Warm weather means it's that time of year... the season of door-to-door salespeople. My neighborhood is one of the few in this area that doesn't have a covenant against soliciting, so we tend to be inundated with salespeople.
When we first moved to this house, my daughters still napped. Many an afternoon they were jolted from their peaceful slumber by the doorbell. I finally wised up and put a sign by the doorbell, instructing visitors not to ring the bell between 1pm and 4pm (a mom can dream of daily three hour naps, right?). The sign rarely worked. From time to time I would point the sign out to offenders, particularly if my daughters had just settled down after a rough morning.
I try not to be rude. A job is a job. My cousin was a successful door-to-door salesman in college, selling encyclopedias... although I imagine today he wouldn't sell as many, due to the growth of the internet. When people come to my door selling vacuums, cleaning services, meat from a truck (I'm not talking Schwan's here people, I'm talking steaks out of the back of a pickup...ewwww) I try to politely say no. But there's always that one person who won't take no for an answer.
Unfortunately, my daughters are usually right on my heels when the doorbell rings. They think every visitor is here to see them, just like they think every UPS delivery is for them. (OK, they're actually right on that last one). I've had sales people try to get me to buy something by targeting the girls. Last summer two local dairies were trying to drum up customers. They stopped at our house within weeks of one another. Each of them gave me a gallon of milk for my girls and let the girls sample their chocolate milk. I'll admit... the chocolate milk tasted like a chocolate bar. It was delicious. I'm sure when each salesman saw my girls he immediately started seeing dollar signs. We go through 3-4 gallons of milk a week... imagine the commission.
My least favorite solicitors are these young adults who sell magazines. Their latest technique is to claim they're students in a communication class sent out to speak to the public. I listened to the spiel once to figure out their game. They talk and ask questions (Do you have kids? What do you do for a living?). Then the ball drops... they say to get credit for their "class" you need to sign your name next to a magazine title. So I asked "And then what?" "Well," I was told "You'll get a subscription." My answer was something along the lines of "I have a journalism degree and I never took a communication class that required me to sell magazine subscriptions. Have a good day!"
The last straw came last week. A solicitor showed up during lunch. He wanted to spray our house for bugs. He told me "a lot of your neighbors have been seeing things like this" and he whipped out a brochure full of pictures of mice and spiders. Spiders!!! Huge spiders!!!! I hate spiders with a passion... and to use that against me was offensive... show the poor, defenseless housewife pictures of icky spiders and you'll make the sale?! OK, I realize that might not have been his intention, and I wasn't actually offended... but I'm fed up with these interruptions. Now I'm on the hunt for a "No Soliciting" sign. I wonder if that will also deter the religious-types who routinely stop by?
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3 days ago