Today, a salesman came to my door, and after the encounter, I realised what a husk of my former self I have become.
I’ve mentioned before how I work from home the majority of the time these days. It’s not nearly as glamourous as it sounds. Most days you’re lucky if I wash my face.
Anyway, upon hearing the knock, I considered the consequences of not answering it. After all, the only people to come a-knocking around our house are Pizza Guys, Born Again Christians*, or random deliveries (usually for neighbours, who are out at ‘real’ jobs). Sure, my car is parked outside, but then I might be in the middle of something important: bathroom breaks are about the only thing that come to mind.
In any case, I managed to fish my doorkeys out from under the sleeping cat and vault down the stairs in time to open the door.
I made it there just in time to see the little goblin approach my door.
“Owner of the house?” he asked with gay abandon.
In previous years, I’ve passed myself off as a minor countless times in order to avoid this exact kind of confrontation: “This is my parent’s/grandparent’s/sister’s/long lost half-cousin’s house.” Take your pick, I’ve used them all. But today, I was too tired to lie.
“Yes,” I replied.
“It’s just that we’ve been doing some work on the roofing locally, and we’re getting some good feedback around these parts about the quality of our workmanship,” the gruff, unshaven creature at my door continues with a weak smile. I can see that he doesn’t want to be here any more than I do. And seeing what he must — a half-dressed, un-madeup, greasy-haired hermit who didn’t even have the forethought to put on a bra, standing the darknened doorway with cats winding around her feet — I don’t exactly blame him. A pang of empathy goes out to him, which is I think the only thing that stops me from slamming the door in his face.
I tell him I’m working, something I don’t think he believes. I tell him I’m right in the middle of something, but persistent as he is, he asks to take my details and asks that he contact us later to discuss our requirements.
I don’t have the heart to tell him that our ‘requirements’ are a new mini-wall for the garden (I say garden, it’s a gravel patch with weeds poking out of every crevice…and in gravel, there’s LOTS of crevices) where I’ve run it over in my car trying to park outside the house.
I listen while he talks about guttering and the like, feigning interest to the best of my ability, with a half smile (half is the best you’re going to get at the best of times) and everything.
I tell him I’m married, another thing I don’t think he believes. After all, who would marry the crazy cat lady with the unkempt garden and even less so appearance? He notes it down all the same.
I give over my details willingly, even though every fibre in my being is telling me not to do it.
He asks me to spell my surname.
And here, right here, is where I lose the will to live.
I know that he needs this information in order to fill out the in-house contact manager database for whatever company he’s working for, and that they might use my name in order to send me utterly pointless mailers about home improvement in the future, and that the phone number he’s syphoned off me somehow using what I can only describe as Witchcraft but what might better be known as ‘asking for it’, will add to many in the long line of numbers we end of blocking on our house phone.
I know this because this is part of my job. I know that the reason he’s asking me how I spell my surname is because the little sales minion waiting back at his office wants to know who to ask for when they call to quote us for work on our roof that we don’t need.
I give him our information. I smile with vague placation as he folds my information into what is undoubtedly the information of the rest of our street.
And then he leaves, a vague smile on his face and me feeling utterly abused and unwilling to answer the door again.
The only silver lining in this whole fiasco is that I can take the pamphlet he left with me and scalp the information off it to provide to our own sales guys with idential information in turn so that they can tout them for business in Contact Management and Accounts Management software.
Update: As it turns out, the weird little goblin never did call our house, nor did any of his minions (I originally wrote this on the 7th of June). Whether it was through seeing the state of our front garden and realising that people who didn’t even bother to pull up weeds or park their cars over the little wall-esque decorations left by the previous owners wouldn’t really care for improvements to the guttering, else through seeing my appearance and thinking “she can’t afford a decent haircut, not a chance in hell she could pay for the extravagant services we intend to provide”. And I have put them into our own contact management database, with a note to contact them as a hot lead. I have high expectations for their future.