you make the call

June 16, 2010

Okay, I have a “you make the call” situation.

Me and the family were having a little family gathering, a family “council” if you will, this last Monday night. We were gathered in the front room.

The doorbell rings.

Now, the doorbell ringing is a sure sign that it’s someone we don’t know very well. I don’t know what it is, but for some reason, when you visit the house of a friend, you knock. When you visit the home of someone you don’t know very well, or a stranger, you ring the doorbell. I should do some research on that sometime.

Anyway. The doorbell rings. I get up and answer the door, and the first thing I see isn’t the young man standing there, but rather the logo on his shirt–“Pest Control.”

Oh the irony.

He starts to talk and I say “This isn’t really a good time. But thanks for coming by.”

“Oh, are you eating dinner?” (As if why it isn’t a good time is relevant. My house, my door, my time.)

“No. But thanks.” (starting to close door)

“Okay, but if I could just tell you . . .”

“No, it’s okay, I don’t want any pest control. But thanks.”

“Okay, let me just give you this . . .”

“No, I don’t want your flier. But thanks, and good luck out there.”

At this point, he looked shocked, and a bit miffed.

“Oh. Well thanks for being so K I N D.”

That’s how he said it. He dragged it out. To highlight the sarcasm. To illustrate how rude he thought I was being by telling him Thanks But No Thanks.

I smiled and closed the door, thinking that having to go knock on six thousand more doors that night was punishment enough for being a clueless dipweed.

But inside, Maddy was up in arms.

“That was so RUDE!”

“What, me? I said Thanks But No Thanks.”

“No, HIM. You were nice. He was rude.”

What do you think? Did he deserve a coke and a smile? A slammed door?

Or a good thrashing? (He wasn’t big, I think I could have taken him.)

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31 Responses to “you make the call”

  1. keith Says:

    The NO SOLICITING sign on our door only works on a certain percentage of sales people and for those it doesn’t work on there’s always answering the door speaking your convienent ‘second language.’ I suggest going that route next time, that or answer the door coughing violently and saying that you are sick could they come back another month.

  2. prodigalcyclist Says:

    8:45p last night – doorbell rings (you’re theory sounds logical to me…in hindsight). Only family would have the nerve to come by at 8:45p without calling first, so I jumped out of the shower, threw on some shorts. Alas – its your pest’s co-worker (but she was actually smart enough to realize she was annoying and didn’t press). Must be working their way South…

  3. Alex/Watcher Says:

    Don’t say it “isn’t a good time…” because you’re setting yourself up, implying that if it were a good time, you would talk to him. Just say “No thanks, I’m not interested”, smile and shut the door. And always use the first person singular- “I’M not interested…” or “not a good time for ME…” If you use “we” or “us”, the salesguy senses that you are a weak-willed pussy who can’t say no (trying to pass blame for the “no” to spouse), and he will continue to press you.

    Better yet, have fun with it- weird him out and he will go away. The other day I was buying some pants at Sears (don’t laugh- they’re cheap) and the saleslady was really hammering me to get a Sears card. “But you could save $10 right now!” she said for the 3rd or so time. “No thanks” I said yet again. Finally, exasperated, she said “Well, why not? Why wouldn’t you want to save $10 right now?” And so I told her the truth:

    “I’m going through a period in my life I think of as Selective Disentanglement, whereby I’m trying to minimize the number of commercial and social engagements or commitments in my life that do not provide me with direct benefit or happiness. The minimal, fleeting happiness I might receive from saving $10 would be far outweighed by the hassle and annoyance of yet another charge card account, the resultant mail/billing, the inevitable offers and related marketing pitches that would come my way as a result of signing up.”

    • KanyonKris Says:

      Regarding having fun with it:

      “I’m not interested in pest control, but have I got a great MLM opportunity for you!”

      “You mean you would KILL my spider friends? MURDERER!”

      At my son’s coach-pitch game one dad approached another dad about an MLM thing. The gall.

  4. KanyonKris Says:

    You should have let Maddy take him.

    I say your response was dead on. Your responses were civil and honest. No insults, except those he chose to manufacture.

    Poor deluded guy. Perhaps he was fresh out of training – head full of confidence and eyes seeing dollar signs.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Wish you’d had your “pest control” experience a few
    weeks ago; I could have used your response instead
    of “getting sucked in”.

  6. stevenbpt Says:

    good control. I think I would have thrown an empty diet coke bottle at him at that point. full would have been K I N D. my call is he was rude but does get points for persistence. I’m guessing he won’t be getting any good referrals from you then? I have to remember the 2nd language thing. Of course it is spanish and there are a lot of spanish speakers out there.

  7. GAC Says:

    Soliciting is out of control, both phone and in person. I throw away at least one chinese menu, pizza ad or offer to clean my gutters every day when I get home from work, even though our neighborhood has “no soliciting” signs posted. Last night I took a phone call (during dinner) for a cable TV “free offer”. when I said I don’t want it, the salesperson tried to debate with me, why would I not want it? Don’t watch enough TV? Well, it’s none of your business, I said, I just don’t want it, and that’s all you need to know. Goodbye! Rude? Not as rude as calling me during dinner and debating my reasons to refuse the “free offer”.

