Approached by a young man at Wal-mart. I feel so violated and STUPID!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 12:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Briefly...my day started with a trip to the allergist, followed by a blood draw, hsing, long bike ride to my counselor (to discuss LOTS of deep issues-one being an attemped rape I experienced the summer between high school and college-years ago) long ride home-on with the rest of the day, which included dropping dd off at dance while ds and did a quick run through wierd wally mart....

So, I was NOT at my best, was emotionally spent and physically spent. I was too tired to even have my "guard" slightly up. It must have been stamped on my forehead-scam and scare me!!

Out of NOWHERE there is a young man telling me that he is working on his college degree in communication-journalism. He has to approach so many people to complete a contest. I fell for it hook, line and sinker!! The guy was selling magazines. It all happened so fast, that next thing I knew I was writing down my name and address. He then wanted money RIGHT THERE. All of a sudden the real "me" came to life and I told him to get out of my face.

As ds and I was walking away, he was getting increasingly agitated(the man) and ds said how he thought the guy was a bad guy and was angry. Ds said he was scared.

I walked right to the customer service, complained, demanded that we be checked out immediately, and escorted to my car.

Once inside the car, I had a horrid panic attack, and ds was talking about wanting to beat up the fast-talking bad guy. It hit me then, how I set such an incredibly BAD example for ds re strangers and trusting our guts.

Furthermore, this guy has our address! How stupid can I get?? We are planning on attending an even at our church tomorrow night, with dd babysitting ds for three hours.

I am petrified, and feel there is NO way i can leave them. I don't even want ds to sleep alone is his bedroom tonight.

Am I over-reacting?(sp?)

WHAT WAS I THINKING?? I SOOO KNOW BETTER!!

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#2 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 12:07 AM
 
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I'm so sorry mama. You are not alone- everyone has those "duh... what was I thinking" moments. It's part of life.

I would suggest calling the local police (non-emergency number) and explain what happened. Ask if they could have extra patrol in your area for the next few nights or through the weekend. They would probably be willing to drive through a few extra times.

Hugs to you and your son.

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#3 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 12:08 AM
 
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i had a similar experience with a door to door kirby salesman when i was 18. everytime the wind blew that night i was wide awake shaking. dont beat yourself up hon. we all have our "DOH!" moments.

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#4 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 12:09 AM
 
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Uggg thats awful! You could always call and ask the police to do a couple of drivebys while you are gone tomorrow? Or if you hve a good relationship with your neighbors ask them to be aware incase your DD needs a place to call/go.

But, yuck .
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#5 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 12:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just talked to the police, and the officer that answered said since I live a good 25 mins from *that* walmart, the guy is probably more interested in getting as much cash as possible, and not tracking me down. Still...I am on edge and thinking I want the dc to go to a friends home tomorrow-or we just won't go.

Thanks for the kind, btdt words.

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#6 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 12:30 AM
 
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I know a little about those magazine "salesmen." They are actually victims of a scam themselves, they just don't know it yet. I've seen vans full of them getting dropped off all over the place and they are told they can win a trip to Paris or Rio or some other locale. The very first time I encountered one of them, I ordered a magazine and actually received it LOL. They are pushy and creepy, but I wouldn't worry.

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#7 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 12:50 AM
 
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It's okay, you weren't a bad example. And you're no doubt safe, like the PPs said.

And you should go watch "Office Space", it'll make you feel better.

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#8 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 12:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, mommas. I'm already feeling better...

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#9 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 01:00 AM
 
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My friend used to do this when she was just out of high school and you would not believe some of the stories she used to tell about the crazy people that she worked with. They rarely stay in the same town for more that a few days so he should be long gone soon. How scary!

I had a scary experience with a stranger this week too. I was at a stoplight and a teenage boy got out of the car next to mine and started asking for money and food (not in a nice way.) I said no and he got back into the car (full of teenage girls) and they drove off. Yeah, it was kinda scary. I had my kids with me and I thought OMG he could have tried to take my car and drive off with them. I am going to buy some mace tomorrow!

