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14 August 2013 @ 07:51 pm
I Felt Like I Was In The Cold Open Of Some Crime Drama.  
I'm finally calmed down enough to tell you about my Saturday - and here I'll be making up for not doing a proper post for a week by word-vomiting all over you.


I expected to wake up on Saturday, watch some TV, post my fic and maybe do a little writing. Instead I woke up to voices in the house and it wasn't anyone I recognized, so I thought I'd better go see what was up. I found my sister in the kitchen, sitting with two strange men. They were dressed in company-style polo shirts and one of the men waved and smiled at me. I thought, "Do I know this guy?" I am notoriously terrible at face-name recognition, so maybe I do. I find out they are selling security systems and we are going to get one, apparently. We have never talked about getting a security system, ever before. One time we talked about special doorknobs and I was uncomfortable with that idea, so imagine my surprise to hear we were getting a whole security system. Also, apparently, we were replacing my Lifeline with one from this company. Mind you, my sister never, ever lets in people who are solicitors at the door. Her policy is that someone can give her a business card and she'll look into it, but she never trusts the legitimacy of a door-to-door salesman. Then I found out that they had actually come to my mom's door and she had told them that she had two single daughters who lived down the street, one of whom was disabled and home alone all day, and maybe we would want a security system.

Yes, my mom told complete and total strangers how I am disabled and alone everyday. You better believe we had a talk with her about that! I'm now pissed off about multiple things. (I will say, in general, my sister is usually really good about talking to me first about house-related things, especially if it’s something that will affect me too). So my anxiety has spiked because a) unforeseen thing happening in my day first thing in the morning - and b) I need fair warning on major changes in my life. I was not happy when my sister got us a Tivo just because it was different and a surprise change and it was several months before I forced myself to learn how to use it. Now I have a committed relationship with my Tivo and am the supervisor of all things Tivo-related. But just getting it out of nowhere without me having time to get used to the idea of New Thing rattled me. So imagine how suddenly finding out we are getting a security system, out of nowhere, made me feel.

Believe me, I am NOT a morning person, and now this smiley-faced asshat starts talking to me like he knows me, calling me by my nickname and everything. I was totally taken aback. He asks me if my name is short for something and I automatically told him - (years of conditioning by my mother to be nice to people, no matter what, even if they are giving me a weird vibe). I immediately regretted telling him my official name, because that's how con-men operate - they act so personable and intimate and the next thing you know you are giving them information you otherwise wouldn't. Also, I don't like to be called by my real name. AT ALL. It's a lovely beautiful family name, but everyone calls me by my nickname, except doctors who are reading my name from a chart. Thus, my real name always gives me a jolt of ‘medical’ panic and so I don’t like using it at all. Which is kind of a shame. So immediately I said, "But don't call me that," - (and my sister follows it with, "No, don't call her that.") - and the asshat turns around and makes a joke out of it, despite that I told him this in no uncertain terms with death in my voice, but somehow he seemed to think it was okay to joke around about it. I ate my breakfast as fast as I could, declined my sister's offer to watch their training video, and got out of there quickly, the whole time asshat keeps trying to salesman-chat-me-up. He even started explaining to me how my current Lifeline is no good because it's attached to the phone-line and the first thing criminals do is cut the electric and phone. And my brain thought, "Yeah, dude, I know that. I watch a shit-ton of cop dramas. Which, by the way, have also taught me that fake security systems are a favorite con of criminals who intend to come back later and rob and rape you. Just FYI." But it was too damn early for me and I couldn't muster a bitch-fight. He is damn lucky he didn't come an hour later when I was fully awake, cuz I would have thrown down with that guy - verbally speaking, of course.

