And don’t forget to say, “Arigato”

If, like me, you don’t appreciate those real estate salespeople interrupting your dinner with cold calls trying to push new condominiums (“mansions”) being built in your neighborhood, you may occasionally feel inclined to hang up on them. Though I know they’re just doing their job, often their refusal to take my disinterest in their product is just downright annoying. I’ll sometimes try to explain my disinterest, but they always have something prepared to keep me on the line, and eventually I just get frustrated and hang up. Because I’m a foreigner I can sort of get away with this.

But maybe not. Media reports say that new condominium sales in Tokyo are so bad now that some developers are cutting prices as much as 30%. Salespeople are thus getting more desperate and not taking “not interested” for an answer. In fact, there have been numerous reports of salepeople getting royally ticked off when somebody hangs up on them. In some cases they’ve called back and made threats. Others are even more juvenile. One disgruntled salesman ordered 70 pizzas in the name of the person who hung up on him and tried to have them delivered to the person’s apartment. So the next time a real estate salesperson calls you during dinner, remember: Be firm, but be nice.

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