We have a No Solicitation sign on our front door. I thought long and hard about it before putting it up because I want our home to be a welcoming place and nothing says ‘you’re not welcome’ like a No Solicitation sign. That said, we live in a newer neighborhood and the number of people I have coming to my door in any given day is significant. I work from home, and the type of work that I do requires a lot of concentration, so at a certain point I simply couldn’t deal with the distractions anymore.
I continue to be surprised from time to time at the salespeople that will ignore the sign and ring my doorbell anyway. When that happens, I have to suppress the urge to be annoyed. After all, they are taking my time and distracting my work. Not to mention that people ringing the doorbell makes the Westies crazy and interrupts my phone calls with customers. I certainly don’t need that.
I always know I’m in for it when the salesperson leans on the door frame, putting themselves right in my face and making it hard for me to get away without simply closing the door in his face. I hate to be rude. After all, part of my job is sales and I wouldn’t want people to treat me that way, but at the same time, I’ve asked for them to leave me alone and they aren’t listening.
So, I inevitably troop down to the door and open it to find the salesperson poised and ready to start their pitch. I’m polite but not overly friendly and I usually explain that I work from home and they’re disturbing my work. Often, I point out the sign and apologize for needing it. Usually the salesperson will also apologize and move on. Not always, though, as I had one a couple of weeks ago who was bent on finishing his pitch before he left my front porch. I ended up having to be less polite and finally just say ‘I have to get back to work’ and go back in, almost shutting the door in his face.
Maybe my recollection of the world is different and it hasn’t changed that much, but I don’t recall having to fight so hard for quiet when I was a child. Even with my phone on the do-not-call registry, I have politicians and surveyors calling all day long. Even with a No Solicitation sign on the door, I have sales people ringing the doorbell. At the same time, I can never have enough of friends and neighbors dropping by. So much of our social life has moved online that I always feel like I’m missing that essential human contact – you know, the kind that happens when a neighbor drops by to share a cup of coffee and some news about what’s going on in the neighborhood.
This might seem an odd thing for a blogger to say, but let’s put down the electronic toys for a while and reconnect with each other in meaningful way. Let’s find more ways to get the distractions out of our lives and spend time with the people that matter. And above all, instead of sending that text message, take the time to stop by and have a real conversation.
Especially with me. The coffee’s always on and the door’s always open. Unless you’re selling something, that is. Then you must obey the sign….