a mug! I just had to politley say no.

Although its whispers and you can easily ignore them its hard too when you know its a person just being nice... taking the micky but nice. I guess he just has to get used to the way things work as he learns as the game goes on, much as the guys who whisper 'boost me in rfk plz I gief 5g'....

Anonymous said...

I would obviously refuse this request, but I wonder why you think you were being rude? You were perfectly polite throughout the whole exchange.

Noochie/Mojachiy said...

Ok, Im just saying your an asshole
He was jut a new player. He saw you without a guild and thought...Wow it would be really cool to have an 80 in the guild.
He wasnt like OMG COME RUN ME THROUGH LBRS. He was just trying to make his guild better.

Your just a greedy asshole+

Anonymous said...

What an odd premise.. be rude or be a victim? a simple "no thank you" would have been fine.

higgo said...

Not that i know the age of anyoneone involved but it sure comes off as a older experienced person being a sarcastic prick to a inexperienced kid. Excusing it with various ideas about scamming and wasted time doesnt make it less mean.