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#10 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 02:00 AM
 
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We had this happen at our apartment we just moved from. The girl pushed her way into the house and I got pissed quick!

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#11 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 02:09 AM
 
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OMG, that burns me up. Where do people come off thinking they can do this...or that this is the way to make money. Some guy in his early twenties came to my door, and he was selling childrens' books and educational stuff, and I was home with my one yr old daughter at the time, alone, and I live in the woods...and I wanted to tell him that I wasn't interested but my words were frozen on my tongue, I was a little freaked. I wanted to be nice and asked if there was a number I could call him back if I wanted to order. He said no. I asked if he had a catalog and he said no...I think he was basically hinted I'd have to give him money right then and there and it appeared he carried all the items with him. I told him I would talk to my husband about purchasing items from him when he got home. So the guy came back then and my husband told him that we weren't interested. Haha...He seemed nice enough and I almost felt bad for him but in another way it's like, "Umm, who are you to come into my yard and knock on my door and try to pressure me into buying items"

Sorry this happened to you! But I think it's something people try to do, try to make money any way they can...

I had a friend who I've been friends with for almost 17 yrs and he tries to solicit me with crap from his pyramid scheme and I don't know what part of 'leave me alone' he doesn't get and it makes me not want to talk to him but yeah, people do get pushy!

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#12 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 06:09 AM
 
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I had the exact same thing happen at my home. It was a young girl and she said she was doing a project for her high school. She introduced herself and said the project was to meet as many people in the neighborhood as she could. She asked my name and to shake my hand. I was ready to shut the door again when she started saying there was proof of meeting people needed. She handed me a laminated brochure type thingie. I started to shut the door again and she asked me to look at it and tell me which magazines I wanted to order. I just told her I didn't have any money. Before she left she asked me not to buy any from the boys in her class that may be knocking soon, since the contest was the senior boys against the girls. She was not pushy at least. I was alone with my children (and the dog of course). I usually do not answer the door and have tried to train dd1 to be quiet when people ring the bell or knock, but dd1 made a lot of noise, so I had felt obligated to answer. I made a "no soliciting" sign right away and put it on the door. I didn't know it was a 'scam' I thought it was a high school project...

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#13 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 09:14 AM
 
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I had the same thing happen at my house. I didn't know anything and I almost did it. My mil was like no, no, no... So, I just shut the door...after, I spent 10 minutes talking to the guy. He was cute

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#14 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 11:02 AM
 
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I don't think you showed a bad example. We all have moments that take a minute to catch on.

This scam is big! You didn't fall for it.

What is bad/sad is many of these young people are hooked into a different scam they cannot afford/able to get out of.
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#15 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 11:11 AM
 
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I am so sorry.

I had one of these people come to my door a few months ago. Said they were from the local church, etc. (we live by several churches in a 1 block radius). Then 15 minutes later the magazine buying hits. I tell them no, goodbye and they got nasty. This should be illegal!!!

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#16 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 12:21 PM
 
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Oh, my! I hate that type of solicitation. Just last week a kid selling magazines came to our door, and at 9:00 p.m.! Jeesh!

Well, little did he know he'd knocked on the wrong door. Dh is the president of a publishing company that makes two motorcycle racing magazines. They're independent and internationally successful. Well, dh give this poor kid the business about how companies that sell their magazines through such means are bad for his company, and that buying anything from him would be supporting his competition. It was quite funny, and dh went on for at least 5 minutes. The kid was trying to justify it, but dh just kept shutting him down. I did feel slightly sorry for the kid.
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#17 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 12:41 PM
 
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The same thing happened to me in college, with the exact same story as one of the PP (meeting people for a class). They had come by and run into my dh a few weeks prior. I never saw them again after I shut the door in their faces.

