An open letter to door-to-door salespeople
Dear Representative of X Company,
I hate to be rude. I really, really do, but when you stop understanding nice, I have to bring out the big guns. While I appreciate that you need to make a living, and somehow you got the idea that working on commission will fill your coffers and allow you to pay the rent, I really don’t care. I’m sorry for that. I have no doubt the day will come when you realize all the hours you spent hiking through my neighborhood and neighborhoods like it are largely for naught. You do have my sympathy.
However, you need to understand that I’m not sitting in my house, twiddling my thumbs, just waiting for the doorbell to ring – any more than I’m sitting anxiously by the phone waiting to hear the voice of a telemarketer. When you show up on my doorstep at 5:45 PM, please don’t look disappointed or shocked or hurt or offended when I tell you, “I’m making dinner right now, I cannot talk to you.” I’m really not kidding. When I tell you, “I have something on the stove,” it is actually not a lie. Asking if you can come back in 15 minutes is…well…STUPID, because in 15 minutes I will be sitting down to eat that which I now have on the stove. Assuming it’s not burning while I’m trying to get you off my porch in the nicest way possible.
Please try to understand that I can’t just set up a future appointment with you while I’m hanging out my door trying to keep my pets from bolting outside to greet you or eat you as the case may be. I need a calendar to make an appointment and I don’t have one in my hand at the moment. I have no intention of inviting you in, so I’d have to close the door while you wait for me to locate my calendar, and the chances that I’ll open it again are slim. You must realize that if I wanted my driveway repaved, or my roof reshingled, or a better cable service, I would be calling a company [maybe even yours] and lining up a consultation, but I’m NOT, so chances are, I’m also NOT in the market for your services at this moment in time, while I’m making dinner, or taking a nap, or cleaning my kitchen floor, or working, or reading a book or talking on the phone.
If you want my attention, leave a flyer in my mailbox. I’ll probably throw it away, but the chances are better that I’ll glance at it and maybe even file it away for future reference.
So, for heaven’s sake, get your finger off that door bell button. Step off the porch and proceed down the walkway until you reach the sidewalk. Then GO AWAY. I don’t want any. I’m not interested. Don’t call me, I’ll call you. I’m busy. And while you’re at it, look for a different job, because there’s no future in door-to-door sales. Really. There isn’t.