I went to my room, shut the door, turned on the ballgame, put my headphones on to play some music - (always a good distraction technique) - and just tried breathing. I ended up having about three mild little panic attacks in the next two hours. (I was at least glad when the tech showed up to install the system though, because I honestly believed they were going to take all the info we gave them, a tech would never actually show up, and they’d saunter off with all our private info). I at least managed to tamp down any major full-blown panic attacks, which was good. My sister came in my room eventually and asked if I was mad and said she had thought she would just fill out the information and then talk to me about it, take a week to decide, but they were having some weekend-only sale and she wanted the discount. (Such a salesman tactic to pull that shit. I wonder if I’d had a full-on panic attack in front of these guys if that would have stopped them from being, "You have to decide today!") I, naturally, recognized that if we had the time to think about it, I would concede that a security system is a good idea,…the only difference would be that I would have had time to adjust to the idea and my sister would be out $300. So I told her to do it, but that I couldn't be out there with that dude acting like we were best buddies while he took all her money and upended my normal routine out of nowhere, that I just needed to stay in my room. I must have sounded frantic because my sister simply said, "Okay. You do that, if that's what you need."

Which was the absolute right thing to do right then. When something sparks a serious anxiety trigger in me, the very last thing you should do is try to logic my anxiety away by debating it with me. I know my anxiety is not logical. Logically, getting a security system for two single women, one who is disabled, makes good sense. Logically this was good thing. ANXIETY IS NOT LOGICAL. Acting like I'm being ridiculous, or acting off-hand about it, or debating my 'stance' is stupid because I KNOW ALL OF THOSE THINGS. Knowing doesn't help the anxiety. I stayed in my room most of the day and finally came out for dinner and my sister very graciously didn't push me to learn the new security system - (I have learned it all now) - and just let me have the rest of the day to calm down.

The security system may be great for us - (I’m sure it will be) - but I did not like those guys and I will never open the door to them myself, that's for damn sure.
 
 
 
Shireboundshirebound on August 15th, 2013 12:05 am (UTC)
Wow, that was a very strange -- and stressful -- situation. I'm really glad you shared this, because I also want to remind my mom not to talk about private things with strangers.

I hope this works out for you. Please read every line of the contract, so you don't have any surprises.

*hugs tight*
dodger_sister: annoyeddodger_sister on August 15th, 2013 11:29 pm (UTC)
I'm really glad you shared this, because I also want to remind my mom not to talk about private things with strangers.

I talked with my mom again today and she was like, "Well, I didn't let them in my house," and I said, "No, but you also didn't verify that they were a legitimate company before you told them about your disabled daughter who is home alone everyday, Mom," and she got real quiet for a second and then said, "Oh, yeah, I guess I didn't." You should definitely talk to your mom about it - there are all kinds of bizarre cons people will pull on the elderly and unexpecting. (scroll down my comments and read denig37's comment about her grandma to see a weird one).

Please read every line of the contract, so you don't have any surprises.

They were at least upfront about how we had to sign for two years straight out, instead of trying to stick us with it. My sister wanted to know what would happen if it proved to difficult for me to use while I was trying to get in and out of the house and they straight up said, "You'll be locked in for two years, regardless of the reason you want out." Luckily, it is not that hard to set and get out the door before it locks in.

*hugs tight*

/hugs back/ Thanks, darling. It was just a strange day, but now we have a security system so hopefully it will help ease our anxiety from here on out!
Ironlily - Making My Marquevikingprincess on August 15th, 2013 12:49 am (UTC)
I also would have freaked the fuck out - then again, I would have been the one to hear the door and go to it, and I would have told them to go away without even opening it, as that is our MO when we don't know who the duck is out there. My husband will not open the door, either. So, we would not have had strangers acting like friends trying to sell us shit!

Whew, I could feel the stress through your post. End result, yes, it's good to have the system. But just the same, DAMN.

I'm sure that Sister is better at giving you what you need when you need it than just about anyone else, though.
dodger_sister: grumpydodger_sister on August 16th, 2013 12:20 am (UTC)
I would have told them to go away without even opening it, as that is our MO when we don't know who the duck is out there.

