Tuesday, October 18, 2016

When They Come Knocking on Your Door

Just a quick note here about something that happened this past Sunday.

There was a very loud knock on my door.  When I answered, I found a well dressed woman standing there with a brochure in one hand and a clip board in the other.  She wanted me to look at her brochure and fill out a form.

I just glanced at the brochure and remember it had something to do with drugs - perhaps drug usage in my town - I'm not really sure, for at that point I told her I was not the least bit interested.  She tried to get me to take the brochure and I refused.

Then she wanted me to fill out her form, which I refused to do as well.  She was persistent, telling me I only had to fill in my name and address and phone number.  I made it perfectly clear that I would not give out any personal information, especially to people I did not know who came knocking on my door on a Sunday afternoon.  She didn't want to take "No" for an answer, so I finally just shut the door and locked it.

Maybe I am just paranoid.  Maybe there was a legitimate reason for her calling on me.  But it just seemed strange that she knocked on my door on a Sunday afternoon rather than on a regular work day.  And the fact that she was so determined to get my personal information sent up a red flag.  The whole incident smelled like a scam to me.

Anyone can go get brochures printed that look like legitimate worthy causes.  And the main goal seemed to be to procure my signature.  We are close to election day.  I have read about scams that involve getting signatures to be used in voter frauds.  Whether that was the reason for this visit, I can not say.  But I still will never give out information to strangers.  Just sayin'.


  1. Don't EVER give personal info to someone who knocks on your door! Don't EVER let a total stranger into your house.

    Oh; and that guy who is going door to door, trying to sell you that security system; expressing ANY interest, or even saying something like "If I decide to get a system, I'll call (security company name here)," you've just given away the fact that you DON'T have a security system!

    I just left a comment on another blog, whereby I said that the death of trust is is the prelude to the death of the empire. Unfortunately, we've reached that stage.

    How you felt was no paranoia; it was eons of genetics and God's gift of the Spirit telling you "This is not a good thing." And to anyone who would accuse you of "profiling;" tell them "Yes, I AM profiling. I didn't get this far in life by being stupid!"

  2. Always better to err on the side of caution.

  3. Pete Forester...I never, ever let anyone into my apartment that I don't know. And as far as personal information goes, nobody gets it. There are some big box stores here who want names and zip codes at the checkout stand. I pay cash for everything, so they don't get the info off a check or credit card. If I am feeling fiesty I will just refuse and then go through the arguments about it. If I don't feel like arguing, I just make up something.

    My building does have a security system, and it bothered me that this person made it to my door without calling first to be buzzed in. I suspect another tennent was responsible for that.

    I think you are right about the death of trust. There was a time when I was very trusting. Not any more. The only thing I trust when it comes to strangers or situations is the Spirit warning, or as it is sometimes called, gut instinct.

    It seems that these days, what with political correctness running amok, people have a fear of being called a profiler or a racist or any other label some would like to pin on us, but I simply don't care. Name calling is not enough for me to let my guard down. Like you said, I have not lived these 70 years by being stupid. :)

    Thank you for your comment. I hope others will see it and take notes.

  4. BW...You are absolutely right. There are those who prey on gray-haired grannies like me and I sure am not going to invite that sort of thing by doing something dumb. There was a time when I could walk anywhere in my town without having to constantly watch my back. Not any more. I have always said I wish to live long enough to be a problem to my children, and I am not quite there yet. :) So I continue to do as you say - err on the side of caution.

  5. Who is to say that the information she is taking is for a petition for a write in candidate or maybe for redevelopment of your block in town. We have had local church folks stop by telling us about a free BBQ here in our MHC. Its nice for them to do, but aa the same time I feel we are singled out as the poor folks of Cokato, and that upsets me...

  6. Pressuring me gets no one anywhere. I am shocked you even opened the door before you knew it was someone you knew.

    Maybe the person had a job where she had to get names of contacts to show she was actually going door to door. Maybe not. Next time, don't open the door. Your life could be on the line, not just your signature.

    I live in a house and keep the door locked all the time, much to the chagrin of everyone. If someone leaves my house to return in a few minutes, I lock the door. I live in a historic district in one of the safest towns in the country. But, I take no chances and have lived 70 years without anyone taking advantage of me...well, in a big way. While I don't live in fear at all, I just won't take chances.

  7. Great reminder that scams happen all the time.

    Your story reminded me of a salesman who called at my house. The house was one where you walked up 6 steps from the street, crossed the lawn and then walked up another 10 steps to the front door.