    • mtb w Says:

      The phone call solicitations are easy to have fun with. Right after taking the call, if you say you aren’t interested but they continue anyway, interrupt and tell the person to hold on for just a minute, put the phone down and walk away for a good 10-15 minutes, come back say your sorry but wait, you have to put them on hold again(don’t give them a chance to talk back) and walk away for another 10-15 minutes. Rinse and repeat. See how long before they hang up. A friend had one telemarketer hold on for over an hour. And they never call back. Is this mean? Well, probably. But fun.

      • Anonymous Says:

        i wonder if that strategy could’ve worked for Dug: “could you just wait a few minutes, i’ll be right back…”

  8. Michele Says:

    I HATE people to knock on my door. Seriously – when people knock I don’t answer the door until they ring the door bell.
    That guy need to take a chill pill.

  9. HeidiR Says:

    You were very well-mannered and self-controlled. After the K I N D comment I would have told him to piss off and shut the door in his face. Last time a lawn guy tried to sell me on something, and I said it had already been taken care of, he argued with me and pointed out the weeds in my lawn. He must have gone to the same training as your guy…

  10. sb Says:

    You should have asked to buy his t-shirt for all future door-door sales encounters.


  11. What happened to not opening the door to strangers? If I don’t know you, I’m not chancing it. Maybe that’s a girl thing? A side benefit is that it eliminates interactions with rude salespeople. Or maybe it just makes them more hostile toward the next person who does open the door. In that case, sorry! 🙂

  12. tibiker Says:

    Be careful pissing off the solicitors, remember they know where you live.

  13. Bob B. Says:

    Worried about sales people knocking on your door? Well, you’ve come to the right place. For a limited time only, we’re offering a service that eliminates the worry of solicitors. For the bargain basement rate of $9.95 a month, you get (A) a sign that says “No soliciting!” (B) a monthly newsletter giving tips and techniques for how to avoid interaction with solicitors, and (C) a personal guarantee. You’re practically making money! Come to our web site:

    http://www.yougotrickrolled.com/

  14. bikemike Says:

    “sorry man, i’m just house sitting, but i think i heard the guy next door say he had bugs or something.”

    or, you could buy a “prop” shotgun and keep it by the door with a rag and “pretend” you’re cleaning it when you answer the door.

    i’ve got a bunch of suggestions because i’m sure i was a ninja or samurai in a past life. could be i just plain mean.

  15. Grant Says:

    I don’t truck with ANY cold-calling, be it door knocking, random phone calls, being confronted at the mall… and the subject matter is irrelevant. I go out of my way to avoid advertising generally, I certainly don’t want someone in my face trying to sell something.

    My policy is to be polite twice, and then be a bit more abrupt. I do try not to be rude, but its like the independant contractors on the Death Star – they know what they are getting in to.

  16. VA Biker Says:

    Maybe in some special, happy, Pollyanna parallel universe you were rude, but in this one, no way.

    I think your response was tolerant at the very least. Mr. Pest Control needs to be a little less sensitive at the end of his workday (HTFU).

  17. Steve The BigRide Says:

    Just stand there and give them a blank face stare. Not the “you’re bothering the crap out of me stare” but it’s really fun. I usually open the door, start the Timex timer, stare and see how long it is before they leave. So far the U-verse guys are the only ones to get the joke. The “I’m selling magazines for college” crew and the “join our church” gang get creeped out at about the same rate.

  18. ra Says:

    I think next time you should open the door and let one rip. See how long he can stand there without tearing up. What a great family memory.

    “Remember the family council when the doorbell rang and Dad farted and the sales guy left mid sentence?”

    Just a suggestion, but seriously, how long could he last if you unleashed your weapon?

    • KanyonKris Says:

      I’ll up the ante: Put hand down shorts and scratch crotch then reach for the brochure.

      • mark Says:

        Kris, I could have made that happen. It was probably the same guy who hit our house Saturday morning. I was making breakfast for the kids, in my boxers. My son, who was also in his underwear but has no inhibition about answering the door in his underwear answered the door.

        “Dad it’s for you.”

        “Who is it?”

        Thankfully, Rachel intervened and went to the door. And apparently, he was equally dismayed as he was with dug when she said she wasn’t interested.

        • Rachel Says:

          Actually, I told him we didn’t have any problems, and he said, “No spiders?!” all shocked, as if he’d just planted some outside my door a week ago.

  19. JB Says:

    His supervisor was sitting in the car at the end of the block marking your house so he could come back in the dark of night to unleash the big box of pests around your house.

    Those jobs are the ones advertised in the help wanted section as “Marketing position with exciting upcoming company. Only the truly motivated need to apply”

  20. El Animal Says:

    You are so rude.

  21. Eric Says:

    You were so totally easy on that kid. I’ve taken to answering my door with a blood stained apron, a huge meat cleaver and a smile.
    Even the JW’s have stopped knocking.

  22. stevenbpt Says:

    these are great!!!

  23. Kt Says:

    You weren’t rude, you were very polite.

    I have a friend who answers the door in his tighty-whiteys– it’s not a pretty sight, but it sure makes the solicitors go away.

    I’ve solved most of my solicitor problems by posting a large “beware of dog” sign– the catch is, I actually have a dog they need to beware of. If you like, I’ll record Sol at his most scary and send it to you to play whenever the doorbell rings.

    And for 9.95, I’ll include random shouts of, “down, boy!” and “sit!” in a panicky tone.

    On the other hand, I do enjoy debating religion and philosophy with the Jehovah’s witnesses… Anything I can do to corrupt the kiddies….


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