Dad, there’s someone at the door for you.
Are they sales people?
I was tired and it had been a long day. I didn’t want to tell a salesperson no. It’s not that I wanted to tell them yes. I didn’t want to talk to them at all.
But, my lovely wife had retired for the night. It was me. So, I dragged myself upstairs to find two college aged men standing on my doorstep. They were obviously selling something.
I steeled myself and mentally considered how many times I would have to say “no” before they left my doorstep.
Hello sir, we’re just going around the neighborhood and trying to make a little extra money. . .for college.
Not sure if the last part was part of the normal pitch or was thrown on for my benefit. They weren’t dressed in suits and they didn’t have any slick promotional materials. In fact, all they had were two small buckets with handles sticking out.
What are you selling?
Well, we’re going around repainting the house numbers on the curbs.
I thought for a moment. This was actually something that I’d been wanting to have done for some time. It was the most useful thing anyone had ever come to my house selling.
How much are you charging?
We’ll let you know when we’re done.
No, I have a better idea. Here’s twenty bucks. When you’re done move on to the next house. If you steal my $20, I’m a worse judge of character than I thought.
And with that I handed them the money and closed the door. Would they steal my money? I suppose it was possible. But, for $20 I was willing to bet on humanity.
I was talking to my neighbor about them. They’d been to his house before they came to mine.
Oh, I talked to them for about 15 minutes on the porch. I just handed them the money and told them to finish on their own. They said many people weren’t willing to give pepople who looked like them a chance. I explained that everyone in this cul-de-sac good people. That you could search the entire country and not find better people than are on this street. Everyone of them.
My friend is a talker. I’m sure he talked their ear off for longer than 15 minutes. But, I also thought about what he had said to the young men. My neighbor had set a pretty high expectation for me and I wasn’t even aware of it. He’d vouched for me without even thinking about it.
In hindsight, I’d do the same for him. He’s one of the best men I know, always willing to help out a neighbor, always willing to be a good neighbor.
He’s good people. I’m not surprised he trusted the young men. I just proud that he trusted me.
Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.
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