There was a knock at the door the other night which set off the dog. When I put her in a side room and returned to the door, The Wife had already opened the door and was conversing with the gentleman who probably made the knocking gesture on previously said door.
He was dressed in a windbreaker jacket with a security type of logo branded on one side where you might expect it. He was wearing normal slacks but I paused for a moment on his shoes. Then, I remembered this was Portland, so its OK to wear sandals. These were leather, near full-shoe type, with several vertical slits in the material to let the foot breathe.
When I arrived at the door, the nice gentleman was already working up his speech and I sensed he was working steadily at discounting The Wife's attempt to bring the conversation to a close. I placed one foot on the threshold and poked my head out. In a friendly, yet 114% of my normal speaking volume, I said, "Oh, hi! Sorry, I missed the first part. What's this about?"
The pleasant Johnny Come Knocky man was a little startled at my dismissal of his current statement and looked to The Wife for some assertion of his purpose. I can only imagine how looking up at two 6+ foot people in a waif-like windbreaker with a loud dog barking in the background could put you off the speech you've undoubtedly practiced in the mirror several times.
It turns out the dude was curious about our security system. My Spidey Sense™ went from mere annoyance to high alert. If he were a genuine party to my security system, why is he asking questions. If he wanted to convert me to an alternative security system, he could have been a little more up front about it. I let him hem and haw about his response to my question regarding my absence from the first part and upon my evaluation I rated his response "insufficient".
This is what I gleaned from his statement and his visible artifacts:
- There is some type of survey in progress.
- He was not really selling me anything.
- His binder was really ratty looking.
- He really was well groomed; washed face, trimmed fingernails.
I couldn't understand why he asked if we engaged our alarm often during his rambling statements. Perhaps its because I have security very much on my mind these days. I am an avid listener to www.RunAsRadio.com with Richard Campbell and Greg Hughes. The frequency of my alarm engagement is just not a question you ask someone in a casual front door conversation. He might as well ask me which framed artwork has the wall safe behind it. I was keen to his exploits.
I sent him on his way with an abrupt "We're not interested" statement. The Wife thought I was a little less than polite in the retrospective we held immediately afterwards. Upon further reflection, I can only believe that only one of the following two scenarios apply to that situation:
- Knocky McWindbreaker dude has really ineffective salesmanship abilities.
- Thievey Stinkershien was using his social engineering skills to identify an attack vector.
That really gets my goat. I don't like seeing folks do a face-plant on their job and I hate getting ripped off. If you're going to knock on my door and sell me something, then you better have some good chops and know how to deal with people like me. I hope my TV is still in my house when I get home tonight.