When marking or reading things for work I find I get much more done in the quiet of my own living room. So, this afternoon I settled in to experience the joys of MSc research dissertations. Twenty minutes in the doorbell rang. A young lad with a clipboard was standing on the step and as he could see me sitting there I thought I ought to answer. He appeared rather shifty and a little nervous and then started into his sales pitch."Hello, how are you today?"
I felt like answering "What the f*ck is it to do with you. I've never seen you before in my life and already you're talking to me as if you've known me for years" but instead I say "okay" and try to push the door towards closed. Sadly, the opening line was the most fluent the salesman ever got as he then got into his prepared script to try to get me to sign up for some gas company that would save me money ('yes sure, so why do they pay you to tell me about it'..but you know they have a prepared script to answer that one and I really must get back to my marking). "I'm already with Scottish Power" I say , "and I have spoken to someone recently about the bill". (After all, he is only some poor lad taken from the 'welfare to work' scheme and obviously not really wanting to make a living doing this so no need to be rude). "Well, can you show me your last bill" said the lad , a little aggressively. "No", I said, getting irritated. "Oh, why not?" he said more aggressively. "Because it's none of your business, go away!", I said, crossly and shut the door. This did not deter him and he continued to ring on the door bell and bang on the glass for a further 5 minutes. I think he probably did his training in a young offenders institution!
Back to marking and half an hour later the door bell rang again. This time there was a young man and woman on the doorstep. My heart sank when he started with the same introduction. "Hello, and how's things today?" he said with a pseudo cheerfulness! "Do you have a BT Phone?"This time I managed to dispatch them a little quicker by just smiling sweetly and saying no thank you and shutting the door. He tried to wheedle his way in with a few niceties but this time I just didn't listen.
Back to the marking....