Monday, November 14, 2011

Getting My Bell Rung

The doorbell rang the other day (an unusual occurrence around here - unless my two-year old is pushing the button) and I opened it expecting to find a UPS man or something. Instead I was greeted by a stranger looking to get me to switch cable providers. 

Now, before I go any further, you should know that I can not stand telemarketers. I despise them. Hate them. Rue the day they were born. When they call, I either: A. hang up immediately B. pass the phone off to the aforementioned two-year old and let him "talk" to them, or C. offer to go get "Mr. or Mrs. Wood" and then leave them waiting until they hang up. 

Basically, I don't like attempts at selling me things in my own home. I don't care if you're a Girl Scout, Jehovah's Witness, or political candidate - if I want what you have to offer, or am looking for information, I am more than capable of contacting you or finding it for myself. 

But here was this guy offering me a money saving opportunity that I was actually considering just a few days before, so I gave him a few moments of my time. He was nice enough, a little nervous, but seemingly on the up and up, so I gave him my phone number asked him to call me back on Monday after I had some time to look things over, compare offers, squeeze my current cable provider for a discount, etc. We agreed on a time, shook hands, and went on our merry ways.

Then, two days later, at dinnertime, the doorbell rings again, and it's him. And while I may come across here as a take no prisoners, call it as I see it sort of guy, in person, I'm rather timid. I never send food back in a restaurant. I don't confront neighbors about obnoxious fireworks. I accept less than stellar service with a smile. But for some reason, I let this poor guy have it. Before he even had a chance to open his mouth, I laid into him about how unacceptable it was to show up at my house, that we were in the middle of dinner, yada yada yada. 

He got all flustered and started fumbling through his binder, and assuming he was looking to leave me with more information about his cable company, I cut him off and said I didn't need any more pamphlets and I was not interested in any of his offers. And that's when the poor guy hands me the paper he was looking for, which turned out to be a printout of a writing website his sister had created (It had come up in our first conversation that I was a teacher) that he thought I might be interested in. 

I felt horrible, but already committed to being a dick, I took the paper without comment and sent him on his way. I closed the door, feeling none of the manly pride one might expect after going to battle with the enemy. In fact, I felt like a real jerk. So much so that I sent the following letter to his sister's website in hopes that he might get it. 

"Dear Mike, I want to apologize for the way I  treated you. I know you were just doing your job, and sales are hard to come by these days, but I was REALLY put off by your second visit to my home. To tell you the truth, I was put off by your FIRST visit as well, but since I don't even like when friends or family stop by unannounced, I let it slide. But regardless, you still didn't deserve to be treated like that. Had you been some pushy jerk or intimidating individual, I wouldn't have thought twice about brushing you off, but you seem like a genuinely sweet and sincere man, and should have been treated accordingly. Point is, I feel terrible about being such a jerk to you (not bad enough to sign up for Comcast, mind you, but still pretty bad!) and I wish you success in your endeavors. 

Speaking of, not to dismiss the job you have, but I also hope you find something better suited to your skills and personality that WON'T put you in the line of fire from jerks like me. You have such a warm presence about you that it seems a shame that it's being "wasted" on pimping cable! But I know we all got to eat, and jobs are scarce, and sometimes we just have to make the best of it - and I'm truly sorry that your job led to you seeing me at MY worst. 

I hope you know that my reaction to you at my doorstep had nothing to do with YOU as a person, as I think you would make a great neighbor, it's just I really don't like intrusions, or even surprises for that matter! I hope this message finds its way to you, and if it does, that you will accept my apology. Sincerely, Mike Wood"

This is not to say I'm going to hug the next a-hole who tries to spray me with cologne in the mall, but I am going to try to remember that he's just doing his job and politely decline. As for the telemarketers, they can continue to talk with Eli. 


  1. Wow, you really are kind of a monster.

    Seriously, there have been numerous occasions when I have ardently wished my mouth had a rewind switch.

  2. I'm gonna stop by real soon...not sure exactly when, but maybe I'll bring a box of girl scout cookies to sell you....

  3. We fell out of the same crib. All of the above is me down to the despising "dropping in" by anyone not from Publishers Clearing House with a 6 foot wide check made out to James Barraford.

  4. This is a good reminder. Times are hard; you never know what someone's going through, customer or employee.

  5. True, I try to think about what they must have to go through, but still they are a nuisance at times.

  6. "...entertaining angels unaware..." I read that somewhere. So, I try to be kind, encouraging, but firm. Time ARE hard.