Thursday, July 28, 2005

On being at home during business hours

These days I'm reminded of just how many bible-bashers and salespeople I missed out on when I was working. Only yesterday I had to fob off two polite old ladies who wanted to save me from Hell and damnation. If I had the cheek, I'd say tell such people that I'm a Pagan (the boy would, but then - he really is a Pagan), and on the look out for human sacrifices. However, I'm so polite that I actually let them give me their little speech before turning them away.

Sometimes I'm a little more alert. When I hear the doorknocking, I tiptoe into the front room and peek out of the window to see who's there. If it isn't someone I actually want to see, I just pretend I'm not home.

Fortunately we aren't bothered by Mormons **. There is a whole nest of 'em living at the end of our street, but I think they must have a rule about not hunting too close to home or something; they generally don't come to our door. No, mostly it's the Jehovah's Witnessess ("Jehovah Jehovah Jehovah!" Sorry, that's my Life of Brian memories coming back) and people trying to sell vaccum cleaners, discount books and home ventilation systems.

Then there're the telemarketers. Admittedly, it's better than them ringing up during dinner or in the middle of BtVS (reruns still showing on Sky One), but really, any time is a bad time to be called up by telemarketers. Even if I can fob them off by claiming to be outside their demographic (which means pretending to be under fifteen), or a non-consumer of their products (i.e pretending I don't drink commercially made beverages), it's still five minutes of my precious pre-labour resting time which have been stolen.

I think my non-English-speaking mum has an advantage over me when it comes to unwanted callers.

**Postscript - I should perhaps have made myself clear that, when I said there were a nest of Mormons at the end of our street, I meant there was a nest of Mormon missionaries, as opposed to a God-fearing Mormon family which respects other people's right to their own beliefs (or non-beliefs, in my case). I didn't mean to offend all Mormons. I did mean to offend door-to-door missionaries.


Anonymous said...

Found you somewhere along the way and bookmarked you. Really enjoyed your blog. Popped back in to see what was new and to see if I wanted to add you to my blog roll...that was until your comment about the Mormons. I am a mormon and I figure I'm pretty normal...but don't go "hunting" too much myself. Why don't you get a life and stop worrying about all the religions out there that you think would want to recruit you...if the JW's are the only ones knocking on your door, you can't be that much of a prize.

EB said...

Front room eh? I'll have to remember that if I take the Bible for a walk :-). If we get phone calls no longer for marketing but for religion, I'll know whose post they've read!

onanymous said...

I usually find the estate agents' calls the most annoying. Even if we were planning on selling the house, there is no way I would tell them!

Anonymous - I'm sorry, but your last sentence encapsulate everything that's wrong with the whole missionising mindset in the first place. People are not supposed to be prizes that can be added up in your little 'good deed for the day' book. If you go out with that kind of attitude, is it then surprising that people react negatively?

glomgold said...

Wow. This anonymous fellow sure is sensitive. And of course 'anonymous'. That's a real blow not being added to that blogroll! I guess the whole recruiting process is a contest between varying sects with, perhaps, some prize such as 'free jello for a year' going to the winner. I can understand the stress; I love jello.

I never know if it's more polite to let the salespeople ramble a bit to feel good about themselves before I turn them away, or to cut them off initially, saving everyone time.

Desiree said...

When I lived in the city it never really bothered me if we got the odd religious recruiter at the door - if I felt like conversing with them I did or if I didn't feel like I just said "hasta la vista" or got one of my flatmates to deal with them. However, I did get very annoyed if they wouldn't take no for an answer; that's a real pisser and usually when I gave them both barrels (and still do).

Now I live in the 'burbs doorknockers don't happen because they can't be bothered to walk down our driveway - one of the advantages of not living close to the street...8-)

Telemarketers or phone surveys usually get the bum's rush unless they've asked for me specifically (which never happens).

Consumer survey staff that are brave enough to knock on the door we will indulge from time to time, but I did get caught out once with a frozen chicken survey which took an hour!

Make Tea Not War said...

Pay no attention to Norman the Mormon, Violet.

I find its best with both telemarketers and missionaries to not even let them get their spiel underway. In the end it saves both them and you time.

Violet said...

Anonymous: feel free to indulge in whatever religion you like; I just appreciate not being part of your recruitment schemes, ok?

eb: I'm wondering whether it might be smarter to just ignore all door-knockers, and tell my friends to always ring before visiting so I know when to stop pretending I'm not home.

onanymous: I get the real estate people too, as we live in a popular part of town. But they don't usually take long to get rid of.

glomgold: that's religious folk for ya ;-)

desiree: the only consumer survey I enjoyed was one about ice cream. It took an hour, but I did get box of premium ice cream in return...

mtnw: Norman is being way too sensitive.

Jon said...

I remember once, I was geting ready for work and I had a knock on my door. It was a pair of Jehovas Witnesses. Now, this was in a building with a doorman in NY! I was soooo incredibly angry. They said: "Excuse me sir, we were wondering if you have a few minutes to hear about the Lord's love for you' and I started screaming. I honestly think they thought I was insane. 'I was like 'How did you get in here??? I know they didn't let you in!!'

Violet said...

jon: So it must be great when you have a doorman to filter out unwanted door-to-door salespeople and missionaries eh?