SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 188: “Think Before You Act”

Door to door sales is a tough business, and I’ll be the first to confess that every time the bell sounds an unannounced chime, my heart rate rises a beat or two. Especially when I am deeply engrossed in a task or enjoying hard to find personal time.

So today when at the worst possible moment the doorbell is directed to speak, I pause hastily, “Who can that be!!”

I’m a touch tired, almost done with my day and am hanging on tightly to the glimmer of an hour or so of unadulterated mind zero time. Ah… the beauty of that.

And now my Zen has been broken, my workflow has been compromised and worse yet, I’m in a sleep deprived and overdramatic mood. Basically, I’m not really feeling that sociable.

“What!? Are we hearing that Mr. chin up and eyes open to the world is human…. No way! We thought he was just a hopeless romantic of some sort.”

“Surprise, I’m in a pissy mood and that blended with day two of accelerated day syndrome, and I am less than receptive to any solicitation.”

To the door I go, already thinking, “I don’t need any candy, my truck is not for sale, and my carpet is clean!”

As my inconvenience shifts to utter frustration, I catch myself, “’Richard, how can you stand tall in proclaiming, ‘Everyone is of worth,’ and approach your front door with the attitude you are sporting.’”

I check myself, calm my pre-conceptions as to who is outside and prepare myself for civility, “There is a fellow human out there. Probably just as concerned for his livelihood as I.”

I swing the door open, and with a smiling “Hello, can I help you?” I open my ears to receive whatever this stranger has to say, and before I know it, I find myself connected in welcome conversation with the Greener California dude, my new friend Brion.

We talk of the environment and the need for smarter conservation of our resources. “Really Richard, you have been suckered.”

I will admit, by the looks of the trim of my house, I most likely have been profiled, but that is OK. We are in the middle of a repaint of our exterior and re-insulation of our attic, and have begun the laborious process of cost estimating improvements. So to have someone at my door with painting and insulation services is really not that tiresome.

Brion is very brief and professional, we set an appointment for an estimator to stop by, and talk casually, I tell him of 365 and invite him to participate. Funny, just ten minutes prior to his ring, and in the weary frame of mind I have been carrying, the idea of a long search for a friend was wavering my 365 motivation.

Sure, Brion is selling product and service, but in another way he has saved me from my own negativity.

Brion unprompted, and I’m telling you, without any coaching from me, gives this council. “Think before you act. A lot of people don’t do that these days. Even for good opportunity.”

No way, is he some kind of psychic that tapped into my very pre-judgmental and reactive self of only a few minutes past.

I’m sure he is not, and that our meeting is coincidental, but the experience does cause me to reflect. “What is more important? To control my timeline, or to control my per-conceptions of those around me?”

I won’t answer that, I’ll just leave it hanging for all of our contemplation.

Brion is working, so I cut to the chase in throwing the bombshell question regarding what’s to come.

“Wow!” Brion reacts, “Who knows? That is a huge question and very difficult to answer on the spot.”

He thinks for a moment, “I like the idea of electric vehicles and smarter use of our natural resources. I’m for anything that will create healthier ways to conserve energy and keeps the planet healthy. If we can just find smarter ways to get around, that alone would help the planet.”

Brion, we appreciate your advocacy. Saturday we’ll talk of tax credits and rebates (yep, I scheduled an estimate).