Hello, Polite Readers!
We're having a beautiful Spring week here in Tucson, which has apparently pulled the door-to-door solicitors out of their Winter hibernation. From missionaries to security companies to meat salesman, they all knock at my door and set off a flurry of barking corgis. I should really remember to hang a "No Solicitors" sign to deter them, and set the dogs on those who don't read it (don't worry, my dogs aren't vicious, only excessively affectionate and excited), but until them, I have to politely tell them to go away.
The trick is to not let them get started. As soon as they ask you a question which you instinctively answer, they set off on their spiel and waste 10 minutes of your valuable time, never letting you say "Thank you, but I'm not interested."
So this is the one time where I think it is acceptable to both interrupt somebody and shut the door in their face. When my corgi doorbell alerts me to someone at the door, I always open it in case it is a mail delivery or an unexpected drop-in by a friend. When I see that it is not, and my polite "Hello" (punctuated by a sharp "quiet!" at my dogs) is answered with a "Hello I'm with --" this is where I cut them off and say "I'm not interested, have a nice day" and close the door before they can argue with me.
It's important to be polite, because whoever they are, they are just doing their job (well, except for the missionaries. Is that a paid job or volunteer work? I guess it varies from church to church), even if their job might be to scam you out of your money. Invariably when I do get suckered into talking to one of these people, they are full of high-pressure sales tactics and want you to buy right away, without any chance to read up on their product or research it on the internet or discuss it with your spouse or roommates. No thank you!
There are times when you may want to let the person at least finish saying who they are with. Maybe you're waiting for Girl Scouts to come by with cookies, or if they have a clipboard, you may want to see if they're collecting signatures for something you believe in.
That said, please remember to put safety first! If anything about the person at the door strikes you as off, do not open your door to them! Don't let them in, don't step outside to talk to them on the porch! If they are insistent, it is perfectly OK to say "I'm sorry, I'm too busy right now" and close that door right in their face.
Lastly... please feel free to give the stink-eye to anyone who thinks it is OK to ring your doorbell before 10am on a weekend morning! There is nothing polite about waking people up.
What would YOU like to see me write about next? Send your letters and suggestions to Politelyworded@gmail.com please!