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#333558 - 01/06/2010 12:14 English help: Can I make this text any clearer?
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
I was under the impression that my sign was short and to the point, clear enough to be understood by everyone and general enough to cover every case. Apparently I'm wrong.

Every couple of weeks I have to slam the door in someone's face, against arguments that they're not soliciting. Or that they're "not selling anything." I find it's mostly university-aged people who seem to have this reading comprehension problem.

It just happened again today. I was in the dining room in eye-shot of the door and someone knocked. My dogs star freaking out and jumping at the glass to the side of the door where whomever is there can clearly see. I can tell that they can read the sign so expect they'll just walk away. Nope. So I go to the door, open it, reach my hand outside while keeping the dogs in and point to the sign, while politely saying, "I'm sorry, no soliciting." They reply back "oh, ok. But then how about..." - to which I then have to say "no soliciting of any kind, I'm not answering your questions" and slam the door in their face.

Seriously. At least the Jehovah douche-bags on the weekend immediately understood my curt "keep walking" when I was outside working.

I'm not sure there's anything I can put on the sign that will get through to everyone. There's always going to be someone who thinks whatever is written for some reason doesn't apply to them. I'd really love to be able to take the sign down., so my next move may be to petition my local area representative of my desire to ban door-to-door solicitation and junk mail/flyer delivery in this municipality. Solicitors already require a permit, but I'd like to see an all-out ban with some tangible penalties.

At least I'm thankful we haven't seen any of the scummy/fraudulent (they're all fraudulent) energy resellers around in a long time. Junk/Solicitation mail/calls are probably my biggest pet peeve.


Attachments
noagents.jpg


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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#333560 - 01/06/2010 12:29 Re: English help: Can I make this text any clearer? [Re: hybrid8]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
As much as I'd like to get at this issue with a high-tech solution, I'm not sure it would work, plus it would take some effort to implement.

One example: Small sign above a column of doorbells "Don't knock, please ring bell" Each bell would be labeled, starting from the top, "Family/Friends," "Other Neighbors," "Deliveries," "Everyone else." The first three would ring through and the last one would do something else. A pre-recorded message telling them to leave, turn on a hose to wash down every inch of area in front of the door or perhaps a shock. Maybe the message on first press and then the shock and water with the second press (on any of the bells).
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#333561 - 01/06/2010 12:34 Re: English help: Can I make this text any clearer? [Re: hybrid8]
Robotic
pooh-bah

Registered: 06/04/2005
Posts: 2026
Loc: Seattle transplant
How about "Unplanned visitors are unwelcome" ?
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#333562 - 01/06/2010 12:39 Re: English help: Can I make this text any clearer? [Re: Robotic]
JeffS
carpal tunnel

Registered: 14/01/2002
Posts: 2858
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Pretty sure your problem isn't with reading comprehension- people simply don't care if they bother you. They have a task to do, and they will do it whether you like it or not. It's not like they'll be fined for violating your sign.
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Rome did not create a great empire by having meetings; they did it by killing all those who opposed them.

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#333563 - 01/06/2010 12:56 Re: English help: Can I make this text any clearer? [Re: JeffS]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Originally Posted By: JeffS
It's not like they'll be fined for violating your sign.


So you're saying I should spray them with water then? wink That's why I'd like to have a municipal ban on solicitation. I mean, if they want to open a shop, pay rent and what have you, I'll come by if *I* decide to.

I should probably also have another bell specifically for "religion" resellers that gives them a reading from an assortment of religious passages I can keep prerecorded. I can even have it randomize between the Old and New testament as well as the Qur'an. Usually the folks going door-to-door fall into the domain of some specialty DIY texts (Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons to be specific).
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Bruno
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#333565 - 01/06/2010 13:15 Re: English help: Can I make this text any clearer? [Re: hybrid8]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5350
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Your basic problem is one of too much compliance on your part.

