Monthly Archives: December 2014

Seal up the Mailbox!

Andrea Freedman

When I was a teenager, I had a brief job distributing flyers. I was paid about fifteen cents per flyer, which I happily accepted.

These days, as a considerably more mature adult, I find myself again in the position of sometimes giving out flyers, only this time for no fee at all. However, the flyers I now occasionally distribute are for my husband’s business, so of course I am happy to do it.

I have come across some interesting things on my travels throughout various neighbourhoods I have solicited.

Besides meeting a few interesting people and drumming up some potential future business, one of the most off-putting things I have discovered through distributing flyers is that some people actually take the time to make signs that read “NNNOOOO FLYERS PLEEEAAASSSE!”, which are adhered firmly to their mailboxes or slots. It makes me wonder why they choose to have mailboxes at all.

When I read a note that says “No JUNK Mail”, I am tempted to risk putting one of the flyers in the mailbox anyway; after all, I do not consider what is being advertised to be “junk”.

Ironically, it would take these people less time to dispose of unwanted mail than it does to put the energy it takes to create something of a flyer themselves. The disturbing thing is that anger can be felt in the size of the lettering of some home-owners’ notices.

These are often some of the same people who seem to purposely not clear the ice and snow from their driveways or front steps, almost as if to reiterate the fact that they do not want any uninvited visitors, specifically, people trying to solicit business.

Personally, I have actually used a few services that I discovered by reading a flyer that had been left in my mailbox. Nevertheless, funny enough, one afternoon after I got home from a long tiring afternoon of flyer distribution, I found myself momentarily irritated when I spotted a flyer in front of my own door. Then I stopped myself and laughed.

Granted it can be annoying to rifle through endless amounts of what some people refer to as junk mail, but it beats opening more bills. Browsing over a flyer costs nothing and the time it takes to throw it in the garbage or recycling bin afterward if it is not needed really is not worth fretting over.

Flyer distribution can be a thankless task, but I try not to let it discourage me. If I am successful in getting even one customer from the flyers it will be worth my efforts. I respect the wishes of those who expressly do not want to receive flyers and move on to the next, hopefully more inviting home.

If nothing else, it is yet another way to get a little extra exercise and fresh air. When I think of it that way, I am glad to deliver the flyers, even if other people think they are only worthy of being called “junk”.♦

 

Copyright © by Andrea Freedman 2014

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If We Haven’t Done the Talking, Don’t Bother Knocking

Andrea Freedman

 

There is nothing I find quite as startling as when I hear an unexpected knock on my door, especially late at night. Quite often, I hold my breath, stay very quiet and pretend I am not home.

If I do decide to venture a look through the peephole, I usually yell through the closed door “Thanks, not interested”, especially if the person is there to try to sell me something.

I have been woken from a deep sleep, interrupted by a loud, frightening knock at my door. There have been times when I have just gotten out of the shower. What really gets me are the ones who knock a second time. Now that is a lot of gall.

As we live in a large high-rise with a heavy flow of pedestrian traffic and lots of people randomly buzzing tenants from the lobby in the hopes that someone will let them in, I also make a habit of not answering the intercom if I am not expecting company.

I know some people who often don’t bother to lock their front doors and it drives me crazy when I see someone possibly endangering themselves and their families unnecessarily. Times are different now. We don’t live in the days where everyone welcomed neighbours coming and going as they pleased in and out of their homes.

I also cannot understand when a person won’t ask “Who is it?” before answering the door. It is all well and good to be friendly, but once a stranger gets into your home, you most likely will not be able to get him or her out.

I must confess that besides being frightened by unexpected knocks at the door, I am not a fan of people dropping by uninvited. It never fails that it always happens during an inopportune moment. If I’m expecting someone, great; if not, I wish they would call first. Personally, I think it is downright rude to show up at someone’s house unannounced – especially when the knocking is loud or aggressive.

I am happy to have regular visits from friends – that is, if I know they are coming. It is funny that I have heard many of these same people say things like “Just please give us a call first.” That is a perfectly reasonable request, and I do not recall ever once showing up unannounced at someone else’s home, whether they be friend, family or otherwise.

Ironically enough, I have often said things like “I always keep my place clean. I would never be embarrassed if someone dropped by unannounced” even though I hope not to have to put that to the test.

Recently when I walked to the incinerator to take out the garbage one week night after nine o’clock, I noticed a student roaming our hallway canvassing about something. I told her “There’s my unit, please don’t come to my door.” I further went on to inform her that it was inappropriate for her to be bothering people at that time of night.

It is nice to know you can count on your neighbours in an emergency (or if you run out sugar). Having said that, luckily, even among neighbours I am friendly with, there is an unspoken understanding between us that we never knock on each other’s door without calling first.

Besides occasionally making an exception and answering my door when one of the kids in the building is selling Girl Guide cookies, the last thing I need at the end of the day is unexpected soliciting. It always takes me about ten minutes to calm down and get my heart to stop racing after someone knocks on my door without being invited.

My home is my sanctuary; it is the one place I expect to be assured of my space and privacy. The sound of a loud knock at the door can be jarring and even scary. It is often better to be safe than sorry and simply not answer. For all the dropper-inners out there, please, do me a favour and go bang on someone else’s door!♠

 

 

 

Copyright © by Andrea Freedman 2014