Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Why oh why?

DH & I have been inundated with sales calls ever since we moved. I know, I know, we need to register for the "Do not Call" list. Can you believe that this state CHARGES you to be on the list? Then you must pay a yearly subscription service fee. Crazy. I need to just join, but we haven't yet. Therefore, we must suffer. And, suffer we do. Every day we receive calls pressuring us to do this or that. The most persistent are the exterminators and water testers. One lady caught me when I was weak and distracted. She called during the everyone-is-falling-apart-and-I'm-trying-to-fix-another-dinner-they-won't-like-hour. I was not paying attention (why not with a baby pulling on my leg and screaming, children running in & out of the house & a sick child?) and she was relentless. She said, "Just for letting us test your water, we'll give you a $50 gift card. Do you want one from Target, Home Depot or Lowe's?" I replied, "M'am, I'm not interested".

She wasn't finished. "Oh, are you scared you'[ll have to buy something? You won't. We're from a high end GE appliance store. We just want to test the water so we can see what customers need in your area. Then we'll do some targeted marketing."

I wasn't listening very well. I should have replied, "Isn't THIS targeted marketing?" But I was busy making homemade pizza and choosing the toppings for my part. "Okay, so we'll send someone tomorrow night at 7:30. We need both of you to be home".

"How do I know you're not someone coming to kill us or stake out our house?"

She laughed.... I wasn't being funny. "Oh, M'am, I can PROMISE you we're not doing that!" Snicker snicker snicker.

The children's voices are now at a very high level, I'm trying to roll out dough, and I succumbed to her ploys. I was so mad at myself when I hung up the phone. What was I thinking???? I am not letting some idiot come to test our water at NIGHT? Dumb dumb dumb. But she had promised that $50 Target card & I had told her he better have it in his hand.

He was late. He did not arrive promptly. He did not give us the confirmation number, wear a uniform, or present his ID. We asked to see the Target gift card. "Oh, they'll mail it to you in a week or so." DH was at the door. I walked away. Furious. "See, I knew it was a scam." I wasn't mad at him. I was mad at his company, at the woman who coerced me into letting him come to our house in the first place, at the fact that it was dark & scary outside, and at myself.

And that's when it happened. He became very angry. He was very unjustifiably angry. Shouldn't he have just laughed and said, "It's not a scam. I'd love to test your water & I'll let you enjoy your evening. I'll personally make sure they send you the Target card." But he didn't. He started yelling, "This is NOT a scam. I wouldn't have driven 75 miles for a scam! I've been doing this for 15 years! Just forget it. FOrget it." He began walking to his car. Sweet Dh. He said, "Sir, you're welcome to come in. Just test the water." The very mad man whose name we didn't even know yelled back, "No. Never mind." He drove away.

Dh asked me not to aggravate people. I wasn't trying to make him mad. I just felt like it was a trick. I am tired of tricks. I'm too old for tricks. I am too educated to have been tricked into letting him come in the first place. I felt foolish. I felt sad. I felt guilty that he had driven 75 miles. But I didn't ask him to drive that far. His lousy company had him do that. And I felt afraid. I worried all night that he was going to come back because he knows where we live. And he hates me. DH thought I was overreacting. "Yeah, he's going to fire bomb us tonight." I replied, "What does that mean?" Dh said, "It's when you throw a bomb at someone's house." Great. I hadn't thought of that possibility. I was more worried that he'd vandalize our car, break in our house, or shoot me through the window. I hadn't thought about fire or bombs. Guess who didn't sleep last night??

Why do these things happen to me? I haven't even told you about the magazine salesman who got mad at me in the street for not just giving him some money to pay for his dentures. I was foolish to let someone on the phone talk me into anything. But why oh why? Do these things happen to you? I've got to go check my dead bolts again!


pink green & southern said...

I am so glad you shared this story because things like this happen to me all the time and I thought I was alone--seriously! I always seem to bear the brunt of some seriously misguided anger on the part of some pyscho stranger. There is too much "going off on people" in this world. I wish I could just sprinkle the whole planet with Xanax! Sorry about what happened to you :)

The 5 Bickies said...

I am so sorry this happened to you. I too would have had a very sleepness night. I think about retaliation all the time.

I never used to screen calls but now I do. If I am prepping dinner or getting kids to bed and I don't recognize the caller, I don't answer. Would it help you if you screened?

Good Luck! You are so clever I am sure you will think of a strategy.

Henley on the Horn said...

Yes. I should never have answered the phone. It was dumb dumb dumb on my part. I can't believe I fell for the scheme!!! I think people like myself are idiots, and yet I fell for it. Oh well. It won't happen again. I am going to set up booby traps like Home Alone (the movie) in case someone tries to get us!!! I also registered at It is free. The Florida one was not!