(Narrated for the lazy)
Millenials are the generation who are almost guaranteed to have more jobs in their lives than both their parents combined. Case in point, I’ve had about 5 jobs in my last 20 months living abroad. Most recently, I’ve knocked on doors as a lead generator for a solar company. I did that for nearly a month before I decided that it wasn’t for me.
Each day, I’d interact with between 40 and 60 people. The most common thing I heard:
I’m not interested.
No matter what I could say to these people, they didn’t give a shit. They had this preconceived notion that I couldn’t do anything for them except waste their time. A very small selection of the people I spoke to left lasting impressions because they chose to treat me like a person. Here are some of my favourites.
First is the worst.
A woman has just opened her door and she was wearing a head wrap that covered her ears and forehead. Short to medium length hair is poking out from under it. Our conversation went something like this:
ME: Is it cold inside?
CL: (Super aggressive tone) Excuse me?
ME: Oh, your headscarf. I thought it might be cold in your house.
CL: (Super aggressive tone) What’s that supposed to mean?
ME: Nothing really, just thought that you might be wearing it because your head’s cold.
CL: (Super aggressive tone) No, I’m actually wearing it because my hair is growing back because I had cancer.
Naturally, I apologized profusely. That was not a successful house for me.
Second is the best.
A coworker and I sauntered up to a house that had it’s garage door open. Naturally, we looked inside. On the far wall was a collection of bikini model pictures, some exposing every possible square inch of their areolas.
Alright, this was clearly a man cave.
But what really made this garage interesting was the adjacent wall’s picture: Jesus and his disciples eating at the last supper. Clearly, the Lord had performed a miracle on these models and turned their daddy issues into dollar bills.
We knock on the front door and out bounds this 84 year old man. We weren’t expecting a 84 year old man. Nor were we expecting his toothless wife.
The two were an absolute pleasure. The highlights of our conversation with this couple were as follows:
- Finding out they had been inseparable since their teen years.
- Her recalling him suggesting she put her hand in his pocket when they were 14. She found out the “hard” way that he had a hole in his pocket.
- The two gifting us with homemade treats and apples
- The grandparents insisting we return later that day for dinner (sadly we had to pass)
Homemade food and seniors telling stories about their early sexual activity?
Third is the one with the penis feet.
Essentially, a house had a large bay window which allowed me to see inside. Standing by the window was a wooden kangaroo statue. The feet of this kangaroo looked like a couple of penises. Naturally, when the door opened, I told the homeowner
“Your kangaroo statue’s feet look like penises.”
He glanced over at it, chuckled to himself and said:
“Dutch people like weird statues”.
He wasn’t particularly interested in solar power.
Apart from the Good, the Bad and the Woody, some of my other exciting interaction were:
- When I fed a horse named Dylan an apple and he spit it up on my shoe
- A customer gifting me a pumpkin that he had grown in his backyard (same day as Dylan)
- An elderly couple’s collection of 8 cavalier King Charles spaniels (the wife had trouble naming all 8)
- A lovely old woman named Emily who gave me one of her homemade cheese scones and let me take a selfie with her
- A second lovely old woman named Elizabeth who was still madly in love with her husband of 50 plus years. She got so excited describing a coat she made that she ran inside and grabbed it so she could give me an impromptu fashion show. She also gave me chocolate
Regardless of the characters that I met on the job, I decided it wasn’t for me. Sure there were some wonderful people, but there were also heaps of dickheads.
But, I’ll never forget the month I was a door knocker.