Cody B. (codeman38) wrote in bad_service,
Cody B.

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Door-to-door fail

So I've just gotten back to my apartment from doing some research for my dissertation in the library, and have decided to sprawl out on my couch, when I hear a curious knock at the door. Thinking it might be someone from a maintenance crew or something, I open the door, and see a 20-something guy with a list of magazines and what looks sort of like some sort of payment receipt pad.

He introduces himself, claiming he's new and just getting to know the neighbors... which, for all I know, is true. And he mentions he's going around surveying people on what magazines they like on a particular list so he can get points for raising funds for a trip.

None of the magazines on the list appeal to me, to be honest. In nearly all cases, they're either magazines about sports, magazines involving scantily-clad women, or magazines for women; the rest are equally uninteresting to me. My own reading tastes fall more into tech news, popular science, anime and video gaming, science fiction and fantasy... not to mention just general news magazines, and even those were lacking from the list.

I tell him that I don't really see any magazines that interest me. He keeps emphasizing that this is for points for a trip overseas, or something like that-- I wasn't exactly in the most coherent state of mind, and wasn't hearing very clearly as a result. He also says something about getting my address to send a postcard from Spain, and is a bit puzzled when I say that I really don't know why I'd want a postcard from someone I barely even knew. (Particularly since I've gotten postcards from overseas from people who actually are friends.)

To stall for time while I try to decide if there's anything on the list of magazines that vaguely interests me, he starts to carry on a conversation trying to be informal and friendly... and completely not noticing the fact that (1) I'm already trembling a bit from the surprise visit when I had been getting ready to lie down, (2) I'm a bit nervous at his over-friendly, too-casual disposition.

I can't recall the exact dialogue that followed, and this may be out of order, but it went something like:

him: "So, do you have any kids?"
me: "No..."
him: "Well, then, you must be a chick magnet!" (I still have no idea how sarcastic this was... let's just say I'm not even close to being an International Man of Mystery.)
me: "Uhh, well, I do have a girlfriend..."
him: "Your girlfriend must be bangin'!"
me: (trailing off) "Umm...yeah..."

In the meantime, I still don't see a magazine that I'm interested in, and am nearly to the point of just randomly picking one. He asks to use my table as a writing surface, since there's not much of use to write on outside. I let him use the kitchen counter that's right inside the door. He asks if he can sit on the couch, because he'd prefer to be sitting; I refuse. And then something dawns on me:

me: "Are you asking me to buy a subscription to one of these?"
him: "Yeah, but it won't cost much."
me: "I'm a graduate student. I haven't even gotten my first paycheck of the semester yet. Right now, I'm trying to cut back on spending my own funds."

He still doesn't seem to get it. By this point, I am noticeably shaking and fidgeting out of nervousness... around this point, he starts to notice the fidgeting (which I didn't even notice I was doing at first), asks why I'm so nervous, begins to realize that I'm probably not a good sale, and leaves.

TL;DR: Guy doing door-to-door magazine fundraiser scam thing at university apartment complex doesn't seem to get that some students may be introverted, shy, low on funds, and not into the typical interests of their age group. Fail ensues, particularly when he's a bit deceptive about what he's doing in the first place. And codeman38 is a nervous, fidgety wreck by the end of it.
Tags: scams, small scared animal
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