    Anyway, I opened the door after looking out the glass and it was someone in a uniformed shirt. So I opened the door but I had a hold of my dog by his collar. Now that dog was as gently as they came but probably weighed a good 100#. I let the guy say some of his spiel and then told him I wasn't interested.
    He was trying to press me when my dog uttered a not so quiet growl. I looked down at the dog. When I looked up again, the guy had literally jumped off the first set of stairs and was leaping over the second set. Needless to say, I told my dog what a good boy he was.
    Cheers, SJ in Vancouver BC

  8. Gorges...Just common sense. Time was it didn't matter if your personal information was known. But these days it makes sense to keep it out of the hands of criminals and scammers. Sad state of affairs.

  9. Rob...There could be any number of reasons for this person wanting my information, but it just didn't pass the smell good test.

    Maybe the church group just wanted your family to feel included in that activity. I understand how, when money is tight, we feel like we are being singled out. That gets my back up, too. But sometimes we have to just let others do something nice for us because it makes them feel good.

  10. Linda...Even though I had looked through the little peep hole in my door, I did break my own rule about opening the door to strangers. I have no idea why because I usually am much more careful. Maybe it was so I could write this post warning others. I don't know.

    Like you, I keep my door locked at all times. Even if I am just going out for a minute, it gets locked. I gave my kids each a key so they can get in if necessary. Gives me a sense of security, knowing that if "I've fallen and I can't get up," they can get in to help.

    Trying to pressure me into doing something doesn't work here, either. I have never done well with someone telling me I have to do something. Likely has to do with this stubborn streak I have. :)

  11. SJ...I love your story about your dog chasing off the salesman with just one growl. I can picture his flight down the steps and across the lawn. "Good boy" indeed.

    I miss my little Yorkie. She would bark like mad if someone was outside my apartment door. If they got in, she couldn't do much more than chew on their ankles, but she was a really good early warning system. :)

    I once knew a family who had a huge Rottweiler named Jeremiah. Jeremiah was truly a gentle giant. Didn't have a mean bone in his body. When someone pulled into the yard, Jeremiah didn't bark or growl. He merely ambled up to the vehicle and stood, staring through the window. I think that stare was more scary than barks or growls. Folks either waited for the owner to arrive before getting out of the car, or they just turned around and drove away. I just loved Jeremiah.

    A dog can be a really good deterrent to those with less than good intentions. I would love to have one again, but I am afraid that physical limitations could prevent me from taking as good care of one as I would like, and that just wouldn't be fair to the animal.

  12. Mom...You can thank the new people that moved in. They have more traffic to their apartment than Naomi did. Door is left open so often. So much for a secure building. Love, Duane

  13. Duane...Being down the hall and around the corner from their apartment, I can't say I had noticed the comings and goings. But if I have many more incidents like Sunday where people just appear at my door without being buzzed in, I may have to have a chat with our new landlord. Love, Mom

  14. Vicki,
    Don't wait for one more incident! The new neighbors may have pointed you out as an easy mark--old and disabled a bit. Neither you nor I are as nimble as we used to be.

    When anyone walks up on my side porch, the only entrance I use and down the path by the house, easily marked, the person is standing with nose to my door. If I don't know the person or it is a cable guy, I loudly tell the person to get off the porch before I open the door. I don't want the person to back up, just get down six steps. That way, I am not standing in an open door.

    I have keys in my pocket and the door set to lock behind me. That way, no one can push me back into the house since it is locked. That way, if I am afraid, I have the door already shut and locked before I talk to anyone. I am less afraid in the open than if the person can get me into the house.

  15. Vicki, I have been known to go to the door with a gun just out of site. Some may feel that a bit extreme, but we live in extreme times. I was once in a situation at work where a disgruntled ex-worker's husband was trying to keep the door open when I wanted it closed. It got closed but it could have just as easily been a female or much smaller/weaker dude in my position instead of me.

    Best thing is to just not answer the door if you don't know them. And always try to keep your firearm within reach as much as possible. I know you know what to do with it if need be.


  16. Linda...I have already decided to make the call to my landlord concerning the security of my building. A security system is useless if a tenant props open the outside door and leaves it that way. On some occasions I would just talk to the people involved myself, but I have not yet met these folks and have no idea who they are or what they are like. From conversations with my new landlord, I know he is all about keeping this building a quiet, crime free place to live. I'm pretty sure he will take care of the problem.

  17. Matt...I don't think keeping a gun out of sight while answering the door is extreme at all. We seem to be living in extreme times. Our local news sources downplay the increasing crime here - or at least in the city center about 35 miles away. All one has to do is listen to the police scanner to hear what is happening. The college kids think they need safe spaces, but the reality is there are no safe spaces anywhere. The way things are going, I don't expect that to change any time soon.

    You are absolutely spot on about a smaller/weaker person not being able to shut a door if someone really wanted to get in. I am aware of the fact that my advancing age and deteriorating health would make me an easy target. I do have the advantage of my son living in the apartment next door. When I had my new stove and fridge delivered, he was here so I was not alone with the delivery guys. But he can't protect me all the time, nor can anyone. I think this incident as well as the comments here have convinced me to leave my door shut and locked if I am not certain just who is on the other side. And yes, I have no qualms about doing whatever it takes to stay alive.