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#18 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 01:01 PM
 
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I had a guy come to the door selling children's books one time. He wanted to come in side and give his spiel but I'm thinking "Um, I'm home alone with my small child, no way in HECK are you getting in my house" and instead sat with him on the front steps. Was really sneaky about getting my address and phone # out of me. When he started asking for a check or CC# I unashamedly played the helpless female card and said I can't make any unecessary purchases without talking to my husband first (total lie, but he didn't know that). He tried the "oh, but it's educational" card, and a couple of more ploys, but I stuck to my guns. Asked for a brochure or cataloge, nope didn't have one. Asked for a number to call, nope. Said maybe he could come back another day but oh, he's only here today. He finally gave up, but not before asking what other houses have children and I randomly pointed down the street.

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#19 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 01:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamme View Post
It hit me then, how I set such an incredibly BAD example for ds re strangers and trusting our guts.
How so? I honestly can't even imagine what you meant by this. This was 100% a GREAT example for your DS. You had a gut feeling and you acted on it, that's how it's supposed to go.

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#20 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 02:06 PM
 
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Don't worry and don't beat yourself up over this! Honestly, someone can get your address by watching you walk out of your house. Having someone's address is just not a big deal unless you are worried about mailing lists and junk mail! If he wanted to harm someone he wouldn't need to collect names and addresses from Walmart, he would go door to door. He's most likely looking for $, and that's why he got so mad. He thought he had you! Don't be mad at yourself for trying to help someone!
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#21 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 03:05 PM
 
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You did fine, don't beat yourself up!

I can't stand those magazine salespeople -- they majorly creep me out. We've had many come to our door, and they act all sweet and cute until they realize you're not interested, then their faces go flat and they just stalk away -- creepy.

We had another one try to pretend he lived near us, saying, "Hi, I live around the corner, you probably see my mom out a lot, the blonde lady who walks two golden retrievers?" Yeah, there's no such lady in our neighborhood. Get outta here!!!

[name-calling edited out to save A-M some trouble. ]

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#22 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 03:58 PM
 
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Arghhhh! I had a mag salesman use that same story with us a couple of years ago. One year I had two of them start off by asking for a drink of water. What's up with that?
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#23 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 04:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by GearGirl View Post
Don't worry and don't beat yourself up over this! Honestly, someone can get your address by watching you walk out of your house. Having someone's address is just not a big deal unless you are worried about mailing lists and junk mail! If he wanted to harm someone he wouldn't need to collect names and addresses from Walmart, he would go door to door. He's most likely looking for $, and that's why he got so mad. He thought he had you!
Yes. That is why lots of them are creppy. I mean, do you think they get hired for this job by "regular means"? No. These are people who can't do anything else and so they are uncommitted, desperate (they work on comission), and often caught in some other scam themselves.

That said- to all those who open the door, feel "bad" and want to be polite and then get all creeped out... Don't. As women, we are "trained" to be polite. We are told to smile and be nice and accept others. But someone at your door is in YOUR space using YOUR time. I usually call through the door (cheerfully) before I answer it "Who is it?" If it is someone that sounds legit (friend, repair person I have called, etc.) I peek through the peep hole and then open the door with a smile. If they DON'T tell me who it is, BIG tip off. I just shout "Sorry, not interested." and move on. IF I open my door, as soon as I catch that it is sales, it is a quick, firm, "No thank you, not interested." smile, and the door shuts, and locks. It's not a discussion, it's over, I don't wait around for the next pitch. Really, you don't have to go through the song and dance with them. You are not the first person that will refuse and honestly, if they are not going to make the sale anyway, it is better for everyone not to waste their time and drag it on.
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#24 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 04:47 PM
 
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I have a "no agents, peddlars or solicitors" sign right by my door bell. People still ring it. I figure that they give up the right to me being polite by doing that. The last one told me he was trying to pay for university, but wasn't selling anything. I asked him what he wanted. He said they are in the area aerating lawns. I told him that he might want to do better in school to learn what no soliciting means, as yes, he was trying to get money out of me. I was less than polite.
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#25 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 04:59 PM
 
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My sister has a "No solicitors over the age of 13" sign on her door. I love that idea because the neighborhood kids who are selling girl scout cookies still can ring the doorbell, but these scam artists know that they'll get the door slammed in their face.

