3.16.2009

i need caller i.d. for my doorbell

I need some way to not answer my doorbell unless I know who is on the other side.

If you don't work from home, you probably have no idea how many door-to-door salespeople there are out there. I've been amazed - and appalled. We are inundated by energy supply companies asking to see our heating bill, to see if we are "eligible" - love that bit - for them to sell us something. Even if I were in the market for a new energy supplier, I would never buy anything that was sold unsolicited door-to-door. I find it so intrusive, and so irritating.

I try to be polite, but the effect is cumulative and my patience is wearing out. Last week I said, "We're fine, thanks," and the guy started arguing with me. I said, "We're having dinner, and you've just interrupted us. Please go away."

This afternoon I said, "Do you see the sign next to you?" I pointed to this --

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-- and said, "That applies to you, too. Have a nice day," and shut the door.

I don't answer the phone unless I want or need to, but I can't ignore the doorbell. If it's a young person collecting for charity, or a neighbour who needs something, or a package delivery, I want to answer the door. But I don't know that until it's too late.

Somebody needs to invent caller ID for the doorbell!

Major hat-tip to Impudent Strumpet's "Things They Should Invent".

17 comments:

L-girl said...

My thoughts on solicitations of the religious variety here.

L-girl said...

When I go back to old posts, I see various commenters' names have changed to Anonymous. Luckily I address them by name, so I can tell they are MSEH, our old friend Crabletta, teflon jedi and others. Funny how that is.

Jennie / Jae said...

Do you count election flyers and/or other political activism flyers among "no flyers"? If not, you might want to specify that, because I know from having worked on several campaigns that different campaigns have different interpretations of signs like that.

skdadl said...

L-girl, I empathize, and I know that most people think we're bananas when we worry over the doorbell or the phone calls, but ...

I not only work at home but, for some years, was caring for my ill husband at home, and the doorbell really became a threat to us (because he might get there before I did). I've never quite got over that feeling of alarm at either the doorbell or the ringing phone, but I think you have to have been in those shoes to understand how hard it is on some people to be invaded when they're already on overload.

The guys trying to sell you an energy deal (fixed price over yay many years) are deeply anti-social and should be banned, imho. They take advantage, eg, of a lot of seniors who don't know how to think through the stats (mind you: who does?). The real problem is that our governments haven't figured out serious ways to organize our energy consumption, and for some reason they think that these scams are fair.

Serious public policy on energy consumption would be fair. Unleashing the exploiters and profiteers on the public is not serious policy.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

Whoops, sorry, that was me. Forgot to log out of my other gmail account before commenting.

impudent strumpet said...

There must be someone reading this who knows how to install a peephole.

(Also, there's a herd of those energy company people who always take the same subway as me, and they're total loudmouth assholes. I could totally picture my middle-school bullies growing up to be them.)

L-girl said...

You know, a peephole doesn't do it. I had a peephole living in an apartment for umpteen years, but (a) I still have to go get up and go to the door, already disruptive, especially if I'm writing or doing an interview, (b) it doesn't give enough information, and (c) if it's a legitimate person at the door, asking questions through the peephole is annoying to both of us. I want something I can see from my desk, then...

... I don't know, maybe push a button and they fall through a trap door?

But seriously. Something.

L-girl said...

Re energy company salespeople, I so agree. I once helped an elderly neighbour in NYC disentangle herself from some. I had to get very tough with the salespeople, took all their names and reported them. And guess what? It wasn't even a real company.

L-girl said...

I/P, we don't have any activism-related flyers in our nabe, sadly. We only have "vote for me" at election time, and I don't want those either.

But really, if an activist put a flyer in my mailbox, I wouldn't go ballistic. It's the paper-wasting come-ons from real estate agents and lawn care companies I don't need.

L-girl said...

I could totally picture my middle-school bullies growing up to be them.

I just (10 mins ago) finished watching a very intense movie about bullying. It really shook me up. I hope seeing those guys on the subway didn't trigger flashbacks for you.

impudent strumpet said...

So what you need is one of those doorbell intercom thingies. And to train the dogs to bark threateningly on command.

dogsled_stacie said...

I totally hear you on both the phone thing and the door bell. Back when I lived in the big city, I HATED people coming to the door!!!! I regularly didn't answer it, but then would feel bad when it was the little old lady next door was just ringing it to give me something she baked! The peephole isn't secret enough to be able to see who it is without them seeing you either.

So even when I lived up here in the semi-boonies (35 km from town, down a road with other houses down it), we even got the JW's out there! I was shocked. They visited and made the mistake of asking me one question about the dogs. I went on and on about the dogs for a good 30 minutes (ha, I was bored that Saturday), and then they went to hand me their leaflet, and I was like "no thanks! see ya!" and headed inside.

I've found the perfect solution L-girl - move wayyyy out in the boonies, say 70km or so from a smallish city and have absolutely ZERO neighbours. I've yet to have one solicitation at the door! :)

L-girl said...

So what you need is one of those doorbell intercom thingies.

Too bad this is a rental. It's very tempting.

And to train the dogs to bark threateningly on command.

They do bark at the doorbell... but no one seems particularly threatened.

L-girl said...

So even when I lived up here in the semi-boonies (35 km from town, down a road with other houses down it), we even got the JW's out there!

They are everywhere!! There is no escaping those maniacs.

I've found the perfect solution L-girl - move wayyyy out in the boonies, say 70km or so from a smallish city and have absolutely ZERO neighbours. I've yet to have one solicitation at the door! :)

Oh man Stacie, I've been fantasizing about that for years. When I was ready to leave NYC, that's really what I wanted - to live in the middle of nowhere. The big question was always, how would we support ourselves? If we want jobs that can let us write and do some of the other non-paid things we want to do, we have to live in or near a very big city.

If you can think of a way around this, let me know! Meanwhile, I'm going to try the talk-for-half-an-hour-then-shut-the-door approach. Brilliant!

Cal said...

Oh gosh! ... I could tell you a few stories about people coming to our door.

I'm a Scotsman, now resident in the Okanagan Valley in BC, Canada, so it's taken me a while to adjust to how things are done here, namely "what the protocol is for dealing with nusiance soliciting at your front door"

We had one really pushy sales rep for a heating company, almost put his foot in the door, as he was determined to finish what he was saying. Most others simply don't take NO for an answer, or jump onto another approach whenever they can.

I think we need a BIGGER sign!!

Regards,
Cal McNab
www.accessokanagan.com

teflonjedi said...

You've anonymized me?

We don't get people coming door-to-door in China.

We do get lots of solicitations by SMS...usually real estate, or car sales, or foot massage centers.

L-girl said...

Hi teflonjedi! This is a very old post, I wonder what brought you here!

You've anonymized me?

??? What do you mean? Here you are, with your name and all...?