Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Why I shouldn't try to grade at home

This morning I decided to stay home and try to get some grading done. So far, in the 30 minutes that I've tried to work on grading I've had two door-to-door salesman stop by. Here are the conversations, word-for-word1.

First to drop by was a Jehovah's Witness:

Me: "You don't look like you're with UPS, FedEx, or USPS."
JW: "I'm sharing information about this book ..."
Me: "Please go away."
JW: "But I'm an important representative of God."
Me: "Not interested."
JW: "Eternal soul? God?"
Me: "Go away."
JW: "Okay."

Then, only a few minutes later, a traveling salesman rang the doorbell.

Me: "Oh boy, another one! How much of a heretic can I appear to be this time?"
TS: "Hi, I'm here selling what appears to be cheap new insulation, since it's 50% off and will reduce summertime temperatures by 15 degrees2, but I'm really selling overpriced crappy insulation you can by at Home Depot for 1/4 what we'll charge you."
Me: "Um, thank you."
TS: "Small pleasantries to get you to chat."
Me: "Smaller pleasantries to respond."
TS: "So, what's your wife's name."
Me: "Why?"
TS: "Oh, so we can make sure she's home when our sleazy salesman does his pitch so he can get a commitment on the spot and sell you something you don't want. It's a key sales tactic, you know."
Me: "Ah."
TS: "So, wife's name?"
Me: "Just give me the flier so I can politely appear to be interested in your product without ever actually planning to contact you or your kin again."
TS: "But we'll be around this Thursday night selling people things they need and really should buy, but at prices so high you can't believe the profit we'll be making. This Thursday! Your neighbors have already signed up! When will you and your wife be around?"
Me: "The residents of this house work odd hours."
TS: "But you'll be around sometime, right?"
Me: "No."3
TS: "Oh."
Me: "Give me your flier. I'll recycle it and never call your sleazy company, but you can tell your boss that you gave me the flier and I told you I'll call them. Then you can leave right after you give it to me."

TS: "Okay"

Well, back to grading.

1 Conversations slightly altered for comedic effect.
2 Who knew attic insulation could fix global warming? They should really advertise this more!
3 Note to self: be sure to be around on Thursday night.


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