When my phone rings, I always ask myself is there anybody I can think of that I'd like to talk to more than whatever it is I'm doing at the moment? The answer is always "No." That's why God invented answering machines.

Under what law of the universe are you required to answer your door? From the tone of your complaint, I get the impression that there are only about three people in all of creation that you are willing to accept into your home. So, talk to those three people, give them a key to your house if it suits you, and disconnect the damn doorbell.

Why look for the complicated solution?

tanstaafl.
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#333566 - 01/06/2010 14:02 Re: English help: Can I make this text any clearer? [Re: tanstaafl.]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Well, there are about a half dozen neighbors I know quite well, plus others I don't know so well. Only two currently have a key. Then there's family, of which only my brother has a key. I can't give a key to the UPS/FedEx/Mail guys... There are a lot of people I don't mind and actually enjoy showing up unannounced, so I'll need at least the medium complicated solution. wink

To tell you the truth, I wouldn't answer the door if it weren't for the dogs barking and the fact we have a baby in the house that we're sometimes trying to get to sleep. The people that don't understand the sign will usually wait around a long time at the door and often ring or knock two or three times. Even after they've seen me walk right by the door, look at them, wave and not answer it.

Hmmm.. I think turning this into a profit-generating system might work the best. Install some water nozzles, including some in the floor slab, a switch and a camera to record everything. Put up web site showing people getting water-blasted with funny captions. Run some advertising to make a few bucks. Lots of laughs.
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Bruno
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#333567 - 01/06/2010 14:06 Re: English help: Can I make this text any clearer? [Re: tanstaafl.]
boxer
pooh-bah

Registered: 16/04/2002
Posts: 2011
Loc: Yorkshire UK
No comprehensive solution, I don't think their is one: But a door intercom would mean you don't have to face them in person - and if you wanted some quality time, you could always turn it off.
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#333580 - 01/06/2010 16:52 Re: English help: Can I make this text any clearer? [Re: hybrid8]
Robotic
pooh-bah

Registered: 06/04/2005
Posts: 2026
Loc: Seattle transplant
I think you need a trapdoor and a lime pit. Not sure how to make that a profit-center, though. You're on your own for that bit. wink
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#333586 - 01/06/2010 17:20 Re: English help: Can I make this text any clearer? [Re: hybrid8]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12008
Loc: Sterling, VA
I think your municipal ban might actually be a good direction to head. I'm fairly certain that the neighborhood I grew up in had a ban on soliciting, and we seemed to get almost nobody at the front door that we didn't want. I don't remember a single Jehovah's Witness in the 24-or-so years I lived there. It's not like I lived in a remote location, either. It was a well-off neighborhood in a nice town.

Originally Posted By: hybrid8
Hmmm.. I think turning this into a profit-generating system might work the best. Install some water nozzles, including some in the floor slab, a switch and a camera to record everything. Put up web site showing people getting water-blasted with funny captions. Run some advertising to make a few bucks. Lots of laughs.

...followed by the backlash you'll get when your trap catches a little 8 year old selling cookies. Do you have girl scouts in Canada? smile
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#333587 - 01/06/2010 17:36 Re: English help: Can I make this text any clearer? [Re: Dignan]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Obviously the video won't stream live. I won't post the one of the Girl Guide. The Scouts are boys. wink
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#333593 - 01/06/2010 20:34 Re: English help: Can I make this text any clearer? [Re: hybrid8]
larry818
old hand

Registered: 01/10/2002
Posts: 984
Loc: Fullerton, Calif.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_hunting

I wanna do something like this for my office back door, but with a water cannon. "Hose the homeless". They seem to love my office yard for their "business"...

A friend of mine had good luck with a very nice door mat she made. It was white with a vivid red "F*** Off" on it.

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#333595 - 01/06/2010 22:38 Re: English help: Can I make this text any clearer? [Re: larry818]
msaeger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 23/09/2000
Posts: 3608
Loc: Minnetonka, MN
The intercom sounds like the best idea to me. You are never going to stop the people with a sign. They all figure why not ask what's the worst that could happen you will say screw off. Plus maybe there is some kind of intercom that wouldn't make a loud noise and wake up a baby.

