Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Baby sleeping, do not disturb.

As a rule, I am polite to door-to-door salespeople. It definitely is not fun, walking from home to home repeating the same endless things to disinterested people, having doors closed on their faces - and I really wonder how much they manage to sell by the end of the day. If we don't want to buy anything or don't have time to listen to them, the least we can do is smile, and say no thanks. And that's what I do - or try to.

Just about half an hour ago, after a major struggle, the Little One fell asleep. Shoulders and arms aching, I started on the next step - putting her down on the bed with a bumpless transition. Just as I bent down, the gate opened noisily, and someone rang the bell with gusto. Nobody else was at home, I couldn't go and answer the door, nor could I call out from here to please wait, I will be right there. So I quietly continued to place the Little One on the bed. The doorbell rang again and again, with a "Madam, madam?" in accompaniment. Promptly the Little One woke up and started bawling again. To add to it, the doorbell rang again. I lost it. I stomped to the door, looked through the window, and a lady immediately started her sales pitch.

"You woke my baby! Stop disturbing me!" I shouted and stomped off inside again. Once again, shoulders aching, arms heavy, I swayed and sang to the Little One till she drifted off. But all the while I was feeling terrible for having shouted, but at the same, I know that I am no saint and don't have that much patience.

A similar thing had happened just before the Little One was born. I was upstairs and mom had gone for her bath - when the doorbell rang. I was tired and had been lying down. I got up from bed and called out from the balcony to ask who it was - no answer. I came down to the landing, called from there - no answer. Only the repeated ringing of the doorbell. I came all the way downstairs (which was hardly an easy task what with all my weight at that time) and peeped through the window, and a guy started his sales pitch. I was too tired for anything. "Just go away", I told him, and trudged up the stairs.

Really, what can one possibly do? Some people put up boards on their gates, "Salespeople not allowed" - I think that's terribly rude. Perhaps I should put up a sign that says "Baby sleeping, do not disturb"?


Anonymous said...

I truly agree with u Shruti..........I know the amount of difficulty we go through to put the little one to sleep .Its really annoying on how the sales people would just go on and on with their pre-recorded messages..... :-)
We often land up locking the gates to avoid these guys.........

-a mom

~nm said...

Ohh how well I know what you are talking about. I'm just like you when ti comes to nice sales people but not to the ones who just think its their right to ring the bell till the time somene opens the door.

I rememebr getting really angry once when I was down with migraine and had just dozed off when a doorbell rang. I ignored it since it was mid afternoon and hubby knew I would be sleeping and there was nobody I was expecting at that hour. That guy just kept on ringing the bell for stratight 2 mins that I just lost my temper, went out and blew my top off on that guy and before he could say anything I closed the door.

I know he's working hard to earn his salary but atleast have some courtsey too!

Shyam said...

Yep, like you, I'm as polite as possible to phone reps and door-to-door sales reps, but sometimes they wont take no for an answer - that's when I lose it. Being rude is the last resort because I KNOW they're only doing a soul-sapping job I wouldnt take on for all the money in the world... it's just that sometimes they're Just. Too. Much! Besides, I doubt that "Baby Sleeping" signs would really work :(

i-am-the-legend said...

to be honest, i very much agree with all ur opinion. thats really terrible when we couldn't answer and these people disturb us. But thinking from their point of view, they just want sell things and this is the only way. but this can be made good, if those people knock the door politely and wait for the response. but once again, the illiteracy comes into picture. those who don know how to be polite, no way is there to stop them!

and u said u were worried about ur shout at that lady. i could understand that. my sister is also having the same problem. the little niece of mine is always disturbed!

anyway, as u said, smiling with some comments may help them! try it out once!

Kadalabal said...

even in your anger you have got concern that is great it is very difficult and I can imagine ur situation when with lot of pains you got princess A to sleep and this made her awake is really painful and your anger is fully justified.
keep a full copy of your blog posts on A to relish when she grows up and can enjoy the whole lot of it


Kodi's Mom said...

I think it is ruder(?) for unwelcome salesppl to wake up an infant. I have seen permanent signs on some ppl's homes - 'do not ring bell - baby sleeping'.
..or if you really want to be cruel, you can thrust the wailing baby in their face - 'I'll listen to your pitch if you can put her back to sleep.' :)

Anonymous said...

While it is so easy to yell at the salespeople and even call them a "nuisance", what we do not realise is the kind of hits these people take to their self-respect! Not everyone can afford to go and get degrees, and work in AC offices. Not everyone has the base level of intelligence required to go through degree colleges, and not everyone has the kind of conducive atmosphere at home to study!
We have all become so selfish, and cannot think beyond "I,ME,MYSELF".
All we can think about is how other people affect our balance in life, and not once do we think how our actions affect other people!
One summer i did these door-to-door sales jobs just for fun, and my sympathy for those people!

