I don’t like to be mean to people. Who wants to be a mean person? Well, some of you probably like it and you like it a lot (admit it), but I don’t. It makes me sad to have any type of mean anywhere near me. SO, I really hate that I have been forced into impoliteness by salesmen. First it was the phone calls. I gave up on trying to explain why I meant, “No thank you” when that never ever stopped the conversation for even one second, so now I just say, “No thanks,” and immediately hang up. I like to feel like I am still being nice by saying the polite “No thanks,” still, I am hanging up on a person.
But now, it is the door salesmen, and I have noting against door salesmen because I have a few nephews out selling pest control every summer and it is the most miserable job ever for them and I always wish people would be nice and invite them in and buy all the pest control they could dream of. I would prefer if salesmen would get to the point. Really, I’d be much more likely to buy. It’s all the humming and hawing and “How are you doing?” And “Have you ever wanted to travel?” or “Do you think education is important?” That makes me feel I am being lured into a trap when I just want them to tell me what they are selling.
In fact, recently we were outside in the front when a meat salesmen came upon us. He told me he was selling meat. I said I usually just bought whatever was on sale cheap at the grocery store. He said, “I know how it is, trying to save a few pennies.” And he bid me farewell. I was so pleased about him being straightforward and then saying, “OK” when I said no, that I almost rushed after him to stock up on meat.
But here is the real trouble. I decided recently – all annoyance of salesmen pressure aside – that I really don’t feel comfortable opening my door to some strange man – particularly when it is just me and my little kids here. The thing is, it is very awkward to come to the door, see someone right there, and then say, “Sorry, not opening up!” (We have a window right by our door, so there is no sneaking to see who’s there). But, I decided awkward was better than unsafe, so I determined to do it.
The next time a salesman came to the door, I took a deep breath, knowing this would be tricky for me, then simply said, “I’m sorry, I don’t open the door for strangers.” But then, you wouldn’t believe . . . at least I didn’t believe it . . . he went on to talk as if there was no door there! “Oh, OK, well, my name is ____. I’m just going around the neighborhood to see if ____.” I wasn’t sure what to do. You have to practically yell to hear through our door anyway, and I found it unbelievably awkward to be standing there having this yelling conversation through the door. I can’t explain it. You’ll have to try it. It just makes you feel really really silly. So, I thought that was odd, but the next three salesmen have done the exact same thing!! Don’t they feel silly too? Don’t they want to just call it quits when a poor woman says she does not feel safe opening her door? The worst was when our little window AC unit was on. It is unbelievably loud so I honestly could not hear a word the man said. He would ask a question and then look very confused when I apparently gave an answer that made absolutely no sense. I desperately wanted to say “Shew shew!! I can’t hear you and I told you I don’t want to open the door! You are reducing me to tears with all of this awkwardness!” SO, yesterday when someone came (we must live in a door to door sales mecca), I said, “Sorry, I don’t open the door for strangers,” and immediately walked away. I could sense a frustrated look of “What the heck!” From behind me, but what else is there to do?? Is there a better way? I hate that I have to be a meany. Who knows, maybe I’d like what they were selling if I weren’t so intent on shewing them all away.