|Image courtesy of papaija2008 - FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
If I'm not expecting someone, the door bell always surprises me; and we probably have someone at our door at least once a week. Like sales calls in the US, they often come around dinner time when I must look like a crazy person emerging from whatever kitchen-disaster is in progress. I try to listen, but I'm usually worried about burning something on the stove or whatever Evel Knievel-type trick Little Man is performing in the background. They never seem to call "at a good time."
I've done a good job sending away the folks selling products pretty quickly - usually telling them that we don't own the home is enough because they're trying to sell new trashcans or want to run new cable lines into the house. But saying no charities is harder. If it's a kid, I'll usually give them 50 cents or so, but the adults are more difficult to politely turn away. Many want some sort of monthly pledge on the spot, which I won't do without researching the charity with Mark first - we like to know where the money is going and what it's supposed to be doing - and while the information from the person at the door can be helpful, it's only one source. I'd like to think I'm making a fully informed decision before donating.
Several charities also want your bank account number in order to start the transfers for the donations. Giving out your bank account number in the Netherlands is how you get any subscription paid for (no one uses personal checks here), and it's safe process (your bank will back you up on any claims of false charges and money trails are easily traced), but I don't like doing it. The fundraisers often look confused or offended when I say I don't like giving it out, and I don't really blame them, because it's normal here. But I'm used to protecting my bank account number like I protect my Social Security Number - you only give it out when you have to, and then only to a trusted source. It's an American habit that I just can't get over.
So, nice people at my door, I'm sorry. It's not that I don't trust you, it's just that I don't trust the process. I'm frazzled by your presence and the frequency of which I find you at the door. Donating at my door is one point of assimilation that I'm not sure is going to happen for me.
Do you get the door to door requests? How do you handle them? Or are there other "normal" activities that you have a hard time trusting in your new home?