For a change, this is not a moan about me, but merely yet another of those Witty observations. Yeah, right.
The other day, while out leafletting for my business – which is tragically something I’m having to do at the moment – I encountered a house. It looked like just one of the thousands of houses I’ve shoved a leaflet through their letterbox. Just ordinary. And, even better, an external post box. So definitely no danger of a dog or some other wild animal jumping at my fingers…
I approached the house in my usual manner. Flagging a little bit, perhaps, because I was coming to the end of a 1.5 hour session, but still, I was trying to keep positive that I wasn’t wasting my time…
I spotted, as seems to be quite normal around here, that there was a sign on the door. No cold callers it said, very angrily. But it was a standard sticker. I’d seen them all over town. I’m not a cold caller, I thought. And I’m not. A cold caller is someone who knocks at the door. So I opened the post box to shove my wares in.
The door opened.
“Uh oh!” crooned a rather odd looking man, in an amusingly camp fashion, as he emerged from the dark hallway. “What is that for?”
“It’s just a leaflet about my computer repairs business”.
“What does that say?” he responded, while pointing towards his silly little sign.
“No cold callers”
“And what are you doing?”
“I’m not a cold caller”. I knew what was coming.
“But what does it say further down?”
“No junk mail?”
“So take it out, go on, go away” he moaned.
I removed my hand from the post box, taking the leaflet, and walked away. I almost… almost… deliberately left the leaflet in there, just to wind him up.
This was the first time in thousands of leaflet drops that someone has ever challenged me. I wanted to argue. I wanted to say, “Do you do this to everyone? Are you such a bitter old man that you sit there, twitching your net curtains, waiting for someone to walk up your path, so that you can have some bizarre power trip over what gets put in your letterbox?”
Because that got me. Was his life so dull, so unfulfilling, that he was really so bothered about what gets put into his letterbox – and so much so that he’d actually come out and challenge the leafleters about it? Is it really such an ordeal to him that the mere act of recycling the leaflet, unread, was not enough… he wanted to Take A Stand too!
In truth, I don’t understand the “No Junk Mail” signs. First of all, they don’t work. Second of all, why bother getting yourself so wound up over something so incredibly trivial?
Don’t normal, balanced people think like this, instead?
Oh look, another double glazing leaflet! Well, since I have nice double glazing, I’ll just put it in the recycling.
Oh look, another leaflet asking if I want to sell my home! Well, since I don’t own my home, I’ll just put it in the recycling.
Oh look, a leaflet asking if I need my computer fixing! Well, since I am such an expert and fix my own computers, I’ll just put it in the recycling.
Simple. Rational. No aggression. No need to get angry. No need to get defensive, or territorial, like you have a right to dictate what people try and communicate to you. And maybe, just maybe, once in a while, a piece of direct mail is actually quite interesting to you.
I hope I don’t turn into the old man.