What I didn't expect, however, was the sheer amount of people who jumped in and brought up the similar plights that Mages and Warlocks face on a daily basis. As I've got a L59 Warlock and a L61 Mage, trust me when I say that I completetly understand and appreciate what you all go through with the requests you get. I'm not even able to portal others to Shattrath yet on my Mage, but anytime I'm playing her, I almost immediately get asked to open a portal there for someone anyway. Now, nobody has opened a trade window on me without asking and grunted out "food/water" as yet, but I've definitely gotten the tells demanding that I make food or water for them, as opposed to asking nicely.
As for my Warlock, I moved her to Outland a few days ago. Quite literally not two seconds after touching down in Thrallmar for the first time ever, I got a whisper asking me to summon someone to Shattrath. Never mind that I wasn't anywhere near Shattrath myself, and that I obviously couldn't summon someone solo. I let the person know that I was sorry, but I couldn't help them. The next thing that came back? A whisper insisting that I must summon them because I was currently the only Warlock on (late night, lower pop server) in the area who could do it and they had to get to Shattrath on their level twenty-something character. Again, I reiterated that I was sorry, but I couldn't do this. This third time, I was subjected to a lovely diatribe wherein my heritage, masculinity (har har) and mother's extracurricular activities were pointedly remarked upon. Needless to say, the population of my /ignore list grew by one, and I dare say that one level twenty-something Shaman out there may be seeing himself (herself?) in this story right about now. Or not.
The thing I wanted to say is this: I feel your pain, Mages and Warlocks. Personally, I will try to help if the request is polite enough and I am not in the middle of something that would otherwise prevent me from being able to help. But on the other hand, I don't think anyone likes being repeatedly asked for something after you attempt to decline politely. If people continue to ask, and somehow manage to get a "yes" after they've gotten repeated "no" answers, you can bet it's with extreme prejudice, and the annoying person's name is most likely going on someone's "will not help this person if all of Azeroth is on fire" list.
Being nice creates so much goodwill, and actually costs so much less time in the long run. Think about it this way: anyone who is nice likely won't have to ask lots and lots of Warlocks or Mages to get whatever it is they need -- they'll probably get it on the first try, so they can just head out for whatever they wanted to do that much sooner. And hey, there's one other side benefit to being cool to your fellow WoW players that many people wouldn't even think about. There obviously won't be any chance of ever winding up as the inspiration for a story here about people who should probably re-think their WoW social strategies.