Because I’m an Idiot. That’s Why.

I fell for a door-to-door salesman today. Okay, that doesn’t sound right. I didn’t fall for him, but I bought what he was selling – a stupid magazine subscription.

I don’t do this kind of thing. I’m usually very good at saying no. I can say no to the most sincere sounding police officer raising funds for abused children (I sound heartless here, but it’s true – I always say NO).

This guy had a good story – told me my landlord’s wife sent him over, tried to name drop (though I didn’t know the names he was dropping, which was probably intentional now that I think about it). He told me why he was raising money (a trip), where he planned to go, yada yada yada. Something involuntary in me said yes today and handed him a check for a stupid amount of money for a two-year magazine subscription. A MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION!!!

He left and I then looked things up on the Internet that made my stomach flip. I emailed the school where he claimed he was from to see if they had a group going to where he said he was going. I looked at the image of him I had stored in my brain and asked myself carefully: does he really look like a college sophomore, or more like a 37-year-old man? OH MY GOSH HE LOOKED LIKE A 37 YEAR OLD MAN!!! I’VE BEEN HAD!!!

Craig came home about 10 minutes later and I spilled my story. He’s still shaking his head; he knows I don’t do this sort of thing. “It’s like the guy waved some weird magic wand in front of you and hypnotized you or something.” I KNOW.

Long story short, I put a stop payment on the check. And stop payments aren’t cheap, but the peace of mind I felt after doing it was worth it.

And I found my “no” again. Woe to the next guy to try to sell me anything…

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7 thoughts on “Because I’m an Idiot. That’s Why.

  1. Jamie says:

    Yeah, I guess if your girls have already answered the door it’s kind of hard to pretend that you aren’t home.
    You could have tried pushing him out, shutting the door behind him, and being super quiet for a while–but I’m betting he wouldn’t have fallen for it. (Then again, if he has been in college for that long, perhaps you could have pulled it off.)

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  2. Renae says:

    Way back in the corner of my brain I remember doing something like this… it may not make any difference if you’ve already paid for a stop payment on your check, but if I remember correctly, you have 3 days (a “cooling off” period) to cancel a sale like this without penalty. I was in New York at the time, but I think it’s a Uniform Commercial Code statute that applies in all states.
    And I, too, have learned to be a cold-hearted consumer that would leave orphans, college students, officers of the peace and other such people without proper food, clothing, and/or shelter.

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  3. Megan says:

    Yeah, I saw that on the form, but I got nervous about that too – like what if I tried it and it didn’t work and they guy washed my check and cashed it for more money than we even had in the bank, all that.
    I’m just an idiot. I still feel like one. *sheepish grin*

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  4. Keri says:

    If it makes you feel any better, I once had a professional magician (not quite the same as a con man, but stick with me…) tell me that very intelligent people are much easier to trick because they are so busy analyzing the situation that they miss the obvious.
    OK – so maybe that doesn’t help. Maybe he only said that to make me feel better since I didn’t notice the missing card stuck on his forehead…

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  5. Shelley says:

    Megan – this same thing happened to me. A guy who was selling magazines that I didn’t need or want and somehow I just couldn’t find the “no”….and he had scruffy paper and pens and I just knew it was slimy but felt worse about saying no than yes, somehow. So odd. I did the exact same thing you did. Called the bank and stopped the check and still scratch my head as to why I did that. My guy was also not in college, which I knew intuitively. Your story made me laugh and be comforted that someone else smart made my same mistake. šŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing.

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  6. RT says:

    Here I am wondering how to teach my daughter to call 911 if necessary when there’s a keyboard lock on my cell phone and now I’m reminded of the whole door-answering thing. What’s a mama to do! Geesh.

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  7. Allison says:

    Well, the only salesmen that come to my door these days are the neighbor’s kids raising money for their school selling me wrapping paper and cookies I don’t need….and I’m a sucker, but at least I know who they are and where they live…
    Although, the little stinker freaked the babysitter out when he knocked on our door at 8:30 the other night. She said “Someone knocked very persistently but I didn’t want to answer it because it was dark.” I wouldn’t either, kiddo!
    Oh, and the other people that come to our door are Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons…but they don’t want to talk to us. They always ask us “Do you have any Hispanic neighbors?” I always say “No!” now (though I didn’t the first time, like the idiot I often am) once we realized who they were. I don’t want cult groups proselytizing ME, much less targeting my neighbors just because they speak Spanish. I’ve even lied and told them no one who speaks Spanish lives in our building just because I don’t want them to find them. Is that bad, or can I compare it to protecting the Jews during Nazi Germany? Cults are like Nazis, right?

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