My Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Experience…
Would you do this?
People ask me if this stuff really happens, yes… this really happened today.
This afternoon I heard a girl laughing outside my house, near the front door. I live on a busy street, so that’s not uncommon, but then my doorbell rings. I assume it is fed/ex or UPS dropping off a package, so I don’t answer. I was on the 3rd floor, so it is a lot of stairs to walk down to pick up a flyer or envelope.
The giggling outside continues and the doorbell rings again. So, now I have to go deal with some giggly girl who is probably lost and looking for her friends.
I answer the door and I am immediately greeted with a HUGE smile and, “Hi, my name is Amber”. Amber then starts to go into her pitch, she is selling magazine subscriptions door to door for a company that takes people off the streets and gives them a job. For those of you who don’t know, I sold newspaper subscriptions door to door from 10 years old up to 13 years old, then I spent 2 years in high school homeless. So, I already have a soft spot on two levels before she even starts talking about magazines.
I have absolutely no need or want for a magazine subscription, I have countless ones laying around and in storage that I should probably go get rid of, the last thing I need is more magazines. In her presentation, they show us what they earn on a subscription. So I said, “How about this, how about I just give you what you would earn on selling me a subscription and I skip the magazine.” I figured that was a win win, she earns what she wants and I don’t get stuck with 2 years of stuff to throw away.
She replies, “I’m sorry that would be unethical. I would be cheating my the company who hired me and the magazine companies.” I argued, “That is very sweet, but it is no different than me walking into a Starbucks and giving someone a $50-$100 tip. I can do that, I have done that. There is nothing wrong with that.”
Amber replies, “I see your point, but it still would not feel right to me. If you don’t want your subscription, you can donate it to one of the charities we work with.” Then she started naming children’s charities and I said, okay… sold.
We sit down to start filling out the paperwork and she is out of receipts. Her boss only gave her 10 receipts for the day and she already had 9 sales, the 10th one she made a mistake on, so we used that one and just crossed out the earlier writing. She showed me all the sales she made earlier in the day, I said, “That’s pretty good, you already hit the number they expected for you and it is only 2:30pm. What do you do now if you make another sale?”
She explained that she finished early because she did not stop for lunch, and that she can call her boss and they will come bring her more receipts. Her company travels around the country, she is here from St. Louis and the company drops them off in neighborhoods for the day. I said I would offer her something to eat, but I don’t really have anything, I eat out a lot. I told her she needs to take a break and have some lunch. She said if it would make me happy, she would walk down the street to McKinney Avenue and go have a slice of pizza. I said, well what would make me really happy is if instead you walk down to Klyde Warren Park downtown and have a slice of pizza from one of the food trucks. It is an absolutely beautiful park, it will only take a little while longer to walk, and you will really enjoy it. There is even a museum across the street, you should take the rest of the day off, like the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
She laughed and said she did not have time for that. I asked if she had got to see or do anything fun while she was in Dallas, and she said, “not really”. So, I said… “Will you go to the park, if I go with you?” She laughed and said, “You are not going to go walk to a park and have lunch with me, lol.” Which I obviously took as a challenge, and said I absolutely would, IF she wanted to and would not get in trouble.
Then she said okay, I think she was calling my bluff, because I went inside to put on some shoes and grab my wallet, when I came back outside, all of the sudden she couldn’t go. I think she got nervous, which I understood… this is weird, but I do weird stuff all the time, so this is totally normal for me. So I told her, how about we just walk a couple blocks to where you can see the park, then if it seems too far, no problem, I understand. I will go to the park by myself and have lunch and you can go back and wait for your boss. That seemed fair, and we were on our way.
Once we got to where she could see the park and how beautiful it was, not to mention it was a beautiful day, and we had been walking for a little while, talking, she warmed up, now she wanted to go. The first thing we saw inside the park was the putting green area. She asked why they were there, I said you can borrow clubs and just play, just practice hitting balls. They also have ping pong tables and foosball tables, etc. She asked if I was very good at golf, I was honest and said no. I asked if she was good, she said she had never played, not even miniature golf! So, of course we had to stop and play on the putting green for a while. I didn’t want to make her late, so I said we could go after hitting a few balls, but she wanted to stay… she was having fun.
After playing on the putting green we made our way to the food trucks, ordered some food, and just sat in the park on a beautiful day and had lunch. We talked about where she was from, all the places she had visited with that job so far. She had been doing this now for 2 years and had been all over the country. I asked her what the craziest experience was she ever had going door to door, she answered… “This is, lol… Nobody is going to believe I did this.”
After lunch I wanted to go to the museum, but she did not have time… so we started to walk back, then I a trolley going by and we jumped on the trolley. Her first trolley ride.
We got back to her meeting area, sat and talked for a little bit, exchanged info to stay in touch, and said good bye.
This wasn’t a big deal, nothing too interesting happened, but I think it is fun doing unexpected random stuff. The museum would have been a nice touch, that would have felt VERY Ferris Bueller’ish, but still over all, it was pretty random and random is fun.
PS: This actually happened a few days ago. I posted it to Facebook and received a lot of positive feedback, so I decided to share it here too. (11/21/2016)
PPS: Two Questions…
1. Would you do something like this? Why or why not?
2. Have you done something like this?
If you have, please share in the comments. I like stories like this, thanks.