Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Peddle At Your Own Risk

I keep forgetting to place the “No Solicitors” sign on my front door. Of course, it would have to say more than just “No Solicitors.” It would have to read:

No Solicitors

(And that includes you, the guy claiming that you are not selling anything but only want to “schedule an appointment” for a salesman to come back, because just look at my product and how good it will be for you!)

Maybe I should just create a sign that reads “No Solicitors or Schedulers.” Either way, I found myself standing in the doorway yesterday, face-to-face with an ADT saleswoman. I’ll go on the record now with this one truth: I was nice because she was pretty. She wasn’t “hot” pretty or “lustfully” pretty or “young” pretty. She was just pleasant to look at. She had a nice smile. She seemed like a nice person. If she was ugly I might have been a tad crankier than I am normally. If she had been a guy, I would have been downright rude.

I know, I know.  That was completely wrong.  Kind of makes you wonder what the Boss sees in me, doesn’t it?

This young lady flashed me her official ADT Identification Badge and asked me if I was the owner of the house and could I make decisions about purchases in the house. I skipped

Option A: “No, I can’t. I’m on a fairly short leash.”

And went with

Option B: “Yes.”

The ADT saleswoman then began to extol the virtues of her security system. I politely interrupted her and explained that we were not interested in purchasing a home security system. That, of course, brought us to the moment that I absolutely detest when dealing with sales people: The sale begins when the customer says “no.”

“May I ask you why you are not interested in a home security system?” she smiled.

This was where I took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. This was the moment where my wife’s voice began to play in a loop in the back of my head. “Just be nice! Just be nice! This is just a person trying to make an honest living. It’s better that she is doing this than living on welfare. It doesn’t cost you anything to be nice.” My wife is very wise. I sometimes wonder what she sees in me. Anyway, I skipped

Option A: “Because I have two big dogs, a vicious guinea pig, and three attack chickens. And the little grey one is really mean.”

And went with

Option B: “I really do not want to have this conversation. You seem like a very nice person. I hope you have a good day. Thank you.”

And as I opened my front door to step inside the house she reached into her folder as she said, “Let me give you one of my business cards in case you change your mind.”

I paused for a moment, then shook my head and said, “No. Thank you.” The expression that crossed her face was a mixture of anger and annoyance. How dare I say “No” or “No, thank you” and really mean it!

Maybe I should just hang a sign on my front door that reads, “Cranky old man on premises. Peddle your goods at your own risk.”

At least I’m not as bad as my 74-year-old neighbor Bob.

He answers the door naked.


The Boss said...

To answer your question, you make me laugh.

A lot.

Michelle said...

Too funny!! I think next time you should answer the door in a dress and then see what they do!

Thank goodness for living in military housing! I don't have to deal with that!

Have a great day! And thanks for talking about Abeka. I'm going to look into them. My only problem is buying a grammer and writing program together. I already have a writing program so I don't need the other. Its on my short list though!

Big Doofus (Roger) said...

You lost me at "This young lady flashed me her..."

Oh, and that reminds me of a really funny bit from a few years ago on the now-cancelled, Tom Mabe show where he went around neighborhoods with "NO SOLICITING" posted all over trying to sell them "NO SOLICITING" signs.

Pamela said...

there is nothing like a solicitor to bring out my big, bad, ugly.

Kathleen said...

Arby, how I appreciate your honesty! (About the reason you gave the woman a few moments of your time.)

TobyBo said...

You know we all love Bob.

And, let me tell you, Option A on the first question doesn't get you out of the rest of the drill. It just sends them on a loop about of course you have a voice in this, etc. I get it all the time when I tell them Devastatingly makes our charitable giving decisions. No one believes me.

Becky said...

May God Bless you for how "calmly" you handled the situation!

Anonymous said...

I love it! I need one of those signs for my phone too. Especially since you don't have the option of degree of politness based on level or prettiness. The sign should be accompanied by a low voltage shock, both for humor for me and give them incentive to believe the sign.

Papa Bear said...

