Tuesday, June 10, 2014

No Solicitations


We have a sign at the entrance to our community that reads "No Solicitations". Of course that doesn't stop some people.

Yesterday morning, as I was on my computer I hear the front door ring.  My home office is right next to our front door. I get up from my desk and take the few steps around the corner to the front door.  I have the front door open and only the full glass storm door open.  There I see a young black man.  Of course my first thought was "Now what does he want?"  

Not wanted to appear discriminatory by not answering my door where this well dress, seemingly earnest young black man was standing, I opened my storm door and stepped out onto my small front landing and said "Yes?"

He said he wanted my "vote."  Then immediately he told me he wasn't running for office, chuckling as he said so.  Instead he told me he was introducing himself to people in my neighborhood presenting himself as a well spoken young man, standing up straight, and being courteous in order to get enough "votes" to win a trip to Spain.  He said if he got one hundred votes he would "win."  

Of course he now had my interest.  I'm wondering "What is his angle?" but he seemed so sincere I continued listening.  He smiled and he further went through his script.  He was reading but I could tell by the wording he was using that his verbiage wasn't normal for him.  But as I said, he was relaxed, friendly, courteous and well spoken.

Then came the hook.  I saw in his right hand the familiar blank credit card papers.  I'm wondering "Is he selling magazine subscriptions and this is just another ploy to GET MONEY FROM ME?" 

He asked me if I wanted to CONTRIBUTE  to one of the following from a laminated card that had a list of names from veterans to students and religious organizations.  Ah yes, HE.WANTS.MONEY.FROM.ME.  His whole innocent, "You VOTE for me and I win a trip to Spain" is a scam.

With a smile I tell him "Oh, we're not doing money here" and turn around to open my storm door to return to what I was doing before I was rudely interrupted with this latest neighborhood scam.  Immediately his demeanor changed and he said (shouted actually):


Uh huh.  Just another scam.  The mask comes of and the real earnest young student looking to earn votes for a free trip is exposed.    His smile was gone as he turned away and left my front door.  

I told Bill what happened.  Bill went upstairs and saw the oh so earnest and sincere young man go to the house across the street only to back off when my neighbor's two large dogs lunged at the front door, ferociously barking at him.  

Yes, I got suckered in yesterday.  I should have dismissed him right away before he started his spiel but this young BLACK man knew exactly what he was doing, taking advantage of take new white guilt complex in the wake of the Travon Martin "hoodie" shooting.  Show up in a white neighborhood, where the appearance of a young black man knocking at one's door is about the last thing we white folks would expect, and play the race card for all it's worth.  

Funny think happened later in the afternoon.  Another black man (this one more mature) shows up and wants to know if I want to buy any meat.  Say what?  I see his van in our driveway, it says "Capital Meats."  I tell him "No, I'm a vegetarian (I'm not by the way but I was trying to be gentle and not rude)"  He wasn't taking "No" for an answer and said "You eat fish?"  I said "Definitely not!"  Then he said "How about chicken?"  WTF?
I don't eat that much anyway and if I do I'll buy my meat at the store.  I told him: 


He finally leaves.  I look for Bill to tell him I have a twofer for today.  He looks at our TV monitor for the road coming to our house and sure enough they is Mr. Capital Meats pulling in the driveway of our neighbor.  

I look up "Capital Meats" on the Internet.  Yep, it's a scam.  In fact, seeing that he had a van I suspect the kid was in the back of the van.  I didn't see him pull up in a car.  

They're out there folks.  After your money.

I called the police to tell them the kid was in the neighborhood running a scam.  I had a heck of a time getting the police first.  Is this a "9/11?"  No. I have a Lewes phone number but a Milton address. Do I call the Lewes police?  I did.  They told me to call the Delaware State police.  I did.

After being transferred a few time an Officer Mack got on the line.  I told him my situation.  He was a "Just the facts ma'm" kind of guy.  He said he would stop out to get a statement from me.  That was yesterday afternoon.  I'm still waiting.

Just another day in the neighborhood folks.

