Knock, Knock. Who’s There?

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Stranger: “Knock, Knock.”

Me: “I’m coming!”

I get to the door and pull the window shade back a little to see who it is. It’s no one that I know. The stranger smiles, waves, then gestures me to open the door. I point to the sign on the window next to the front door.

 

This irritates the stranger at my door. They continue to talk and wave some paper in the air. Years ago I would have felt obligated to open the door. But over time, the BRASH attitude of door-to-door solicitors has worn my warm welcome. I stopped feeling it was rude of me, not wanting to hear what this person has come to tell me or sell me at any given time of day.

I let go of the window shade allowing it to cover the window; I walked away from the door. I no longer engage in the argument over whether I will open my door or not; the sign on my window explains it all, even with a polite “Thank you.”

There was a time when selling or communicating with people was done door-to-door. With social media there has been this shift in solicitation tactics. Now instead of bombarding us at our home, it’s our email, cell phone, Facebook and other social outlets. I prefer the social media style versus knocking at my door. There is a barrier between the stranger and myself, unlike when they are face-to-face. It also seems to be easier to say “no.”

Why am I so against this long time practice? Safety! I think that people have good intentions, but others may have negative intentions. Being a parent of two small children, I air on the side of caution. If I am at home alone with the kids and I open that door, will I be able to protect all three of use against the person on the other side? It sounds so awful to think, but this is the world we live in. Becoming a parent morphed my thought process and I became a 24-7 security system. Michael Schmid is the author of a daddy blog informing readers about this very thing. After reading his post, I didn’t feel so crazy. He stresses the importance of “going with your gut.”

Now lets look at this from the other side of the door…

Who are the people going door-to-door? A specific group of door-to-door sales is done by children “fundraising.” When thinking about the safety on my side of the door, I believe it is also my responsibility to think about the children’s safety when they are asked to solicit. Children and teens have been assaulted, robbed, even murdered while going door-to-door.

What’s being done? Recently the Girl Scouts of the USA announced they want to be a “fully integrated” online and mobile commerce program by 2017. They have created a program called Digital Cookie 2.0–a safe, scalable, and smart model to go where the rest of the world are – online and mobile.

This organization became aware that the traditional practices of door-to-door are no longer safe for the consumer or the seller. Could we be sending a bigger message to others by placing a smaller one outside our door?

I can’t change you and you can’t change me, but together we can work to change the world.     — Germany Kent

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