"We rent" does get you out of some sales pitches. I'll say just about anything to get them to go away. I figure lying is more polite than "NOYFB!" And the whole conversation is a sham anyway, they're just programmed to use any likely response as leverage to close the deal. Some of them even believe their programming.

Yes, they're just trying to make a living, but they signed up for this job. I didn't. Some of them are willing to waste a little less of my time if I make it clear that, although I'm not going to buy anything, I don't want to waste their time. If I'm short on time, I remember that most of them are programmed to quit after the mark says "No" three times. So I find the three earliest opportunities to say no, even if it doesn't make sense.

"How are you today?"
"No, thank you."
"Do you have children?"
"No thank you."
"May I ask why you're not interested, when you don't even know what I have to offer?"
"No thank you."
(door closes)

If I'm really annoyed, I'll just walk away from the door, go down to the basement or something, and leave them standing on the porch. If I have more time/am bored/am feeling ornery, I'll try to get them off script. Fake sign language is good, as are off-topic questions or unexpected responses:

"Is that a wasp in your hair?"
"Do you believe in magnetic waves?"
"Oh, I'm sorry, we can't do that, we're Mormons/Jehovah's Witnesses/Scientologists."
"Did you just see a kid-oh, about this high-run through here with no clothes on?"
"I think my pet tarantula got loose. Have you seen it?"

The_Kid said...

Arby, You've hit on one of my latest subjects that I find to be Major Snake Oil and BS, but I'm repeating myself.
Out here in Cincinnati, there is a commercial on the radio.."Hi I'm Joe Matlin, president of Alarm Force.... Everybody Needs My Alarm stytem.... bla bla .." He'll install it Free.
He sounds so condescending I want to take his head off with a baseball bat.... but that's another story. And not that I would be violent ever ya know.
And you pay 25 clams a month for the REST OF YOUR LIFE! It's a damn sweet scam.

Or how about commercial on TV where the sex maniac plows through some woman's patio door and the alarm goes off and he runs away....
Then they cut to some dude that looks like superman, who talks to the woman through the intercom and asks (Sternly) Are You Alright Ma'am?? She screams "No, Someone just tried to break into my house!"
He says (Sternly) "I'm sending Help Right Away!"

So, what's he gonna do? Call 911 and tell them someone tried to break in to address -bla bla -bla" (The cops will drive by when they're finished with their donuts.)

It probably took 10 seconds for that conversation on the intercom to take place, ASSUMING the dude that looks like superman was on it the Nanosecond the alarm went off. Unlikely.

1.) The woman would have been better off dialing 911 herself instead of talking (MAYBE!) to some fat ass joker sitting in a room somewhere who is probably conditioned to be very doubtful that the alarm is a bona fide emergency since the vast majority of alarm trips are by the homeowners themselves.

2.) Juiced up sex maniacs would not run away at the sound of an alarm. They will continue on into your house, hold a knife or gun to your head and tell you to tell Superman on the intercom that yes, you stupidly set your own alarm off once again and everything is fine. Then he'll coral you off to where he wants to do you and leave you dead when he's done.

3.) Obviously, the BEST choice for the woman, would be instead of paying some bozos 25 a month to "monitor" her safety, to go out and buy something like a .40 cal handgun, learn to handle it safely, load it with hollow points so she doesn't destroy the neighborhood, and blow the bastard's brains out when he's well within the confines of her house. Ladies, Pump 5 into him right away, take a deep breath, then if he's still moving, put three more into his skull so he won't come back and sue you from prison for hurting him. Forget whether he's moving - give him the three to the skull anyway.

And the latest one I heard on the radio, is for Laser Shield (or some such) and the tag line on that one is "No Installer Will be Needed". So you send THOSE bastards X amount every month and they don't even have to pay for someone to drive out to your house and screw some cheap crap to your walls, doors and windows. LOL!

Anonymous said...

I talk to them through the closed solid door.

And no, I do not pretend bark.

And yes, I am fully dressed.

Anonymous said...

ROFLOL! I LOVE your honesty! See I would have talked to her too...but love your options! :D tee hee!

Glad you realize that leash is short :) J/K