Friday, February 23, 2018

You Can Sell Your Stuff And Preach About Jesus Online.

The first time we were approached by a solicitor was a year after we moved into our home. Lisa and I were sitting on the front porch during a warm Summer night. Sipping iced coffee. Chatting. It was around 7:00. A young woman was walking up the road. She had a large, generic spray bottle hanging from one of her back pockets. In the other pocket was a rag. She was carrying a folder. Hanging from her neck was a photoless badge. Lisa and I both exhaled.

"Yep. Here we go." 

The young woman walked up the concrete pathway to our front porch. While she was walking up the 4 steps to the top of our porch, I said, "Excuse me. What are you doing? Red light."

She stopped.

Before we could get a word in, the young woman explained she was selling window cleaner. If we could give her 5 minutes of our time, she'd be more than happy to wash a couple of our windows for us. From the inside of our home.

Lisa laughed.

"It's after 7 p.m. and you're walking around the neighborhood selling window cleaner? And, you want to enter our home to demonstrate your window cleaner? Are you kidding me? No."

I asked if she had ID on her. She held out her white badge. The only thing on the badge was the name of "the company" and her "name." Black lettering.

Lisa told her she had 30 seconds to get off the property. She was hesitant but then complied. Lisa called the police.

Since then, we've had a lot of solicitors knock on our door. It's usually in spurts. We'll go months without having any. Then, they crawl out of the woodwork.

As of late, the population of solicitors has risen. And, they're getting more persistent. Earlier this month, I caught a solicitor trying to bust the latch lock on the front porch dog gate during the afternoon hours. That evening, Lisa hung the sign I made and put a security lock on the gate.

Yesterday, a couple of older men approached the dog gate, read the sign, and walked away shaking their heads. I threw my fist in the air. Victory!

Total. Proud. Dog. Mom. Moment. 

My triumphant moment was shattered less than 24 hours later. During the afternoon hours, I heard a knock on the side door. It was a solicitor. Lisa was home. That's the only reason why I reacted.

I went out our back door. Closed it. Opened the side door.

The young man at the door started talking. I interrupted.

"Don't bother. Please go. I'm not interested."

He stood there a bit stunned.

"Are you serious?"

"Yes. I'm serious. Go. I'm not interested in what you're selling, offering, or if you've found Jesus. Go. Now."

He gave me a disgusted look, shook his head and called me an unkind human. If that wasn't bad enough, he asked I could live with myself.

Oh. Um. Excuse me?

I told him to never come back.

I wanted to say more, but I bit my tongue.

I was fuming. Lisa asked what was wrong when I got back inside. I told her. Within the next hour, we made plans to add extra security to the side door.

I obviously need to make another sign.

All jokes aside, these solicitors are getting rather balsy and assertive.

When someone says they're not interested, that should end the conversation right then and there. As a solicitor, that's your cue to wrap it up. Say thank you. Leave.

But, no. 

That's not happening. Instead, they're persistent, rude, and they have no respect for boundaries. They're peeking in windows to determine if someone is actually home but opting to not answer the door. They aren't leaving when asked. They don't understand what a locked gate means.

As a Work at Home Dog Mom, it scares me. What if I'm outside with one or more of our kids and they approach and open the gate to the backyard? What if I'm on the front porch and I'm confronted by one who doesn't understand "I'm not interested?" What if they try the side door? What if they get in and start knocking on the back door or head upstairs to knock?

We're currently solving that issue.

During the day, when Lisa's not home, I open all of the curtains, but I keep the blinds shut. That rule of thumb surfaced when I caught a couple of solicitors on the side lawn peeking in from a short distance.

It's gotten out of hand. I've seen too many episodes of Criminal Minds and SVU. It's common sense. Do not answer the door for these people. Do not let them in. They're not the slightly annoying but sweet Avon or MaryKay reps from the 70's and 80's.

It's 2018. Why does solicitation still exist? Why are people still going door to door to door selling products, promoting services, and preaching about their religion? We're living in the digital age. All of that stuff can be done online.

Rant. Over.

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