Knock Knock

I live in one of those apartment complexes where you have to use a buzzer to let people in. When a visitor comes up to the front door, and rings your apartment number, your phone is supposed to ring quickly twice. So, this morning, I’m trying to sleep in and catch up on some the sleep I’ve lost this week, and at about 8:30 the phone rings waking me up.

“Yes,” I answer.

“Hi. My name is Dwight and I’m selling….”

“I’m not interested.”


I try to fall back asleep, and am very close, when what do I hear but a knock at the door. The door to my apartment. A door that is purposely behind another locked door that someone must let you in. I try to ignore it. But the visitor knocks again.

I get up, open the door, and say, “No solicitng” in my angriest voice. The poor guy didn’t even have a chance to start his pitch.

I shut the door, and a minute later I hear him knocking on my neighbor’s door. At this point I’m pretty upset that the solicitor had gotten inside the building. So, I open my door, causing him to turn around. I say again, “No soliciting.” He simply stares at me.

I say, “No soliciting allowed. Please leave.” and pointed towards the complex entrance.

And he leaves. I look out my window to watch him go, and see him walk across the lawn to the next complex building, stopping at the entrance to push more buzzers, likely waking up my neighbors, who I’m sure are also trying to catch up on sleep over the long holiday weekend.

My question is this. Did I do the right thing? Was I unnecessarily rude to the guy? Was it within my right to ask the unwanted solicitor to leave?

I was raised to be a courteous individual, to respect others, and to help anyone out who is in need. When my upstairs neighbor needed $20 to fill his truck to go back to work to get his wallet (his story), I was nice enough to help him out. I’ve asked him for the money several times, but he’s had an excuse every time. He and his fiance have since moved, so I’m out the $20. But, I understand that he was in a tough situation and probably needed the money more than I did, so I’m not upset about it.

It really bothers me that companies are resorting to such a ridiculous method to sell their product. The trainers at these places know that they can count on potential customers to be courteous and nice and to stand there in their bathrobes and underwear while the poor schlock goes through his sales pitch. Are these companies taking advantage of this personality characteristic of the average potential customer?

Every time I hang up on a telemarketer, or shut the door in the face of a door-to-door salesman, I feel bad. I know that I shouldn’t, but if I didn’t I’d have an apartemnt full of useless junk. And I think that these companies know this.

I don’t have a solution or an answer, but I’d love to hear how others feel about this. Put yourself in my situation. Would you have done the same thing? I’m also curious to know how people from Europe handle this. Does this problem even exist in Europe? What about other foreign countries?

Posted by Cameron Barrett at September 5, 1998 11:59 PM

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