  18. We have metal security doors on all entrances even though we live on rural property. As we come and go, these doors get locked and unlocked many times a day as we carry keys on us. This is not the America I grew up in, but sadly, it is the way it is now. If someone walks past our "No Trespassing" signs and knocks on our door, they get an earful from this granny. I, too, keep a firearm within reach always. I don't answer any phone surveys, either. In fact, I find myself getting downright rude nowadays to unsolicited callers to my 'do not call' number.

  19. Two instances and ploys come to mind.
    When I was about forty, a guy I knew came to my door very angry. He was not a date and about 12 years younger. He opened the screen door and was holding it. I tried to pull it shut. He held it and put his foot in the front door to try to gain access to that one when I tried to shut it. So, I opened the wooden door. He was standing there, yelling at me. I backed up a bit as though I were afraid. Then, I rushed him, extended my arms and shoved him backwards off the ten foot wide porch. He did not fall, caught himself as I yelled at him to go away. He looked at his son in the car and said something rude and low and left as I was slamming the door. I might be able to do that now. But, I don't know.

    Another ploy I use with a smile on my face is just as effective. When anyone is in my house and won't leave, wanting to talk more, argue or whatever. I get my keys and tell the person I want to show him or her something. Then, I open the door and let the person step through first. I shut the door, look out the window and say goodbye to the person. Once, a guy was yelling and beating on the door. I picked up the phone and let him hear me calling the police. He beat a quick retreat.

    Neither of these methods would work on someone who might be actually determined to hurt me. However, it works for annoying or slightly frightening to me, someone who is abusive in speech and the refusal to leave.

  20. I understand their well meaning, but they go to all 50 homes here to tell everyone. Then the day of they again go to all 50 homes to tell all of us its dinner time. The thing that is stuck under my skin happened many years ago when I was our church janitor. One of the bible classes had a hot dog and bean, "poor man's dinner" just for that class. They all worked white collar jobs and made VERY good money, oh it was April 15th too. They all had just paid their tax bills. That left a very bad taste in my mouth even to this day.

  21. Tewshooz...It is sad that we need to take such measures these days. My family lived in the country when I was growing up. I'm not even sure my parents had a key for the back door, for I don't ever remember them locking it. They often left the keys in the car, fully confident that the car would be right where they left it in the morning. I have little patience with phone surveys, too. Most times I just hang up on them, but once in a while I will stay on the line just to mess with them a little. They should know better than to call us old folks. We are retired, have time on our hands and are easily amused. :)

  22. Linda...I really like your methods of getting rid of unwanted guests. I doubt I could push anyone any more, but the picture you created is wonderful. I'm guessing the look on that man's face when you shoved him off your porch was priceless.

    Your second method is great. I can imagine someone standing outside as you wave good-bye to them from your window, wondering what just happened! You are right - neither method would stop someone who was determined to cause harm, but to get rid of annoying people I can see how they would work. Well played. :)

  23. Rob...Sounds to me like the BBQ thing is just some church folks wanting to help others. There is nothing wrong with that. If their efforts help just one person who might be having a hard time and maybe doesn't know where their next meal is coming from, it is worth it. If you would rather not participate, that's OK, too. This world could use more folks trying to help one another. It is a typical small town thing.

    I guess different people take things in different ways. You saw the poor man's dinner as a personal affront to your financial situation. I see it as just a group of people making a joke about paying their taxes. If they were well to do I expect their tax bills amounted to more than I see in several months. Sounds like they were using humor to say that after the tax man got done with them, all they could afford was hot dogs and beans. Many times I have felt the same way on tax day. :)

  24. Rob,
    I can see how you felt they were just "slumming!" The thing is, they probably meant no harm. But, at the same time they were clueless or just did not care how others might perceive their little joke.

    Their was a church close by that had a Soup Kitchen advertised every week. I didn't go for a long time. Finally, a friend said she was going, so I did. At first, the spaghetti was okay along with a roll and drink. They usually had two choices. The other was homemade soup. Finally, they had just chicken noodle soup or bean soup. At first, dessert was cake or pie, then it was a cheap knockoff of Little Debbie.

    Finally, I just came in and looked at the soups and desserts and got a bottle of water and left.

    One day, the lunch was better and I stayed. A man over the lunch was wondering aloud why hardly anyone ever came. I volunteered an opinion. I told him how the poorest of the poor, formerly proud family providers were reduced to going to soup kitchens in the Great Depression. I pointed out that maybe the name of the lunch turned people off, that it did me.

    He said he had never heard of Depression soup kitchens. I pointed him to his computer and googling. He said he would. He was young, 30-ish, and really thought he was right about how others should perceive things. It was impossible for him to understand he saw others differently than they saw themselves.