Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dear College Students With Crappy Summer Jobs

It’s summer, which means that my doorbell is ringing off the hook by young adults trying to make a buck by working for the man for the summer, selling knives and windows and whatnot.

I’m not one of those homeowners who peers around corners to see if the person at the door is worth my time – because, let’s face it, things like cleaning toilets and raising kids can always be interrupted.  Plus, hiding out in your house just to avoid a person at the door is for losers and children who were specifically instructed not to open the door to strangers while Mommy and Daddy are out getting their Happy Hour on at Chili’s.  Stop hiding, people!  Either that, or stop complaining about how rude people are these days.  Sheesh.

I answer the door.

And inevitably on the other side is a young man or woman earnestly rattling off a lengthy memorized spiel in the hopes that I will sign up, purchase, or accept a free consultation.

And I would like to tell them something.

You seem like a nice young man/woman.  I will patiently listen to you talk about the  amazing company that you’ve worked at for four weeks, because you probably did a great job memorizing the fact sheets they’ve given you.  You’ve done your homework, and for that I applaud you.  College!

Don’t mind me holding my hands like this – I was dismembering a chicken for dinner when you rang.  Salmonella, you know.


Do you see this house here?  It’s sucked all the cash from my pockets and bank accounts.  Things break down, son.  Every day it’s a light bulb here, an appliance there.  I just spent $75 on replacement parts for my microwave.  And before that it was $60 to fix the vacuum cleaner.   In addition, my husband spends hundreds of dollars a year on the lawn.  GRASS.  Can you believe that?

Windows are last on my list of things to fix, even though we need new windows.  Most of them are cloudy because the seals have broken and the screens are all ripped because they are dry rotted from the sun.  But I don’t have that kind of money – new windows are expensive.  I know because you just offered me $200 off each window if I set up a consultation with you today.  Two hundred dollars off!  Do you know what that would buy?  Groceries for my family for a week.  Twenty regular-priced margaritas at Chili’s.  I shudder to think of how much each window costs. 

Let’s talk knives.  I like knives.  I like the knives you are selling.  I have some of them.  But I can’t buy any more. I just can’t.  For one thing, I don’t have a place to store them.  For another, I’m not a chef.  I don’t need another chef’s knife.  Ever, because the one I bought from your company has a lifetime guarantee.  Perhaps you could talk to your boss about his questionable business practices.

That vacuum is awesome, but holy moly, Kyle, I don’t have $1200 to shell out on a dirt sucker.  I barely use the vacuum I have, and you want me to buy that thing?  Do you know that I had most of our carpeting ripped out to minimize my time with the vacuum?

No, I wouldn’t like to change my cable provider.  We’ve done that a hundred times already, and I’m still spending too much money on entertainment that I don’t use.  The last time I watched TV was two weeks ago and I had to get up at 6 am just to watch a movie in peace.  It was on one of the regular channels.  I sat through all the commercials, too.

I don’t read magazines.  I used to read Vogue, but it made me feel guilty for two reasons: that I didn’t have all the hours required to read every page and pore over every insanely gorgeous ad, and that I have never and will never live the lifestyle that is featured in its pages.  Magazines have one aim – to make me feel bad about my own choices in life.

Educational Books?  I sold my spleen to buy two of those books for my kids one year.  Do you know how many times they looked through them?  Approximately 1.4 times.  I miss my spleen.

So you see, I can’t possibly buy anything from you right now.  You’ve done a great job with your speech, and I would be a fool to pass up this incredible offer, I realize.  But right now just isn’t a good time.  Don’t mind the new minivan and air-conditioned house you see here.  This stuff costs money, honey.  Money that we flush down the toilet every single day.  Now go on, now.  Knock on some more doors.  Maybe they’ll answer.  Or maybe not.

Now if you’ll excuse me, me and my chicken hands are going to go now.  Have a great day, and good luck with your venture.  But if you know what’s good for you, you won’t come around again.

Because I will answer the door.



  1. This one made me chuckle over my coffee! I answered the door this summer (and I do usually peer around the corner, I confess), but they looked so earnest. And I wanted to teach my kids a lesson. I think I rattled them because I was asking all the questions: Where are you from? What college? Is this hard? Aren't you scared to knock on doors? I sat the kids down on the front steps and we listened to the pitch. The price (for educational books) was ridonkulous. They pressured me - I said I needed to do research and I would get back to them. They seemed deflated by "research," with good reason. Five minutes on Google = Pyramid scheme. They didn't come back.

    1. The educational book sellers are the talkiest ones. They talk about education and draw you in like flies to honey. The guy who sold us ours went to the same college I did, so of course I had to buy from him.

  2. Wow! This hasn't happened to me! I live in the woods, though. We get raccoons at our front door. I think they're selling rabies?
    I had a job in college and I think you would have liked me on your front door. You would have answered your door to find a fresh-faced 19-year-old girl that YOU called, at your door, with a hot pizza. You'd pay and tip me.

    1. Ha! Your "selling rabies" comment made me snort my coffee. :)

      I love it when people come to the door with food. I don't even care that I have to pay for it. Girl Scout cookie season is dangerous for me.

  3. I almost NEVER buy anything on impulse. EVER. And I hate it when security system people come by because they ask pretty invasive questions about the system we currently have, and excuse me, do I know you? Also, I get sh*t from Kristin for answering the door when I'm home alone. :)

    1. I loooove buying on impulse. And then hate myself for weeks.