Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Withheld = Telemarketers

Withheld = Telemarketers
Originally uploaded by k1rsty
This isn't really my phone. If it were, I would know NOT to answer. We save money by not having caller ID ( we buy treats instead), and in some ways it is good because I tend to not answer the phone anyway if I don't feel like it. That is something about me that is different from my husband. He thinks if the phone rings it is like a knock on the door, and we NEED to get it! The people calling NEED us! I, on the other hand, have more of a laissez-faire approach. I think if they are calling and we're doing something, we shouldn't be interrupted unless we want to be. Plus you can return the phone call later when you feel up to your social best.

Anyway, I digress from the topic I haven't yet introduced: The Golden Rule.

I don't like it when my heart-rate starts rising from its usual 40 bpm to about 80 because I feel like there is someone that wants more from me than I would like to give. SOLICITORS. Door-to-door and phone solicitors alike. I don't like saying no to people, especially face to face. I don't like them getting mad at me because I choose to not embrace their offers! It is not fair that I have to feel bad about being my stiff, abrupt, ornery self with strangers. And the thing is, I am a nice person in the core part of my being. But they only want you to be the YES man or woman or you are a bad seed. It is one-sided and emotionally damaging.

After talking with a solicitor about magazines tonight (I haven't yet taught my kids that we only answer the phone at night when Dad's home) I feel okay. Why? Because I already had that magazine. So I got off lucky. But next time I might really have to say NO to the request for money, or the donation to some charity, or the offer of more features on my phone. And that goes ditto for the door to door people. So how can I work this?

Back to the Golden Rule! Treat others how you'd like to be treated, right? So I need to prep myself for these situations and by knowing I am going to be nice, will take the increased levels of anxiety out of my system. At least that is my hope.

Potential situations:

Aggressive solicitor:
"Mom, (I hate it when they call me that!) buy this cleaning product so you don't waste your money".

Me: (with a real smile, not fake)
"I think you have a great product there and though I'm not going to buy it, I think you'll find lots of success in your work with your great approach". (I will hide the sarcasm successfully of course) Firmly close the door, no excuses in the wind!

Next scenario:
"Ma'am, I am just selling home security systems and unless you buy one you will probably be the victims of a home invasion".

"What a great idea. We have a different, highly confidential security system that we've found to be successful so far, but I think next-door neighbor is interested". (I'll try not to lie of course, and no excuses or distractions or offers of pop or ice-cream to them like Russell does to at least make them happy)

So now that I've gotten my plan in place, how will you handle your next solicitor in a reverent, loving way? And should I just offer them a can of pop before shutting them out of my life forever? Is this our one chance to make a good example of ourselves to this person? Pre-destination? Should we offer a Book of Mormon to them in return? Wouldn't that be fair? I guess if it was a sincere, loving gift?


Megz said...

I can't even picture a sincere smile to a solicitor. I am going to do this next time: Pretend like I am a robot and just keep repeating "No thanks no thanks no thanks no thanks no thanks" and then shut the door. I might even make crazy eyes so they don't knock again. The worst is when it's a sweet neighbor kid who is trying to earn money for camp, band, soccer, etc. I don't want my robot approach going around the ward....

rut said...

My solution? "Hold on, I'll get her."

LC said...

Russell offers treats??

Okay, I was thinking of a similar post because I just have to shake my head at BD's approach. This is him on the phone with his genuine and real self: "Thank you so much. I can't give you any money right now but you are doing a super job. You have a great night bud." (Like he's just made a new friend without spending any $)
He is this way even with his calling when he gets asked to move someone on his one day off.
"Oh we'd love to help out with that. You let me know if there's anything else we can do for you..." Could he be any nicer? I think he's ready for heaven.

BTW, I totally believe in your approach to phone answering.

Sher said...

I'm afraid my blood pressure creeps up. However, I was really thankful that the policeman asking for donations the other day was actually nice when I said no. I wish I had unlimited funds and could just donate to all of those wonderful causes out there -- except then they'd call more. I used to think you had to answer the phone but I quit thinking so when it wasn't always for me anymore and if it was it was someone asking for money! I send Derek to the door if he's home if I can. They always pretend to have just seen that "No Soliciting" sign and they are apologetic but ready to sell you whatever it is anyway.

cold cocoa said...

That is so funny about BD. I can picture it, of course. He could totally make the whole thing lighthearted and funny. But how does he fare with the door to door people?

T said...

I keep having a few neighbor girls pop by selling songs, capri sun... and most recently collecting for the "children's educational fund" with an empty can... I did my part toward educating them by saying I'd never heard of such a charity :)

LC said...

There's more... BD actually said this to the last caller, "You are in fine voice tonight...." after politely refusing to contribute. Unbelievable.
He never is home for the door to door but one time the Jehova's witnesses came. I offered them a drink since it was about 100 degrees outside. They refused but returned a few days later. Bd opened the door and the lady gave him a couple of potholders she had made because "his wife was the only nice person they had visited that day." Phew. made me feel glad that I was "nice."

cold cocoa said...

Ha ha! I like that. "Fine voice". I'll use that next time. As for the JW, I think if they are out in the 100 degrees they should wear some CamelBaks.

cold cocoa said...
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Diana said...

I wish I could have the same approach to the door as I do to the phone (don't answer it) but Dallin and William stand right next to the door shouting at me until I do. Maybe it's just our kids we need to train, so we don't have to get into these situations. . .

DDRUSSEL said...

I had the MS people call and ask for a donation. I had a box of Ashley's old dresses, so I said OK. I then spoke with a neighbor that has five girls under nine and could benefit from a box of dresses. I called the MS people back the agreed pick-up to cancel and the lady went postal on me, asking if there was anything else I could donate. I thought I was being nice by canceling!

T said...

okay - I put it into practice today - I told the Children's Cancer Fund people that although I wasn't going to donate they were doing a fine job... he came back with "you can't even give these kids $20 'eh?" - which set me off... I can't be nice for too long apparently, something about the fake Canadian accent just put me over the edge :) He got a quick "no we can't 'EH" - and a click... And I was having a good feeling after donating food yesterday and everything...

cold cocoa said...

I know Diana. I can't whisper madly "Get away from the door Anika!" because we have a glass door where they can see people are home. Darn it.
Tonya- good try on being nice. That is so not cool when they attack and can't just leave it on a good note.
Daralyn- I think that was nice of you to actually call and cancel! I bet people forget all the time and the poor drivers...you should have said "sure, I guess I have a pair of socks I can leave on the porch if you really want to come all the way out here".
Strange people.