Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pompous or Polite?

 I recently recieved a response e-mail that just rubbed me the wrong way.  I think the author was trying to be polite but he came across as a pompous a$$ to me.  Here's the situation:

I have to create a Power Point Presenation on a Chapter out of our text book for one of my classes.  It is a soft skills class for IT geeks because apparently we aren't pegging high on the social list.  The class emphasises public speaking and does and don'ts.  Anyway, back to my story.  My presentation is about communication.  One of the areas addressed is e-mail ettiquate.  I searched the internet for some cute little quote or cartoon to make a point and found one that was right on target.  It is copyrighted and says that permission must be granted to use it.  No, big deal.  I hit the contact link and sent an e-mail explaining that I was a college student and that this was going to be used in an inclass assignment for less than 20 people.  The fee to use the cartoon in newsletters and such for a company is $40.  I'm not paying $40 for a homework assignment.  I received a prompt response:

Hi Patti,

Thanks for thinking of me. I used to grant free or discounted use of my cartoons for this kind of project, but what happened was that somehow the word got out that I worked for free, and I started to have a flood of similar requests. I hate saying no. I really do. But I'm afraid that if I start granting this kind of use again, the phone will start ringing with endless requests for free use.
Is it just me or does this come across as arrogant?  I totally understand his position but, "Thanks for thinking of me"?  First off, I have never heard of the guy.  I found the cartoon by luck.  After I read his email, I looked him up and he is quite an accomplished cartoonist in the business world.    Come on, get real, I don't even know who the hell you and and I don't really give a shit.  Don't worry about your phone ringing endlessly, I won't be advertising for you.  I guess when you reach a certain point in your career you don't have to worry about the little people.

I felt obligated to reply.  This is what I sent:

Thank you for your prompt response. I understand your position. I was researching quotes for my communications presentation and stumbled upon your cartoon and site. I requested permission because it was requested not because I was thinking of you. I have no idea who you are. But, thank you any how and I'm sorry to have bothered you.
I think we're even now.  I think he is a pompous a$$ and he is probably saying, "b!tch".  I feel better now.