Solicit This!

It’s 8:30PM.  The kids are in bed.  You’re watching TV.  The curtains are closed.  It’s dark outside.  And then it happens: that “familiar” knock at the door.  You know the one…only friends and family use it.  You look at your partner in surprise (or if you’re alone, jump out of your skin) because you weren’t expecting anyone.  And who comes over unannounced anymore?  What is this, 1987?  We have iPhones and text messages.

You peek outside, and what do you see?  Two young men in dark clothing standing on your porch.  Would you answer the door?  Not on your life.  So they knock again.  And when you don’t answer this time, they knock harder.  You’re about to call 911 when they walk away and do the same thing at your neighbor’s house.  Ahhhh…Solicitors!

But what happens when you do answer the door?  I’ll tell you.  As soon as you open the door, you are greeted with “I’m not trying to sell you anything.”  Really?  Then why are you here?  They then go into a number of different scenarios.  My personal favorite is the “we’re doing work on your neighbor’s house and wanted to give everyone this limited time opportunity to schedule an estimate while we’re here.”  My neighbor’s house, huh?  Which neighbor?  One of the few neighbors I have, the houses of which I can see from here, none of whom are actually having work done?  I call bullshit on that one.  Or another common intro is: “We were walking by and could see that you had such and such damage to your home, and we’re here to offer you a free estimate.”  Oh, you’re referring to the brand new roof we just put on?  Or the brand new gutters?  And when you tell them that you just had that work done, they proceed to argue with you that you clearly did not, and if you did, you had a bad contractor because they can see from the street how it is in desperate need of repair.

The best part is the insistence that they have NO business cards, NO fliers, and NO phone number for you to take.  No, they are here for a limited-time, special opportunity, and you have to make your appointment right now!  Really?  You’re a reputable company but you don’t have anything to offer me?  And I can’t do business with you unless I make an appointment right now on my front porch?

I used to answer the door.  It got old.  Some days during the late spring and early summer, I’d get 4 different solicitors a day!  By the 3rd or 4th, my fuse was a little short.  I’ve answered the door, and upon hearing the pitch, say “I’m not interested” and close the door.  Only to have the SOB knock again!  That’s right, after hearing me say I wasn’t interested, they immediately knocked on my door again!  I had another bloke scream and yell at me through the door after I shut it in his face!  And heaven freakin’ forbid if I don’t answer the door!  I’ve actually had people stay on my porch and knock for a full 2 minutes.  I had another guy walk around my house and look in the windows.  One guy had the audacity to shout “I know you’re in there!”  Are you kidding me?

How dare I not answer the door!  Is there some rule or law that says I am required to?  And when did this carpet-bagger, traveling salesman thing come back into fashion?  Why are these companies (1) hiring young folks – teenagers sometimes – to walk neighborhoods and knock on random doors; (2) having them do so when it is dark outside; (3) telling them to lie to their potential customers; (4) allowing them to be obnoxious?  Why is this OK?  Am I in the minority here?

While we were sitting on the couch reading to our son this evening, a Capital Meats truck drove into our neighborhood and stopped directly in front of our house.  He got out, walked right up do our door (saw us sitting inside), knocked twice, got back into the truck and drove out of our neighborhood.  What?  We’ve never ordered from them before.  They drove right to our house and then right back out of the neighborhood again.  What the hell kind of targeting is this?  (Capital Meats was recently in the news for targeting and assaulting folks in their homes).

So no…I don’t answer the door anymore.  And I love that I have huge picture windows that they can see me inside not doing so with.

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I Must Confess…

~  I have subscriptions to magazines and I never read them.  A lot of magazines.  I get them free with points, and it always seems like a great idea.  Yes, I’ll read Entertainment Weekly…once every 6 months.  Way to stay abreast of what’s cool and hip.

~  I am bitter because my retirement plans were essentially destroyed when I had a kid.  Now, instead of moving to Ireland in 10 years, I’ll be picking my kid up from middle school.

~  I put my kid to bed early when Dad is working so I can have some time to myself.  I feel very guilty doing so because the poor thing isn’t even tired.

~  I just cleaned off my cherry wood dining room table with a grape boogie wipe.

Professional Facebookers

We all have one or two, or seven on our friend list. And even though their numbers are small comparatively, they tend to post the most prolifically. Of your 236 friends, “Anti-Everything-Ann” posts the most often, filling your feed with so much rubbish that you never saw your childhood best friend post the pics of her new baby. Every time you open Facebook, there she is, posting about how vaccines cause Autism; global warming is a hoax; and the US Government orchestrated 9-11.

Truthfully, had you known “Anti-Everything-Ann” felt the way she did, you might not have added her as a friend. But now you did, and un-friending her is – well – tantamount to telling her that you hate her. So you go on, and scroll and scroll and scroll until you see things you’re actually interested in. And then you see “Anti-Everyting-Ann” has posted something completely contrary to the things she was posting before.

Not unlike hookers, professional Facebookers will also sell themselves to the highest bidder. Ever notice that the most politically charged, morally superior folks tend to pull a John McCain every 4 years or so? They’re the GOP of Facebook. No matter who is in the White House – they hate them; no matter if we are at war or peace – they think we made the wrong decision; they want to carry their sniper rifles into Costco – but suddenly hate the NRA the second there is a mass shooting. You know the type…they believe their kid was disabled by vaccines – the biggest government conspiracy of all time. But you better believe they expect that same government to provide them free health care.

The thing is, you simply cannot enter into a debate with the Professional Facebooker. After all, they spend all of their waking hours researching (read Googling) and posting what they find on Facebook. Clearly they are EXPERTS in their chosen field. Any comment on their post is an invitation to argue. And the fact is – that’s what they want. They want to prove they know everything there is to know about this issue, and you are ignorant to think otherwise. Ever notice that the best Professional Facebookers are actually the least educated and/or experienced people you know? You think you remember “Anti-Everything-Anne” graduating from high school, but then you remember that development during senior year…maybe she got her GED, let’s give her that much. But really, we’re talking about individuals with ZERO education beyond high school debating issues against folks with advanced degrees in their scientific field of study!

All this time I was seeking answers, you had a degree in Facebook!

I Don’t Mind…

1.  Sorry, Usher.  I have to respectfully disagree.  I’m pretty sure dancing for money on a pole does make you a hoe.

2.  This Thomas the Tank Engine wall poster is still hanging in my living room, more than a week after my son’s 3rd birthday party.  ‘Effing Classy!

3.  I would rather listen to Steve Earle sing Galway Girl than hear anything that Ariana Grande twit squeaks out.  Seriously, who decided she should be a singer?

4.  Sometimes I’m too lazy to remove my nail polish when it chips.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I never remove it.  My nails are in a constant state of half-peeled, “what’s that shit on your nails?”

5.  I print hundreds (if not thousands) of recipes, but always make the same handful of things for dinner.