Tuesday, September 15, 2009

How did he get in here?

I really cannot stand people trying to sell me something. I never listen to telemarketers on the phone, I usually end the conversation very quickly and politely. I sometimes do not answer the door when someone knocks and I can tell they are selling something. Even when I do answer the door, I usually only half listen and then send them on their way. I find it rude and an intrusion on my family life. If I want something, I can usually find it on the internet or through asking people I know. So with that in mind, here is what happened last night.

Knock on the door around 8 PM.

I figured it was on of our neighbors and headed towards the door, only then realizing that we had built a little resting place right in front of it. It was impossible to open the door without moving said resting place. I look out the peephole- nope not a neighbor. A man, not sure age or race. Without thinking about it, I start to move the things in front of the door. Looking back, this is very odd behavior for me.

I finally get the door open. On my door step is an energetic kid around 17. He is selling cleaners. He is smart, funny, he can tell a joke and my 3 year old is mesmerized. I know pretty quickly I am going to buy his cleaner, why? Well, I am doing it because I like him. Yep, that is it, I like him. I know that I am being sold, but since the product is a cleaner I am not that concerned. Well, I did make sure it would not kill anything it touched and was natural and such. I buy his cleaner, suggest that I will expect to see him on the comedy circuit in the next 5 years, he was amazing, and send him on his way.

An hour later another kid knocks on my door. He is selling the same stuff. I tell him I bought from his friend and send him on his way. All the while I am realizing that I would have sent the second kid on his way without buying anything. I started to ask myself why. What did the first kid have that the second one did not? I think it was a natural charisma and likability. I am guessing that this job is not that hard for him and that he sells a lot of cleaner. The second kid did what most people do, waits for you to let them down easy. You are going to tell him no, he already knows it, his body language suggests it and you see it. Because you see his body language you discount his product. It is a crazy idea, or is it?

In broader sense it got me thinking about myself and my natural abilities and my kids and their innate qualities. I have often said that one of my greatest strengths is I can talk to anyone. It was this strenght that school was so intent on rooting out of me from my earliest years. And yet, it was my most marketable quality when I became an adult. It has me focusing today on how I can help my kids to express and draw strength from those things that they are naturally good at. And, it has really helped me to focus on what it is we are and are not doing that makes our way of getting an education better for our family.

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