Yeah, I never answer the door when I am home alone, so I wouldn't have opened the door either. It's the best way to avoid salesmen, con-men and serial killers! And if I had been awake, I would have protested my sister letting them in, if with nothing else, at least with a insistence that they give us the literature, let us talk about it and come back later.

Whew, I could feel the stress through your post.

I knew this would be a revealing post about my anxiety, but it was really theraputic to type up, so I am glad I did it. My anxiety doesn't get like this very often, but it was just too many things on top of each other and that guy not giving me space to breathe or backing off, that made it get so bad. I normally have techniques to settle before it gets there. Idk what his problem was - I wasn't giving out a single inviting, friendly vibe - but he just couldn't take a hint.

End result, yes, it's good to have the system.

Yes. Now that the asshat is gone and I am calmed down and have learned all about the system, I think it will be anxiety-easing instead of anxiety-causing. Less worry, more orgies, that's my motto! (omg, I'm getting ridiculous already and it's only 8pm.)

I'm sure that Sister is better at giving you what you need when you need it than just about anyone else, though.

She really is and she did very well this day! Since I stopped taking All The Pills, it's been a kind of trial and run on what works, but whenever I find something that helps, she is one step behind me in learning it. And most importantly, she knows that when I say 'this is what I need', that she should just give me that thing. She's the best. :)
Ironlily - Making My Marquevikingprincess on August 16th, 2013 12:45 am (UTC)
Yes, yup, a thousand times over! (Orgies? Wow... I feel so old and married now....)

But see, I love the silly!

YAY SIS!
Caera1996caera1996 on August 15th, 2013 01:23 am (UTC)
The security system is a good thing to have. Good for you two for doing it.
dodger_sister: annoyeddodger_sister on August 15th, 2013 11:54 pm (UTC)
The security system is a good thing to have. Good for you two for doing it.

It really is! That whole day was anxiety causing, but now that it's done and I don't have to deal with those two creepy dudes anymore, I am glad we got it. Hopefully, if nothing else, it will ease our worries about each other when one of us is away.
Who'da thought, baby? We're civilians.dugindeep on August 15th, 2013 01:47 am (UTC)
Door to door sales has always always always weirded me out. You never know who you are inviting into your home, and for what reason so I do not blame you!

I am glad your sister understood to leave you be in the interim and that the whole situation os handles!
dodger_sister: grumpydodger_sister on August 15th, 2013 11:52 pm (UTC)
Door to door sales has always always always weirded me out. You never know who you are inviting into your home, and for what reason so I do not blame you!

My routine is just not to open the door at all when I am home alone. If you are a friend/family member, you had better have learned by now to call me before you ring the doorbell, or I ain't letting you in! Because even the simplest of things that a door-to-door salesman can ask might be a con. If you won't click on a link a stranger sends you on your computer, why would you let that stranger into your home?!

I am glad your sister understood to leave you be in the interim and that the whole situation os handles!

She did very well! She's had a lot of practice - my issues are way less than my dad's or my brother's, so she's had some practice. We've kind of learned together what works and most importantly, she knows if I say 'this is what I need', that is what she should do! :)
Trigger Warning: Lifematchboximpala on August 15th, 2013 05:29 am (UTC)
creepy salesmen are creepy.

I think I would have been bothered by the surprise visit of the salesman and the spur of the moment decision to get an alarm system.

Weird thing that happened to me last week: For some inexplicable reason I offered to let a friend of a friend stay in my spare room while he was visiting from out of town. I have never met him, but he is a good friend of my friend's, so I figured it was okay. And it was. He was quiet and polite and stayed out of my way. And then the fifth night he was there I was in my room, with headphones on, watching a show. I took the headphones off and heard talking downstairs so I went down in my pajamas and found that he had company! He introduced me to his brother and said that he had texted me to ask if it was okay if he brought him over and when I didn't reply he figured it was okay. And I just looked at him and said that I didn't live with my phone attached to my body and I hadn't seen the text and that it was not okay. And that his brother needed to leave. Then I went back upstairs and locked my room and freaked out a little.

