Antecedent: I pick up the telephone and say hello. There is a silent pause on the other end.
Behaviour: I hang-up the phone
Consequence: There is no telephone conversation to be had. I avoid having to hear some telemarketing schpeel. I carry on with what I was doing before the phone rang.That's me saying "No thanks" to the life insurance offers, not-really-free boat cruises, 30-day free gym membership, great deal on carpet cleaning, car warranties, symphony tickets, requests to donate to [insert charity name here] again since I was so charitable the first time, etc. I have learned that the brief two second pause where no one responds signals one thing - this is an automated telemarketing call. The beauty of the two second delay is that not only does it help you discriminate what kind of call you've picked up, but it is also just enough time to hang up before being sucked into the scripted I'll-talk-without-pausing-for-breath speech. I know it is someone's job to be there on the other end. I just wish these calls greeted us with cookies and ice cream. Then they can tell me how much I need to go to the gym.