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#26 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 07:03 PM
 
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I get really creeped out by the guys who try to sell you window cleaning stuff. It's always two guys that come to the door while dh is at work. Our front door has decorated glass so the only way to see who's there is to open the door. It just makes me really uncomfortable.

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#27 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 07:38 PM
 
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Mamas, I have mondo morning (ha!) sickness, so can I ask you all to please edit out the namecalling so I don't have to give alerts/reminders? Pretty please?

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#28 of 34 Old 04-17-2010, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How so? I honestly can't even imagine what you meant by this. This was 100% a GREAT example for your DS. You had a gut feeling and you acted on it, that's how it's supposed to go.
Okay. I was so upset last night (and exhausted) that I left out details surrounding this.

The thing is, when the guy first approached me, he said I had "dropped something", and was trying to engage ds to "find" the something. He actually spoke to ds by asking him if I was a nice mom for the guy to talk to. I *never* allow strange men to approach our dc like that, and I always caution on the side of error. This guy kept asking for high fives, which is then alos crossing physical boundaries. Ds is already a shy dc by nature and is also an anxious dc. I have always told my dc that they are alloowed to talk to strangers if they are with me, and I "communicate" with them in someway that conveys to them that I feel the situation is safe.(I'm also the survivor of stranger attempted rape, and one other sexual violent act-so I don't take kindly to strange men approaching me nor my dc in such a way.)

And...below..

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexsam View Post

That said- to all those who open the door, feel "bad" and want to be polite and then get all creeped out... Don't. As women, we are "trained" to be polite. We are told to smile and be nice and accept others. But someone at your door is in YOUR space using YOUR time. I usually call through the door (cheerfully) before I answer it "Who is it?" If it is someone that sounds legit (friend, repair person I have called, etc.) I peek through the peep hole and then open the door with a smile. If they DON'T tell me who it is, BIG tip off. I just shout "Sorry, not interested." and move on. IF I open my door, as soon as I catch that it is sales, it is a quick, firm, "No thank you, not interested." smile, and the door shuts, and locks. It's not a discussion, it's over, I don't wait around for the next pitch. Really, you don't have to go through the song and dance with them. You are not the first person that will refuse and honestly, if they are not going to make the sale anyway, it is better for everyone not to waste their time and drag it on.
This! Yes, I totally agree!! I was at such a vulnerable moment and completely had my guard down. I am not one to follow the kindness first rule, nor am I one to avoid hurting anothers feelings if it is them that has crossed a line. In this case, I gave the guy a chance, and when he got pushy, then I snapped back to the real me, told him to get out of my face, and abruptly left. The words, "I'm sorry" never came out of my mouth-I was p'd!

So, for those reasons, I felt like I showed some inconsistency in what I have tried to model for our dc.

To the pp who said wrote about having a sign by the doorbell that says no solicitors allowed under age 13-I love that! I am printing one out today, and will put it up. Thanks!

To everyone else, thanks for sharing! I am feeling a lot better. Just had tyo let out a little steam.

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#29 of 34 Old 04-17-2010, 11:22 PM
 
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Wow. I must have a heart of stone, because I don't give door-to-door salespeople the time of day. Once it's clear that's what they want, I say "No thanks!" and lock the door in their face. I don't even stop moving for folks who try to stop me when I'm walking.

I find it easy. Maybe it's growing up near the city???? Plus my parents instilled quite a bit of fear in me.

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#30 of 34 Old 04-17-2010, 11:31 PM
 
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Mama, I totally know how you feel!
Last week I was cleaning and found DHs and my very old drivers licenses from when we were like 16. We've changed SO much since then and both of us had TERRIBLE pictures so I thought it would be cute to post them next to one another on FB...so I did. Although my profile is private, I (without thinking) posted our birthdays, drivers license numbers, and addresses- I was so focused on the ridiculousness of the old pictures that I didn't even THINK about all of our personal information on the web! DUHHHHHHHHHHHH! I felt (still feel?) pretty bad about it.....

Dirt worshiping, creatress Mama to Rowan and Alden - home birth loving, no circ, no vax, extended breast feeding, cloth diapering, baby wearing, cosleeping

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