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Death to door-to-door sales

There will be no Girl Guide biscuits for pushy door-to-door salespeople in the afterlife if Penelope Whitson has anything to say about it.

Things I don’t enjoy finding on my doorstep: salespeople, individuals peddling religion and offerings vomited up by the cat.

My house is my (small-scale and chaotic) castle and although vomit is less than lovely, the cat manages to get away with such behaviour due to being very cute and terribly charming. People, however, are less likely to be forgiven for invading my faux citadel’s surroundings – there are times when a moat and drawbridge would be quite useful, as well as being aesthetically very pleasing.

When it comes to door-to-door salespeople, there is only one thing I will usually buy and that is Girl Guide biscuits. Not only because they’re being peddled by children who do good deeds, but also because I am rather partial to biscuits.

ILLUSTRATION: Angela Keoghan

Of those who have come to my door selling things lately, none have offered baked goods. Two represented large power companies and the third represented a local beautician. All were looking for new customers and all were turned away. However, I took the beautician’s card because although I didn’t want or need the deal she was selling, I do like to patronise local businesses and I do like to tint my eyelashes as I can’t be trusted with mascara.

The difference between the power companies and the beautician was exceedingly basic. When I expressed an interest in her card, but not the deal she was offering, she gave me the card, left my property and didn’t return.

The power companies went with a different tactic. Mild interest was interpreted as the right to come back, and back again … and again, despite our initial curiosity clearly dissipating into eye-rolling and, finally, near rudeness.

There is an excellent chance we shall not be using their services any time in the near future because their lack of respect has resulted in ours.

I take umbrage with people who don’t so much ask if I want to purchase a product but attempt to bully me into buying it. While you should be firm with door-to-door salespeople, in fact anyone trying to sell you anything (it’s your money!), our innate politeness makes that difficult in a face-to-face situation and I have no time for any company that uses my politeness against me. It’s harassment thinly disguised as selling.

And after the deluge of repeat offenders round our place recently, I think I could be forgiven for poking a shotgun out a window and muttering, ‘We don’t like your kind round here’, channeling Clint Eastwood or some similar cowboy prone to acts of violence when provoked.

In the same vein, I also have no respect for anyone or any company that uses someone’s age, their naivety or their lack of understanding of the fine print to sign people up for goods they can’t afford, don’t understand and
don’t need.

Preying on the vulnerable or bullying the polite isn’t good business. There will be no Girl Guide biscuits for those people in the afterlife. 

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