I find it hard to say no to people ringing my doorbell. If solicitors seem friendly and sincere, I invariably buy whatever they’re pitching, even if it’s the last thing I need or want. Take today, for instance.
When I found a young lady standing on my porch an hour ago, clipboard in hand, I initially mistook her for a purveyor of Girl Scout cookies. I purchase them every year, even though they’re no friend to my cholesterol level and I don’t particularly like them. Nonetheless, when the neighborhood kids ask me to buy the sugar laden treats, I always say “yes.”
The earnest and cheerful woman ringing my bell launched into a bubbly sales pitch the moment I opened the door. Five minutes later, I felt pretty sure she wasn’t selling Girl Scout cookies. What she was in fact peddling remained unclear. She’d mainly revealed that she didn’t believe in welfare, wanted to make a better life for herself and her daughter, and was supporting herself through nursing school. Of course, those facts alone had me mentally reaching for my checkbook.
I may be a sap unable to say “no,” but I’m an impatient sap. Accordingly, once I’d resigned myself to purchasing something, I grew anxious to conclude the transaction posthaste. Alas, the woman wouldn’t pause long enough for me to get a word in edgewise! I finally cut her off midsentence, shouting: “Great! I’ll be happy to help you; so what do I have to buy?”
The answer was a magazine subscription, at a discounted price no less! As the grateful woman informed me, she’d earn a commission which she could apply toward nursing school expenses.
Please understand, I need another magazine subscription as much as I need prunes in my diet, which is to say not at all. As long as I had to buy something though, I figured the twenty or thirty bucks I expected to spend could at least net me a sports magazine suitable for bathroom reading.
Her brochure included several popular sports publications. They were all sold out, as were the entertainment periodicals, computing magazines, and every other item of remote interest. After scanning the short list of still-availables, I selected a home and garden journal. I wouldn’t be caught dead skimming an article on either subject, but I figured my wife might appreciate it.
The “discounted” price for my selection, including the woman’s commission, totaled $123. The cost seems excessive for something I neither want nor need, yet it’s thankfully a pittance compared to my record-setting expenditure. That honor fell to the vacuum cleaner I purchased a few years ago, from an equally friendly and sincere young man desperate to make his first sale — for the bargain price of $1,200.00! Who knows, we may even use the machine someday … if either of us ever decides to watch the five-hour instruction video or obtain the engineering degree required to operate the contraption.