Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rude solicitor

I really really really hate door to door sales people. Okay, I don't hate the people but the whole experience just rubs me the wrong way. Its like getting a telemarketer experience face to face, and who wants that? They have this rehearsed speech they just start rattling off and you start to wonder, "Should I interrupt them because I know I am not going to buy anything, or should I wait until they are done to be polite and then politely say goodbye, or should I just say 'screw it' and hang up on them?" And its worse when they are standing in front of you and all you want to do is slam the door in their face. But I am not that person. My husband is really good at doing this. He says, "No thanks" before they even start talking, and as the person is trying to get him to listen to them he starts to shut the door and just keeps saying, "No thanks."

Well this particular day the baby was taking a nap in her room and my husband and I were sacked out on the couch in front of the TV. I was woken up by the dog barking and my husband telling him to be quiet. Then I heard, "HELLO!" coming through the front door. I didn't hear a doorbell ring or a knock, but there was definitely someone outside our door. My husband was unaware and still groggy so I got up to get the door. There was this young African American lady with a backpack standing there and talking very loudly as I opened the door, "HI HOW ARE YOU TODAY?" I replied with, "My baby is sleeping..." She cut me off with, "OH, I DIDN'T KNOW THE BABY WAS SLEEPING." (Well DUH!... I was thinking to myself. How would she know there was a baby in our home? I didn't expect her to KNOW, I just expected her to lower her volume.) So NOW I was getting annoyed. Then she goes into her sales mode and asks me, "Have you gone green?" as she waved around an empty water bottle in the air. And I said (shrugging my shoulders), "Like.... what?" (I was wondering if she meant recycling or what in the world else she could possibly mean by that, and what business of it was it of hers?) She asked if I had bought any "Green" cleaning products. I said yes, then she asked if it was a certain brand, then I said I don't know, and then she asked when I bought it, and then I told her about a month ago (I didn't really know how long ago it was... but wanted this conversation to go fast and to get her to leave.) She responded, "Oh, well it wasn't (blank) then." And the very next breath she started to tear into her prepared sales pitch. That just made me want to slam the door. I hate those canned, practiced speeches, where they don't take a breath so you can't put a word in edge wise. So to stop her before she told me her long sales pitch, knowing I was going to say "No thanks" in the end, I said, "I'm sorry..." And before I could say the rest of my thought (I was going to say, "I'm sorry, but I am just not interested in another cleaning product.") But after those two simple words "I'm sorry" she started getting rude. She said back to me with an attitude, "You're sorry? Why would you say you're sorry?" And I started to get stern with her and rose my finger at her and said, "I am saying 'I'm sorry' because I am not interested..." And she said, "I'm Sorry?! I am not begging, I don't need your money!" And I was just so upset with her at this point I started closing the door on her as she was ranting and raving away at me. As I closed the door I heard her still saying, "She's sorry?! Who does she think she is?'

Okay, so since when were the words "I'm sorry" rude? And I was in no way commenting on her being a beggar. Perhaps she thought because I was white I was being racist or something??? I don't know. But I was really annoyed and upset and hurt after she left. I am a NICE person. I am NOT rude. I am a very sensitive and loving individual. I do not like to be rude, I don't like confrontations, and this is the very reason I hate sales calls or solicitors. My husband is great, he doesn't care about people's feelings when they are on our property disturbing us. He doesn't feign interest when he's not interested. I guess the magical words are, "No thanks." And saying, "I'm sorry" as you are cutting someone off in mid speech is rude? That's WHY I was saying, "I'm sorry" because I was interrupting her. It was a way of saying, "I'm sorry, but I don't want to hear anything more out of your mouth. I'm sorry, I am not interested in talking about this anymore. I'm sorry, but I am going to close the door in your face now."

I just had to vent... "I'm sorry" hee hee ;-) I get all bent out of shape when I have these types of interactions with people. I don't like people accusing me of being rude or giving me attitude. I don't think I deserve it. Of course, as my husband said, I had the right to blow her off... she was on our property and I don't have to stand there and listen to any one's sales pitch if I don't want to. But I think too much of how I am coming across to people. I am too concerned with coming across as the nice person. But in this case it backfired on me and it put me in the most foul mood afterward. And I took out my anger on my husband with some attitude of my own. I quickly apologized, but he wasn't too happy that I was allowing her to effect me so much. I can't help it, that's just how I am. I am sensitive. I need to develop a thicker skin and I need to learn to just say, "No thank you" over and over again as I smile and shut the door in people's faces. But even that seems to rude to me. But its better than getting in an argument with someone. You give someone a little bit of interaction and pretty soon they are there in front of your door rattling off some long speech and whipping out bottles of cleaner and washing your windows etc. Its just ugly. And before you know it I am writing a check to get them off my front lawn. I use to do that with telemarketers. I would buy something to get them to go away, or I would listen to their whole long sales pitch and then say, "No thanks" over and over and then finally hang up on them in exasperation.

...HELP!!! I need your help! Tell me how to get a backbone and be firm with these people, get rid of them quickly, and not feel like a bad person while doing it. UGH! At least now there is a "No call list." So now with telemarketers I can just say, "We are on the no call list, if you call us again we will report you." Or I just say, "No thanks" and hang up while they are still talking. But with a live person standing in front of me I lose my cool. I don't know how to act or what to say that isn't offensive or rude but gets the point across that I am not interested in hearing any sales pitch and for them to go away. And those "NO SOLICITORS" signs are so ugly and my husband hasn't wanted them up on our house. But I don't know what else to do. At least then I could point to the sign and just then close the door (kind of like being on the no call list). What is my problem? Why do I need a sign?


Cpt. J's Wife said...

Luckily solicitation has become illegal in my county. I too, am like you. I have a hard time saying no to these people. I have gotten really good over the phone though!! "Thank you for the call, I am not interested and please do not call back."

Rambling Pilot's wife said...

My husband put a "No Solicitors" sign on the door. He said that I was the one who didn't want the sign in the window because, "it was ugly." I don't remember that being my opinion, I thought he was the one who didn't like the sign in the window. Oh well, at least we both agree to a sign now. So far no more Solicitors, and hopefully no more in the future. Its such an invasion of privacy, insn't it? With interenet pop-ups and info-mercials we don't really need people walking door to door shoving more products we don't need in our faces.