The Jehovah’s Witnesses stopped by my house today. They stop by my house frequently because they have a church that is about a five minute drive between our place and town, so they canvas the areas around us quite often. I had just returned from taxiing my kids all over from camp and the horse farm. In all the craziness I had forgotten my wallet as I took off on these excursions and had barely any fuel remaining in my truck. The DTE (Distance to Empty) gauge read 19 miles left as we left the horse farm which is probably about 5 miles from our house. When we reached the driveway at about 11:30 am it said 3 miles left – so much for accurate DTE gauges. In any case I was praising the freakin’ Lord that I had just barely made it home and that I had a few gallons of gas in one of my gas cans that I could use to get me back to work.
Apparently somebody was listening…
The kids went inside and I grabbed the gas can and as I was filling up my truck a blue mini-van pulled into the driveway and an older gentleman stepped out all dressed up in a suit. Now, we don’t get a lot of random visitors where we live and as high-brow and sophisticated as the people around us can be, we almost never see anyone in a suit. I was pretty confident who it was.
I’m not going to bash the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Maybe some of my readers are Jehovah’s Witnesses and I don’t want to offend anybody. I’m not a religious guy, but I don’t particularly care what people do with their religious beliefs. I am always respectful and polite when they visit us and shoo them away gently. I do think perhaps, in this day and age of do not call lists and no solicitation anywhere policies, that maybe people of any sort shouldn’t be going door to door selling anything. Especially something as high-end as eternal salvation! I’m also not sure why they have continued to stop at my house. I would think that after 15 years of rejections that someone would have made some notes in the record books about our house that say something like “not a good sales lead” or “200 pound slobbery dog on premises” or “the devil hath taken relentless hold of these people and shall not succumb.” I guess that’s the sign of a good sales force, persistence, persistence, persistence.
As the gentleman approached, he broke the ice by saying something about needing to fill his own car up with gas. I laughed and waited as he started the rest of his pitch. Usually these folks are pretty slick with the sell, they have the scripts all nailed down and the brochures ready to hand out. But this guy kind of screwed it up. He asked me something about when I thought kids should be introduced to religion, but he stumbled through it and then kind of started over and stumbled through it again. Honestly, I wasn’t listening terribly hard because I was busy preparing my rebuff statement and although I wanted to tell him that my kids only go to church when we are attending weddings and funerals I kept my mouth shut. His struggles with the script reminded me of the restaurant my wife and I were at the other night where the waiter tried to tell us the specials but could barely remember his own name and had to keep looking at his cue cards. We felt bad for this waiter and figured it was probably his first day on the job. We gave him a nice tip!
Maybe it was this Jehovah’s first day on the job as well. Maybe he was “the New Guy Jehovah’s Witness.” Maybe they gave him a quickie training and said “okay, go knock on some doors and try to sell people some eternal salvation.” I felt some empathy and thought maybe they should have given him a badge like they do cashiers at a retail store that says “TRAINEE”. Then I wouldn’t have been so concerned that he blew his lines.
I politely told him that we weren’t religious people and he said thanks and got back in his van and drove away. Hopefully when he got back to the office he made some notations about us in their record books.