Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Unwanted Visitors

I've just heard a tap at the door and wondered whether I should open it or not. I decided to open it just in case it was the new neighbours or something. So I opened the door and saw two people with clipboards. Power supply company. Oh for fuck's sake. Here we go.

The number of times I have opened the door to their patter. 'Hello! Don't worry, we're not trying to sell you anything!' (Yes, actually in effect, you are) and then she showed me her card which said NPower.

So I immediately say with a smile 'Look, I'm going to stop you there, because I'm not interested'. The woman looks puzzled. 'Look' I continue 'I've had NPower round at least five times and each time I have said that I'm not interested'

'Oh' she said 'Still number 33? Still Ms K Rookie?'
'Yes' (like, what doorway did you think you had knocked at, you plank?)
'Still with British Gas?'
'Yes, look, I'm just not interested, okay?'

She looks genuinely puzzled as though thinking 'What person in their right mind wouldn't want to save money on their bills?', draws breath again and I start to suddenly feel really tearful. Out of nowhere. The second I opened the door and saw the clipboards, I wish I hadn't. I didn't want the bargaining, I didn't want to discuss anything. I wanted just to roll my eyes, say 'oh, you AGAIN! Just fuck off and leave me alone!' and slam the door in their face. But that's not very Kabbalah, is it?

I don't know why I almost burst in to tears - perhaps simply because of sheer frustration. They are trained to be very nice, polite and slightly patronising. Because they aren't there to sell anything - oh no - they are there to save you from yourself. It doesn't seem possible to get rid of them politely and they play on that, knowing that many people don't want to have to resort to being rude (which makes me quite sick when I think of the number of old people who fall foul to their sales technique).

The other thing is that they are very good at asking how much I pay per month for my bills, but aren't really prepared to compare the actual unit cost and consumption. And although they insist that it won't cost me anything to switch, I beg to differ given that my account with British Gas is currently in debit after the winter quarter.

Anyway, end result was that before I burst in to tears I said something to the effect of 'sorry but I don't have to listen to this' and started to close the door, to the sound of them saying 'well, thanks very much anyway, not to worry'.

And then I started crying inside the house, mystified as to this sudden display of emotion.

I'm not sure why I wasn't quick thinking enough to use the approach I used last time which was to give a huge (almost slightly insane) smile and repeat the phrase:
"Thank you very much, but I'm not interested" over and over and over again. I only had to say it ten times before they got the message, at which point my parting shot was "Thank you! Call round again sometime!"

In fact - that could be the start of a whole new competition, couldn't it? How many times do you have to repeat the message before the Salesperson gives up. I might keep a tally next to the front door, waiting for my next victim. This could be fun.

Yesterday somebody tapped on the door and it turned out to be two Jehovah's Witnesses inviting me to their celebration of Jesus on Wednesday night. They didn't mention the Watchtower. They didn't say 'Could you say that you are really happy in your life at the moment?' or try to sell me their religion. And I didn't mention that Wednesday night I would be at the Kabbalah centre eating the 1st Seder meal. They were a breath of fresh air. Good luck to them - they have found something that makes them happy and they invited me along to share it. That's nice.

Or did I enjoy their visit simply out of sheer relief that they weren't from an energy company? What is the world coming to when I don't regret opening the door to Jehovah's Witnesses?

Okay, so if I knew how to Tag people, I would ask people to blog any amusing tales of handling unwanted callers. But I'm not that clever. Or even better, tell me how you would like me to deal with the next visit from an energy company - and as long as it doesn't involve nudity, I will let you know how it goes...

1 comment:

  1. So...Kabbalah, Britain...ok, so you're Madonna masquerading as a regular girl, right?

    I don't have a tag but i have a chapter from my book about visitors trying to sell something....I'd email it to you but your comments has a no-reply address...so here it is :)))) xxx

    Honey I Killed the Salesman
    It was inevitable. I can't be nice nice all the time--hell, I have trouble being nice at all sometimes. But occasionally I really have to let someone have it.
    Today it was the honey man. You heard me: the honey man. This guy is a local villager who comes around to the Westerners around here and claims he has "wild honey" when what he's got is a jar of flippin' Daburs’ (look it up, you're on the net!) which he has watered down until it's unrecognizable. I hate that crap. People like him make me swear. I hate cheats, liars, and especially people who think I'm stupid enough to believe their cheating and lying. And this guy rubs me every which way but right.
    And today, he got a blast of the … my ... er ... let's just call it the dark side of the yogi.
    He's aggressive, annoying, and most of all he is a repeat cheater. So I gave him the full force, blasted him down my stairs, and terrorized him good enough for a month at least. Well, hey, you can’t “meditate” someone into submission...
    To him I'll be that pagal bideshi--that crazy foreign woman; someone who has a money tree inside their house, a magical, unstoppable flow of money. I am an object, a thing, a resource, and screw the relationship, screw anything, just get the goddamned money out of it. Just like, for me, he's the annoying little toad of a honey man who hasn't a moment to spare to think that I might not want to be yelled at without a second's hesitation between words until I am forced to pay attention to him; who batters on my door relentlessly until I open it, and who would, if he didn't fear death, just open it and walk in like so many of them do if I hadn't lashed them with my words for doing it before and the memory of that is so strong, so very strong, that a repeat performance is out of the question--those same people who thought for years I was aggressive, demanding, unreasonable, or crazy, but who have finally over time accepted that I am just who I am, I might be all those things, but I'm also a lot of other things, and if they care to they can tap into them.
    Well, that tore the lid off the honey jar, didn't it.
    Back to normal tomorrow.
    Unless the honey man's brother's cousin's oldest son's uncle comes knocking with some genuine, authentic rooster-feather dusters which he'll waggle in my face accompanied by an incessant barrage of utterly non-decipherable Bengali until I buy one or do something utterly unrepeatable with it. Watch the feathers fly then, baby....
    Actually I made that up. I've never seen a rooster feather wallah anywhere near here.