So here's what I do the next time folks when a stranger rings my doorbell.  I have my iPhone with me set to camera and I take their picture first.  If they don't like it…..well, it was their decision to stop at MY front door.

Fact of life folks, no stranger is going to call you out of the blue on your phone or stop at your door that doesn't WANT something from you, preferably money.  Even the politicians who stop at my door, who I will answer for, want my vote or as is the latest case to be the neighborhood volunteer.  Which reminds me, since I was "volunteered" to canvas my neighborhood as well a two bordering neighborhoods for the local Democratic Delaware state senate candidate, I'm not going to knock on any more doors.  I'll hand the political literature on their doorknobs right before the election but I am not going to knocking on any more doors.  A very distasteful experience yesterday folks, very distasteful.  

In my old age dotage I'm trying hard not to turn into what my Mother was a few years before she died; a bitter, paranoid, cynical person distrustful of just about everyone, including family.  I'm already estranged from both of my brothers, and other members of my family as well as a life long good friend because I had the temerity to get officially married to Bill.  They were alright with me living the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" life but once I made my marriage public just like theirs, then I'm "shoving it down their throats" or as my estranged friend said "What's next Ron? Marrying your pet?"  He doesn't get it.  Friendship all but over (until he gets it). 

These days folks I try to concentrate on the positive.  My relationship with Bill, with whom we will be celebrating our 50th anniversary in less than a month.  My new found friendship with a new friend who I've been looking for all my life.  We complete each other.  My (relatively) good health, good job and ability to still pay my bills and not be in debt.  Sure I've had to remove all the bushes out front of the house because they became infected with a parasite (scale) but I'll be damned if I subject myself to another human parasite seeking to take advantage of my good nature.  

So that's why when I realized I was being scammed (yet again) yesterday with that young man, I said (with a smile) "No, we're not doing money here" and turned around and closed the door in his face.  I'm too old for this folks.  I've had enough.  Be it family or strangers, or anyone else.  Doesn't work here any more folks. 

I know who my friends are and I know who wishes me well and I know those who don't.  

These are the people that I share my life with, not some stranger showing up at my door. 


anne marie in philly said...

yikes! 2 in one day!

I get bullshit calls/drop-ins at my office. I disconnect the calls and throw the drop-ins out. at home, if the caller ID on the answering machine says "unknown", I don't answer.

and the scammers seem to be out in force...DE, PA, OH. I get that they are trying to earn a living but damn, I sure ain't as stupid as I look!

Ron said...

Anne Marie,
Springtime is the time for the scammer to crawl out from under their rocks. The Gypsies are the worst, they come up from the south and want to coat your driveway. Uh huh.

Like you I don't answer any phone calls that say "Out of Area" or "unknown." All of them want something from me, usually money. I don't miss a thing by not answering their phone calls.

As for the scammers trying to earn a living….no, get a real job. Don't scam me out of my hard earned and limited money by just asking for free money. As I said, from now on I take a photo when they appear at my door and tell them to be on their way.

Larry Meredith said...


Yeah, we have a no solicitations sign at the entrance to the community here, but who reads nowadays? I've had the charmers with, "win me a trip" spiels, too. Get a lot of the siding/window/gutter people, which gets me since I have all new siding windows gutters. Why would i want even newer? I suggest that after you take their picture you offer to sell them a copy. Scamming can work both end of the street.

hey, when you make these references to "life-long good friend" who are estranged I wish you'd add some other identifier. I don't want people thinking you mean me.

I never answer phone calls from Unavailable, Unknown, Number Only, etc. If it is really important and legit they'll leave a message.



Nadege said...

As you wrote, it is the season when parasites come out. I so agree with your rant and comments.

Jon said...

Ron, it seems like the entire world is nothing more than one gigantic SCAM - - it's so disheartening and disgusting. I laughed when you mentioed the door-to-door meat salesman, because we had the same thing in my neighborhood (right here in the middle of Nowhere, Texas). I told them I was a vegetarian, like you did. The last thing I'm going to do is buy meat from some raunchy Mexican in a broken-down truck. Probably dog meat.....

Ron said...

