An artsy message for door-to-door salespeople

I detest door-to-door salespeople. Well, not necessarily the people themselves. Not all of them. In fact, I kind of feel sorry for these individuals facing greater rejection than a graphic designer trying to get more than their foot in the door at a design firm in a major metropolitan area. What a horrible job. Still, for me, such an interruption at my front door is an invasion of my very private personal space.

No, I will not put vinyl windows on the 1929 Portland bungalow my partner and I are constantly improving. The same goes for vinyl siding. If you would just look around, you might notice that I don't have a lawn than needs any maintenance. I will not be allowing someone in my home to do an "inventory" of our existing security system to determine if their product is better. I don't want to talk politics on my front porch with anyone. I will not be buying steaks out of the back of a pickup truck.

If God, or Jesus, showed up to talk religion at my doorstep I would be interested in a discussion. However, those "selling" religion door-to-door annoy the hell out of me - especially when the church they are representing is somewhat vocal in opinions about my "lifestyle." I'll admit, I do get a bit of pleasure in seeing the looks on the faces of such proselytizers when I tell them, "I'm sorry; my husband and I wouldn't be interested." Funny, they seldom return to our house. We must get crossed of the great master list somewhere.

I do not make contributions to representatives of any nonprofits who come knocking on my door. I have my personal causes and they get more than enough of my time, energy and money. I'm certainly not handing over any money to someone at my door for a cause I know nothing about. The "representative" of a major environmental organization once came a-knockin' at our door. He immediately launched into his spiel. I had to interrupt his well-practiced performance twice to tell him I wasn't interested. He looked at me with shock and asked, "You mean you don't care about the environment?"

OK, that was enough. I was already annoyed - now I was also pissed off. I literally shut the door in his face, walked to my PowerBook to look up the cause and I reported the twit to the national organization. The next day I got a very nice email apologizing for their former representative's behavior.

Neighborhood kids are a different story - these are small people we actually know - selling candy, wrapping paper, magazine subscriptions, sponsorships for walks and runs, and more. Their art, sports and field trip programs actually need and deserve our support. I'm sure every parent on the street has trained their kids to always hit up Jeff and Ed first.

Every since we moved from the "salesperson barricade' of a secure downtown loft building I have looked for a decent "No Solicitors" sign to hang next to our door. Most were not created by graphic designers - and certainly not for the personal taste of a graphic designer looking to purchase such a product.

I've considered creating one of my own, in some tasteful typeface - certainly something other than Comic Sans or Papyrus - on a frosted glass panel; framed in copper or a rusted patina metal. Right, like I've had the time recently to design and create such a thing.

Thursday night we were at the home of our friends Shawn Jones and Greg Coyle (and their daughter Lily - there might be hell to pay if I didn't mention her!) for their weekly Thursday evening poolside "happy hour." Shawn informed me that while on a recent road trip to California they had discovered my "placeholder" birthday gift. (My "real" birthday gift, recognizing my May birthdate, has yet to be presented - among our friends we have something like a year to get such things accomplished.) Knowing my feelings about all I've ranted about in this blog entry, they found a rusted, artistic, wrought iron "Go Away" sign (photo above) for me at a store in Red Bluff, CA. It even has swirls on it - a design element that reoccurs in much of our garden art and home decor.

I love it! Now I need to figure out how to mount it to the outside of the house so someone doesn't steal the thing. Then we'll see how it works in making life a bit more peaceful at our aubergine front door.

© 2007 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives


Dani Nordin said...

oh, can I just TELL you? I made the mistake of chatting with someone from the LaRouche PAC outside of the Harvard Square COOP bookstore one day in June. After a very long conversation, he somehow convinced me (I think I was in a mood that day) to give them my phone number so they could "keep in touch with me."

He proceeded to call (and have his friends call me) ONCE A WEEK for about a month; always around 3pm (which is my most productive time) , always when I was in the middle of something, and he would never let me get off the phone with him. If I told him I was busy, it was always some response like, "well, I hope you're not going to the Democratic National Convention!" or some other line designed to intrigue me enough to keep me on the phone for another 10 minutes. He even did this when I was walking into a THERAPIST'S APPOINTMENT, calling me back about 15 minutes after I told him I was walking into the appointment.

I kept telling myself that I would tell them not to call, but I never did, and all of a sudden I didn't hear from them for a few weeks.

Then, at 9:30 at night, I get a call from some random dude from LaRouche - one I hadn't even MET - who called me from a rally when I was relaxing at home with Nick. I said, "you realize that it's 9:30 at night, correct?" and he said, "yes - we're at a rally!" I went off on him in no uncertain terms and told him that I do not have time for this, I do care about the issues, but I'm going to make up my own mind about things, and he was not to call me again. He tried all manner of tricks to keep me on the phone, but I wouldn't deal with it.

As someone who spent years as an activist herself (and who did, in fact, go door to door for part of that), it sickens me that there are people out there that are so convinced that every single human being alive has to be invested in their cause. It's really just bad marketing.

Carol said...

We don't have door-to-door salesmen here in Baltimore. Crackheads, armed robbers, and Jehovah's Witnesses...they go door-to-door, but that's about it.

I'll trade you. :-)