His brother did leave and I didn't see my visitor in the morning, but when I returned from work he was here and I explained to him quite calmly that it was not okay for him to do that. That this was my home, not his, and I had never said he could bring anyone here. I said I didn't think he understood that from my perspective, it was very uncomfortable for me to be there with two strangers and that for the first time in six years, I had been scared in my own home.

I am not sure he really got it, but he seemed genuinely sorry. Even so, I did tell him I wanted him to find another place to stay before I went away for the weekend and let him stay two more nights until he did. Everything was fine and we were cool, but I just didn't really trust his judgment after that. Some people might think I over-reacted. On the other hand, when I told my BFF about it she FREAKED that I was letting a stranger stay with me at all (I had forgotten to mention it to her) and that I had given him my spare keys. Then she started telling me other things I should worry about -- like he would make copies of the keys and come back when I was out of town. Yay, thanks for that.

Anyway, I won't do that again.

dodger_sister: annoyeddodger_sister on August 16th, 2013 12:36 am (UTC)
creepy salesmen are creepy.

He was just so bubbly and happy - it was giving me the kind of creepy vibe you get off clowns!

I think I would have been bothered by the surprise visit of the salesman and the spur of the moment decision to get an alarm system.

I am feeling reassured by so many comments on this post from people who don't think I am insane for freaking out about this shit. I thought I was over-reacting, but then again, waking up to find strangers in your house, even if your sister invited them in, is alarming!

For some inexplicable reason I offered to let a friend of a friend stay in my spare room while he was visiting from out of town. I have never met him, but he is a good friend of my friend's, so I figured it was okay.

I feel like saying 'that is very brave of you' except it is so frustrating that we can't just do a nice thing for someone who needs it without fearing that we are risking our own safety. It IS a risk, but isn't getting a roommate from the personal ads, or going on a first date, or getting into a cab with a driver you don't know. Still, I would not have done this myself. (my sister is always telling me that I can have whoever I want spend the night, as long as it is not a man. But what I want to know is 'where does she think I am getting all these men from'? Ones that aren't related to us or like, my friend D and his husband, who she invites to stay with us all the time! I think she means of my internet friends, but a) I don't have any that are guys and b) the females could just as easily rob us or kill us in our sleep, so...idk where these men are coming from that I am suppose to be inviting over. I wish I had some of them now!)

heard talking downstairs so I went down in my pajamas and found that he had company!

I don't blame you at all for freaking out. You were then alone in a house with two strange men. If nothing else, it was completely rude of him to even assume it would be okay. I would have done exactly what you did, locking myself in my room and all. I would have taken my phone with me too, in case I needed to call 911. And you were absolutely right to ask him to leave after that! You handled this all exactly right!

Some people might think I over-reacted.

Some men might think you over-reacted. I don't think there is a woman out there you wouldn't say you did the right thing.

Then she started telling me other things I should worry about -- like he would make copies of the keys and come back when I was out of town. Yay, thanks for that.

He probably won't, but you could always change the locks, just to ease your anxiety about it.

We all learn these things the hard way, unfortunately, but thankfully this didn't turn out too badly for you. It could have been worse. It really is a shame that we live in a world where you couldn't just do a nice thing for someone though.
Denidenig37 on August 15th, 2013 02:41 pm (UTC)
Stranger danger and con-men, thank you grandma for that experience (I had to rant at her just a few days ago AGAIN because she let in a guy without asking for his company identification card - it was about checking used electricity levels, they do it here, but the point is she simply let him in, she's an old lady, retired, lives alone - in a flat under ours in the family house - and it wouldn't be hard to get past her and rob her).

Just a few weeks ago my grandma let in a guy AND signed a fucking contract (it was a matter of 3 minutes, when I got down the stairs to tell her not to sign anything the guy was long gone and the signature there)...well, terminating that was not as easy as I would like and definitely not funny.
You know why she let him in? Because he was "so young, nice, wearing a suit"! *headdesk*

She can't get into her head that there are people in this world who would actually want to hurt her. She ACTUALLY doesn't get that somebody could have it in their heart to be bad, it never happened to her.

