Having written a number of books over the past 15 years some people mistakenly assume that I am an expert. Worse, they assume that I am a free centre of advice and appraisal. They have no qualms about phoning me at any time of the day or night to speak at length about their latest acquisition or a piece that they are thinking of buying and for which they expect my guidance, item unseen. Others believe that they can e-mail questions and pictures with absolutely no introduction with the expectation that I will provide background, identification and value.
Trying to be a nice guy I respond and, no word of a lie, only one in ten has the courtesy to thank me! Some have even berated me because my identification or appraisal is not in line with their perceptions or expectations.
I don't mind seeing or hearing about these items but I feel that a little bit of courtesy is not too much to ask. This includes not asking me to call you back long-distance when you leave a cryptic message on my voice-mail or requests for an immediate answer to your e-mail. I do not share your sense of urgency!
Even worse are the guys who 'saw' a picture in one of my books at a friend's house. If he's your friend then borrow the damned thing and read it first. If you haven't done that - and you certainly haven't BOUGHT the book or gone to your local library and asked them to buy it - then don't expect me to subsidize your hobby if you are not prepared to invest in the knowledge.
At the end of all this - how about a simple 'please' and 'thank you'?