I don't like people trying to sell me stuff either but I think a municipal ban is going too far. All I get here are parents with their kids trying to sell fund raising stuff for some after school activity. I figure I should be nice I will have a kid some day that needs to sell some crap.
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#333598 - 01/06/2010 23:17 Re: English help: Can I make this text any clearer? [Re: msaeger]
gbeer
carpal tunnel

Registered: 17/12/2000
Posts: 2659
Loc: Manteca, California
The sign you want is...

We shoot every third salesman, and the second one just left.
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#333601 - 02/06/2010 01:05 Re: English help: Can I make this text any clearer? [Re: hybrid8]
JeffS
carpal tunnel

Registered: 14/01/2002
Posts: 2858
Loc: Atlanta, GA
My wife's idea: make your doorbell coin operated. You could always give welcome guests their money back. . .
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-Jeff
Rome did not create a great empire by having meetings; they did it by killing all those who opposed them.

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#333602 - 02/06/2010 02:08 Re: English help: Can I make this text any clearer? [Re: msaeger]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Originally Posted By: msaeger
All I get here are parents with their kids trying to sell fund raising stuff for some after school activity.


I classify that as neighbors, since I doubt someone's going to drive here to do that. Chances are that I'll know them or have seen them around. That type of visit, or even a local kid fundraising for their school I don't mind.

What I'd like to see banned are commercial canvasing, flyer distribution (excluding those bundled with the newspaper), and church/religious recruitment.
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#333610 - 02/06/2010 10:20 Re: English help: Can I make this text any clearer? [Re: hybrid8]
Tim
veteran

Registered: 25/04/2000
Posts: 1472
Loc: Arizona
Originally Posted By: hybrid8
What I'd like to see banned are commercial canvasing, flyer distribution (excluding those bundled with the newspaper), and church/religious recruitment.

Easter was fun this year. I'm pretty sure we were on the brink of a turf war between Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons in my neighborhood. At one point, I was talk to some Jehovah's Witnesses and a family of Mormons walked by the front, looked at the front door and got a dirty look on their faces and then continued walking. It was entertaining to say the least.

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#333621 - 02/06/2010 14:53 Re: English help: Can I make this text any clearer? [Re: JeffS]
canuckInOR
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/02/2002
Posts: 3147
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: JeffS
My wife's idea: make your doorbell coin operated. You could always give welcome guests their money back. . .

We have a doorbell. It's even lit, so it's nicely visible. I don't remember what it sounds like, though -- everyone knocks on the door.

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#333622 - 02/06/2010 15:11 Re: English help: Can I make this text any clearer? [Re: Tim]
canuckInOR
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/02/2002
Posts: 3147
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: Tim
Originally Posted By: hybrid8
What I'd like to see banned are commercial canvasing, flyer distribution (excluding those bundled with the newspaper), and church/religious recruitment.

Easter was fun this year. I'm pretty sure we were on the brink of a turf war between Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons in my neighborhood. At one point, I was talk to some Jehovah's Witnesses and a family of Mormons walked by the front, looked at the front door and got a dirty look on their faces and then continued walking. It was entertaining to say the least.

Too bad it wasn't the other way around. I quite enjoy talking to the door-to-door Mormons. I generally start out with "I don't think you really want to talk to me." If they don't get the hint from that, I'll continue on to ask them about things like the Avenging Angels, and the Mountain Meadows massacre, and if they're still trying to come up with good answers after that, I'll ask them about Joseph Smith's practice of dowsing, whether or not such things really work, and what evidence they have that the church wasn't created as a way to avoid prosecution for witchcraft. I don't usually get that far.

Next time, though, I'll have to ask about their holy underwear before I chase them off with the hard questions.