We don't get too many solicitors in this neighborhood. Yesterday was very unusual. I'm convinced they were together, the kid hiding out in the panel truck. By the way, good idea for taking their picture and offering to sell it to them. I think I'll pull that scam and see how they like it.

Of course I'm not referring to you when I make the reference to a "life-long good friend" who summarily dismissed my marriage as "what's next? Marrying your pet?" Some people are so brainwashed by their so called "Christian" church that they can't see the obvious truth. I'm not sure what other identifier I could use. Any suggestions? I could say "Not Larry".

I'm this close to completely doing away with my land line. I just don't see the use for it anymore. I can save myself $30 a month. Can you believe I was paying $60 a month before I complained? Talk about scams. Seems the only use for the land line phone these days is for the "Unknown" and "Out of Area" phone calls. I communicate with people who are important to me by e-mail, FaceTime and Facebook (in that order). The only other use for my land line is for my many doctors' office appointment confirmations but they can do that by my cell phone too. I think by the end of this year my land line will be gone.


Ron said...

I try to keep my negative blog posts to a minimum but yesterday had to be reported. Especially his reaction when I said "Oh, we're not doing money here." He said "You answered the door dude!" And he actually shouted it to me. You have a point that the world seems to be one gigantic SCAM. One has to always be on guard for "what's the angle on this one?" One thing you have to remember, no one is going to knock on your door, send you an e-mail or call you on the phone and DO SOMETHING FOR YOU. The only thing they're going to do is try to part you from your money. They think I'm especially vulnerable now because of my age. Well, I still have my wits about me and I'm not lonely. By the way, that's a funny story about "some raunch Mexican in a broken-down truck. Probably dog meat….." You're probably right!

Ron said...


I have to apologize for writing a negative post. I try to keep everything positive without being to pollyanna but yesterday was an exception. TWO scammers in a row. I'm convinced they were together. That's the last time I'll enter into a conversation with someone at my front door that I don't know. The only thing is local politicians come by and I don't want to be rude to them. The only other person who stops at our front door is our dear neighbors. They're always welcome. But some stranger? Not any more.

Anonymous said...

I think my neighborhood looks too poor to get many of these scams. Usually it's someone trying to sell windows: "It's a free estimate!" My response: "Unless the estimate is $0.00, I'm not interested."

Peace <3

Ur-spo said...

One can argue we are all in the 'sales' business of trying to get people to buy what we are selling.
I too dislike door to door salesmen but I empathize a bit with them - what a ghastly job. sooner i'd eat rats in Tewksbury

Ron said...

Dr. Spo,
On this subject I somewhat disagree. I prefect to offer and if anyone is buying, that's fine. But I find all too often what is "offered" is not true but misleading and dishonest. Granted, I sell myself but what you see is what you get. I don't adjust to fit other's perceptions of what they think I should be. Ergo, that's why I rarely fit in with the local cliques. I've always been a unique brand or, another way of putting it, an "acquired taste."

Ron said...

I do live in an expensive neighborhood. I remember one of my co-worker's response when I showed her a picture of the house I lived in. She said "That's where you live?" She was genuinely shocked. I asked her, "Where did you think I lived? In a trailer park?" Apparently she did. I guess that's the impression I give, trailer trash.

Jay M. said...

For her, it's hard to imagine that you have had a very successful career already and aren't working a "low pay service job" just to make ends meet, like she probably is. I don't think it is the impression you give as much as her "prejudices" towards those who work service jobs.
Peace <3

Ron said...

I think you're right. I know I was surprised when she asked me "Is this where you live Ron?" I said to her "Where did you think I lived?" I was truly surprised because I don't live in an expensive neighborhood but just your standard Ryan Homes development. There are many expensive (million dollar plus) neighborhoods in the Rehoboth/Lewes/Milton area but I sure don't live in one. What surprised me was her assumption that I probably lived in a single wide or double wide trailer. I grew up in the white trash part of town but my one mail goal in life was to get out of that environment. It wasn't easy because I'm not the smartest guy on this planet and I certainly never had the high paying jobs but I stayed focused on living in a nice home away from the type of environment that I grew up in because even then I know I didn't belong there and couldn't wait to get out.