She didn't think that the guy would ever lie to her, that if she asked him if her daughter (my aunt who lives in another village and never heard of him) signed it he would just smile, nod and say "of course".
dodger_sister: grumpydodger_sister on August 16th, 2013 12:49 am (UTC)
Just a few weeks ago my grandma let in a guy AND signed a fucking contract (it was a matter of 3 minutes, when I got down the stairs to tell her not to sign anything the guy was long gone and the signature there)

I talked with my mom again today and she was like, "Well, I didn't let them in my house," and I said, "No, but you also didn't verify that they were a legitimate company before you told them about your disabled daughter who is home alone everyday, Mom," and she got real quiet for a second and then said, "Oh, yeah, I guess I didn't." It's like she had never even thought about it at all!

She also doesn't take it seriously when I explain these things to her because she just laughs and tells me that I watch too many crime shows. But most of those crime shows are 'ripped from the headlines', so they are based loosely on real stories! Anyways, I told my mom this story today about your Grandma signing the contract and I was like, "You never know what they want or what their con is." Your story was a really good example and actually made her think of how easy this kind of con would be to pull off, without seeming threatening in any way. So thanks for sharing that!

You just never know, they may just be pretending to ask if all the adults in the house would sign a petition but what they are really checking is how many adults are home at 1 in the afternoon so they can know if you are a good house to rob. I tried to use some examples but having a real story, by saying, "after I told her this story, a friend of mine told me about this thing that happened to her grandma," it suddenly made it not my paranoia from too much Criminal Minds, but an actual person it happened too. So hopefully she'll think about it twice next time. (I doubt it though, because this is the woman who used to punish us if we were rude to any adult, even if we told her we were scared of the person).

However, now that I have verified this security company is for real, I feel more at ease about the whole thing and we now have a security system, which is also a plus!
lizibabeslizibabes on August 15th, 2013 05:37 pm (UTC)
*hugs* I think I'd have reacted much the same way. But you handled it well. I'd have been a bitch, you sound like you dealt with it the best you could given your anxiety (which I know sucks) and I would have hated a buddy buddy sales man. It must have been really stressful, but hopefully it's done now and you'll never need it.
dodger_sister: annoyeddodger_sister on August 15th, 2013 11:47 pm (UTC)
I'd have been a bitch, you sound like you dealt with it the best you could given your anxiety (which I know sucks) and I would have hated a buddy buddy sales man.

Well, it was too early for me to muster a fight with him and I wasn't cussing him out or anything, but I was being bitchy enough that my sister knew I was Fucking Pissed Off. I was in no way giving this guy any vibes that he should keep talking to me! Apparently, he thinks he is so charming and lovely that everyone will thrilled to have him up in their house, running his happy-smile face off everywhere! /shakes head/

The security system isn't that hard to use actually, and I think it'll ease a lot of my sister's worries about me being home alone - we have only ever had real trouble with pesky teenagers toilet papering us, but you never know what'll happen next - so I think it'll be worth it and hopefully I'll never have to deal with that dude again.
Kate: Bones Oh Pleaseceitfianna on August 15th, 2013 06:59 pm (UTC)
Oh my, that sounds awful. I'm glad you got it sorted but ugh.
dodger_sister: grumpydodger_sister on August 15th, 2013 11:43 pm (UTC)
It was not a fun thing to wake up too, no. My freak-out over getting the system probably wouldn't have been so bad if I just woken up and my sister had said, "Oh, btw, I got us this new security system." But waking up to strangers in the house, them trying to talk to me and being overly invasive - uh-uh, NO.

But we have a security system now, so hopefully less anxiety about serial killers from here on out! (okay, tbh, it's mostly robbers we are worried about but still...)