Saturday, October 23, 2010

Being Nice To Solicitors: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

On the front door of my house, there's a sign on there that says "No Soliciting." We didn't put it on there; it was on the door when we bought the house. Not that it matters, because it's a sign that solicitors completely ignore. At least once a week, we get a loud knock on our door from someone selling security systems. Or pest control services. Or Jesus. The "No Soliciting" sign has no power, it seems.

So when one of these folks come knocking on my door, I'm admittedly not the nicest person in the world. I don't mean to be, but I just have no desire to hear what you're doing or selling. Honestly, I just want the salesman (or woman) to spontaneously combust, but to do so in a way that won't get any internal organs on my door, plants or lawn. S

Case in point: This morning, I got a knock on my door from this couple. Here was the conversation:

Couple: Hi, we're high school teachers and we're going door-to-door talking about your local representative who's running in your district.

Me: Uh-huh.

Couple: Are you a registered voter?

Me: Yep.

Couple: Do you vote?

Me: No.


Couple: Well, (so and so) candidate is an advocate for education.

Me: Uh-huh.

Couple: Do you have kids?

Me: No.


Couple: Well, we have this brochure...

Me: Great, thanks.

And I close the door.

So when my wife Ramona heard all of this, she chided me for being mean to these solicitors. But admittedly, it's a catch-22 situation. If you're nice to them, you encourage them to keep talking, which makes them stay longer. Which I don't want.

Nonetheless, what the wife says, husband does. So earlier this evening, another solicitor came knocking:

Solicitor: Oh man!! Is it cold out here? But don't worry, I'm not trying to sell you anything!! God bless you, and high five!!

(we exchange high fives).

(Note: This is not an exaggeration. This is literally, word for word, how this conversation began.)

Solicitor: I want to tell you about this product that gets our car scratches!! Works great on colors!! Look, I'm black and I spray it on my arm!!

(he sprays it on his arm)

Solicitor: HA HA!!! HIGH FIVE!!!

(we exchange high fives)

Solicitor: That your car in the driveway? How'd that white paint get on it? Let's use the spray!!

Me: Um...well...listen, I appreciate you stopping by...

Solicitor: You do? That's great!!! Because I don't want to be annoying!! Cuz I ain't sellin'. I just want to tell you about the spray!! Works great on colors!! Let's go to your car!!

Me: Well, it's not the best time...

Solicitor: I got the spray right here!! We'll get it done right now. High Five!!!

(another high five exchanged)

Me: Look, I'm really sorry, but we have company over right now. But I do appreciate your time. Do you have any information you can give me?

Solicitor: It just takes five minutes!!

Me: It's just not a good time.

Solicitor: We can fix your car!!

Me: I think the car's OK.

Solicitor: What about that white paint?

Me: I...I don't see any white paint.

Solicitor: You don't see any? Of course you see it!! It's right there!! C'mon, let's spray!!

(he sprays his arm again)

Me: Listen man, I'm sorry. I just can't do it right now.


Solicitor: Works great on colors!!

Me: I know, man. I know.

And finally, after 1 more "God Bless" and two more "High Fives!!!" I got the guy to leave.

Had I simply slammed the door in his face, as is my nature, this would've gone a lot quicker. But instead, I had to be nice. And he kept jabberin' on. And spraying his arm.

The solution, I think, is to split the difference.

I'll answer the door.

Give a big smile.

Slam the door in their face.

Then say:

Thanks so much for stopping by!!

That's nice, right?


And now for this week's:


Mel Gibson's cameo in next year's The Hangover 2 has been canned.

Apparently, some of the cast were discontent with working with Mel, who has a recent history of antisemitic remarks and physical and verbal abuse toward women.

All understandable. But still, this is the same cast that had no problem working with Mike Tyson in the first movie.

I mean, all Tyson did was get convicted of rape.

Just sayin'.


Leslie said...

Why even answer the door? Just be quiet and they'll go away.

Nev said...

The problem, Leslie, is that I don't have a peephole to see who is there.

Jeff said...

I love your slam the door in the face idea. Classic. lol

Gina said...

I think there's a way to be nice while making it clear that you don't have time to really speak with them. I used to sell things door to door, and I can tell you that someone being nice to you is always appreciated.

Jerry said...

Turn the sprinklers on them.

Juan said...

GET THE HOSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Mel Gibson would be funny in The Hangover.

Isidro said...

"The color comes off, you see..."