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#333627 - 02/06/2010 17:42 Re: English help: Can I make this text any clearer? [Re: canuckInOR]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Don't forget about their password to get into heaven.
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#333628 - 02/06/2010 17:51 Re: English help: Can I make this text any clearer? [Re: wfaulk]
boxer
pooh-bah

Registered: 16/04/2002
Posts: 2011
Loc: Yorkshire UK
I read in today's paper that "silent" phone calls are to be banned in the UK, we already have a telephone preference service, to cut out all the sales calls: to ignore the service could lead to a fine of 4,000. You can also register with the Post Office that you don't want unaddressed flyers.
On the other hand our boxer, Jasper is pretty good at discouraging random callers!
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#333632 - 02/06/2010 18:49 Re: English help: Can I make this text any clearer? [Re: boxer]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
"'silent' phone calls"?
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#333633 - 02/06/2010 19:14 Re: English help: Can I make this text any clearer? [Re: wfaulk]
sn00p
addict

Registered: 24/07/2002
Posts: 600
Loc: South London
Originally Posted By: wfaulk
"'silent' phone calls"?


They're very common in the UK and extremely irritating, from what I understand there are 2 main things that cause them:

1) An automated dialer "war dialing" and storing numbers for later callback where the phone is answered.

2) A similar automated dialer which when you pick up tries to connect you to a free "agent", you often end up in "free space" (silence) when there's no free agents.

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#333642 - 02/06/2010 20:47 Re: English help: Can I make this text any clearer? [Re: sn00p]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Oh, oh. Yeah, that happens in the US, too. I'd never heard them called that before.
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#333668 - 03/06/2010 10:45 Re: English help: Can I make this text any clearer? [Re: sn00p]
Roger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/01/2000
Posts: 5567
Loc: London, UK
Originally Posted By: sn00p
A similar automated dialer which when you pick up tries to connect you to a free "agent", you often end up in "free space" (silence) when there's no free agents.


Last I checked it's called a "predictive" dialling campaign. Because having an agent listening to a ringtone is wasteful, it tries to guess when an agent will become free, and to have a just-picked-up call ready for when the agent becomes free. Sometimes it gets it wrong, and you end up answering the call to find there's no agent available.

Some systems are even devious enough to wait until you say "hello" before connecting you to the agent, and can tell the difference between a real person and an answerphone.

A "progressive" dialler is slightly less annoying, in that it'll dial only when an agent is free, but still saves the agent the bother of dialling themselves.
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#333675 - 03/06/2010 12:55 Re: English help: Can I make this text any clearer? [Re: Roger]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4146
Loc: Cambridge, England
I registered my (Virgin Media) phone line with the TPS as soon as I knew the number, and I've never had an automated call with any human being involved. The only ones I get -- which are pretty rare -- are pure robocalls, almost always "Congratulations! You have won a Caribbean cruise". The voice recording invariably has an American accent, complete with cuh-RIB-ee-un rather than ca-ri-BEE-un.

Peter

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#333733 - 04/06/2010 14:19 Re: English help: Can I make this text any clearer? [Re: peter]
boxer
pooh-bah

Registered: 16/04/2002
Posts: 2011
Loc: Yorkshire UK
Yes, I do get those, as well. I also get the odd chancer ignoring the TPS, but they apologise and disappear when you tell them you're registered.
What one could do with is a gizmo that just reads out "This number is registered with the telephone preference service, do you wish to proceed?" to any numbers it doesn't recognise from your stored numbers. But, on the whole, it's not enough of a problem.
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#333735 - 04/06/2010 14:56 Re: English help: Can I make this text any clearer? [Re: boxer]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5741
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
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#333743 - 04/06/2010 18:38 Re: English help: Can I make this text any clearer? [Re: andy]
boxer
pooh-bah

Registered: 16/04/2002
Posts: 2011
Loc: Yorkshire UK
For the thick end of a hundred quid, I think I can cope with the occasional nuisance!
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