Krish said...

I will get a dog and have it outside the door :-). On a serious note, I think you should put a no solicitation board and if anyone disturbs you in spite off that, slam the door on their face or call police.

A.P. said...

How about trying 'Gandhigiri' with the door-to-door sales person?

- A.P.

Swati said...

Ohh i need the same signboard for sure ..but not sure , if people would read it :P

Velvety said...

Gosh! I don't how those guys manage to call us or come at the most inappropriate time. Good post. tell me how long can we be polite?

chaitra said...

Well, Shruthi, I experienced something like that, not with a sales person, but with a beggar who was singing loudly, with a louder harmonium as a background music! I quickly gave him something, and told him to stop singing and the music immediately. I felt very guilty, but it's difficult to be good, always!

rajeev said...

What worked for us was to put 'Brown" tape on the bell. And everyone had to knock on the door.

MP said...

I have done this door-to-door thing (it was a survey) during my college days' summer vacation - it was very very hard work. I gave up after 5 days.

But being gracious and considerate is extremely hard work too, esp. in these days of perennially over-worked individuals. Patience is always at a premium. Wot-to-do!

Veena Shivanna said...

Shruthi, I think it was little rude .. I know I know its hard :-)
As MP says, patience is at premium, I thought you have it plenty!!

I love Lucy said...

I can only empathize with you as I have been in this situation plenty of times.Except that it was not my baby who was trying to fall asleep but my unwell mom!
And what gets to me is that these salespeople refuse to maintain any kind of decorum.They think its their birthright to go about banging gates and ringing doorbells and yelling in the loudest voice possible.

Shruthi said...

a mom, yeah, but the problem is that if someone valid happens to visit, then they find a locked gate :D

~nm, ahh yeah, I can totally relate!

Shyam, soul-sapping is just the right word - that's why I try and be sweet to them!

I am the legend, I don't think illiteracy has anything to do with it - its just the attitude, and more than anything, its their job! ;(

Kadalabal, yes, I will, thanks :))

Kodi's mom, heh, heh, I would, really, I feel like, the only problem being is that I can't trust my baby with a stranger :D

Anon, exactly - the very reason why I am polite to them even under severe irritation. But like I said, I am no saint :(

Krish, wonder if that'll work!

A.P., sure, like for example?

Swati, yeahh that's the prob :)

Velvety, that's the whole thing - there is always a breaking point!

Chaitra, well, at least you gave him something :D ;)

Rajeev, ahhh good idea! Thanks... hmmm... but what about the loud "Madam, madam"? But yes, this is a good idea.

MP, so well-said!

Veena Shivanna, heh heh.. you say that coz you don't know what it means to put a baby to sleep. Just wait and watch, then come back and read this post, and then you will know if what I did was natural or not :D

I love Lucy, yeah, the least that can be done is do it silently, perhaps?

Chaitanya said...

Shruthi, I completely understand your situation. I mean not just when your baby is sleeping, but on some many other occasions like you've said these sales people just test our patience. There is a limit to our politeness and patience.

One thing I have realised is that never answer or shout 'who is it'. Although it sounds a bit rude, most unwanted ppl assume nobody is in the house if its silent for 1-2 mins. If its that important, they will wait. Because the 'bande...' scream never makes them stop ringing!

Thankfully we have almost adapted to the western culture and these days people don't visit us without calling. At the least they buss your cell standing right in front of your house.

Also I was used to this repeated door bell ringing which is so annoying that the least I have done is to put a very mild door bell, just enough to tell you that its ringing!


Anonymous said...

My aged uncle , a heart patient , has adopted a different policy. He's got a board which says that Salespersons are not to ring the bell between such-and-such time.
If a salesperson comes at a differnt time , my uncle listens to the sales pitch & buys if it catches his fancy

Perhaps his tolerance could be because he was a seasoned salesman who rose up the ranks to become the branch manager of the fmcg firm when he retired & knows the challenges of the profession

Raj said...

Hell hath no fury like a mother's whose child has been woken up from sleep. That salesman was lucky to escape alive!

shark said...

these days you get calling bells with a switch. you can switch it "off" when you don't want it to disturb you.

But then yes. you do need to remember to switch it on though :)

P.S: You can't stop people banging on the door ;-)

szeremy said...

Humor is the universal language which is why I liked the signs at KnobNots.com. They were a more pleaant version of what murderous things I WANTED to say when the salesman woke my colicky baby up.


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