Hiding from a Boy Scout!

My son just joined Boy Scouts, and one of the joys of Scouting is that we are now selling obscenely overpriced popcorn as a fundraiser. So he spies this particular prize he wants to win, and I explained to him that we would have to sell a heck of a lot of popcorn to get it! So for the past few weekends, we have dutifully walked our neighborhood ringing doorbells.

So he did reach his goal and he is very excited. But I am APPALLED at the number of people who hid indoors and refused to answer the door to him! Not the people who weren’t home, that’s fine of course. But – houses where there were four cars in the driveway, garage door open, and nobody will come to the door.

I was standing at the sidewalk while he knocked, and I could see many people peek out the window, then run! He’s TEN!!! He’s not going to cry or punch you if you say “No thanks”! What’s the deal?

How hard is it to come to the door and say, “No thanks” or “We already bought some” or “My nephew is selling it too”? If we did get a “No”, my son simply said, “Thanks for your time,” and moved on. So why hide?

I’m not hiding; I’m under no obligation to open the door, especially when I can easily see that the doorbell-ringer is selling something that is, in your words, “obscenely overpriced.”

At least when they’re coming door-to-door I can choose to not open the door.

When they’re set up IN the doorway of the store that I would like to enter non-molested…that’s when I get annoyed.

I’d buy nearly anything from a child selling door-to-door, but if I choose not to answer for your Boy Scout, you should be glad I did not take the opportunity to educate him on the bigoted hateful ways of his club.

Oh god. Now just because I have a doorbell/knocker, I have to answer it? I suppose having it there means I want annoying little kids hanging on the bell and trying to sell me crap.

  1. I don’t buy ANYTHING door-to-door.
  2. I will no longer buy anything from a Boy Scout. Girl Scout, maybe.
  3. I’m never, ever obligated to ever answer my door. I don’t get unexpected guests, so they are always people thinking that my time and/or money is theirs.

I never answer the door unless I am expecting someone. People who have a reasonable expectation of an answer (including delivery people) can and do call me on their cell phone to confirm. Someone who is randomly ringing my doorbell either a) has got the wrong apartment or b) wants to sell me something I don’t want or need.

In Soviet Russia, Boy Scout molests you!

Yeah, I’m actually doing you a favor here. Because when you knock on my door, I have to drop what I’m doing. Based on my reaction to phone solicitators, that makes me irritable and prone to commit social * faux pas* of the types that I would later be regretful of making in front of a ten year old boy scout.

 As for why other people don't come to the door?  Because the boy scouts are selling guilt.   No one in the history of the world has ever said "I want to buy tinned popcorn."   They are hoping we'll look at their eager, trustworthy, and reverent little faces and be unable to refuse the purchase.    Not answering the door is easier than disappointing some ten year old whose organization is funded by guilt trips.

I too don’t buy or donate to doorstep visitors.

When I was a Boy Scout (long ago!) we did ‘bob-a-job’ (e.g. washing cars or mowing lawns) to raise funds.

As Finagle says "…the boy scouts are selling guilt. No one in the history of the world has ever said “I want to buy tinned popcorn.”

My brother has kids, and my mother eventually said that she would rather give them cash instead of paying for the overpriced merchandise (usually cheap gift wrap) that they were selling for school. And the stuff is usually priced so that the private company makes more off the deal than the school does.

My eight-year-old cub scout had the same popcorn selling experience pretty much. He did a lot of door-to-door and maybe 1 in 3 people answered when he knocked (I’m sure a lot of those weren’t home, but some obviously were).

I wasn’t annoyed - I kind of felt sorry for folks who lives were too busy or too easily annoyed to talk to an eight year old for fifteen seconds. But they were never going to buy anything anyway, so neither he or I were particularly discouraged.

When he said he wanted to join, I had a hard time with it as I disagree wholeheartedly with some of their positions. But that’s a whole 'nother topic.

Of course. Most people don’t want the wrapping paper, or magazines, or Girl Scout cookies either. Each organization decides on ways to raise funds that they think work best for them. We got many more “Nos” than “Yeses”. So, just say, “No thanks.” Takes 20 seconds out of your life.

But I do understand the point of view of those who are saying they don’t want to be bothered.

I am under no obligation to allow you to use my time for your benefit. My time is for my benefit. The rude people here are not the ones “hiding”; the rude people would be you and your son, bothering them.

This is exactly the reason that everyone hates telemarketers. And now, you’re teaching your son to get something he wants by being as annoying as a telemarketer. And you think you should be appalled?

Stop annoying people. Stop training you kid to beg. Stop preying on the goodwill of people toward children to get money out of them so your son can have a prize.

After the press the Boy Scouts organization has gotten in the last year and a half, I think you could make the case that some no longer want to support the organization. At the same time they probably don’t want to be in the position of stating their reasons to a five or seven year old. And rightly so. It’s just easier to not answer the door.

You need a thicker skin to sell door to door, yes, even Boy Scouts.

I don’t consider door to door selling to be appropriate behaviour (it’s just an in-person analog of telemarketing). Maybe if the kid gets sufficiently tired beating on people’s doors and not getting an answer he’ll learn that. Good lesson to learn at a young age.

The day I realized I was not required to answer my door (or my phone) was the day I first experienced true freedom.

We buy Girl Scout cookies from one of our neighbor kids. Her parents taught her how to sell them efficiently. Every year she calls us and leaves a message on our machine asking if we want to buy cookies this year. We call her back, put in our cookie order, and then she leaves a message when the cookies arrive and my husband goes over to pick them up.

This method reduces aggravation for people like us who don’t like answering our door, and it teaches the kids something useful about business. Too many kids think they can get out of high school and then support themselves by trick or treating, and they’re almost always disappointed.

As far as your actual concern, as a boy scout, now Eagle Scout and long-time scouter, deal with it. The sell rate for door to door selling is abysmal. If you get 1 out of 20 houses to buy that overpriced crap they call popcorn, you’re doing good.

People don’t want to come to the door? Par for the course.

Honestly, as much as local Councils push selling popcorn, I have found that packs and troops that do their own fundraisers have much more success.

  1. what does a tin of your popcorn cost?
  2. What percentage of that goes to the Boy Scouts?