Monday, August 31, 2009

Please Stop Calling

I have this neighbor. Maybe you have one too? I cannot stand her. Try to avoid eye contact when walking by her on the street, wave with a big fake smile while driving by, try to decide whether or not to answer when she calls kind of neighbor.

She seemed friendly enough at first. That was how she sucked me in to thinking how great she was. She's the one who goes around with the Neighborhood Roster, all official like, every year updating everyone's names and numbers and making sure everyone gets a current copy. That was how she sucked me in. I thought, how great it was that she volunteered her time like that and how helpful that list is. Especially how helpful it would have been the year my cat got himself locked in another neighbor's garage while they were camping for the week. Let me tell you it was great going door to door with my newborn trying to figure out who had a number to contact them at. Awesome. As you can imagine, after that I was a big fan of the Neighborhood Roster. Great idea. Couldn't be happier.

Then she wanted to get us all together. A meet and greet of sorts for our little culdesac. Again I thought how great she was. How nice of her to volunteer her time. And this where I made my mistake.

I offered to donate all of the ice cream for our little get together. After all, I get it for free through my family, so I wanted to help out too.

Cue me receiving the flyer to our friendly neighborhood get together, with my address on it as the location. As though I were hosting my entire street over for a get together. That was not what I had in mind and now everyone had a flyer that said to come on over, when all I'd offered to do was donate some ice cream. It was fabulous. Especially when I only had a couple of days notice and Preston was still tiny. I was furious, but I pulled it off. And seethed silently on the inside.

Fast forward. Every single time that her son is doing any kind of a sports fundraiser, they arrive on my doorstep. No matter how many times I tell her that my cousin goes to his rival school and no I would not like to donate, if I choose to donate I will donate to my cousin thank you very much. Plus it starts to get a little old when they keep asking for money. All the time.

It gets better. Lately she has started calling.

Calling to ask me to donate ice cream. Apparently since I did it ONE time TWO AND A HALF YEARS ago, I'm available and willing to do it anytime she needs me to, for any reason she needs me to.

It's obnoxious. The last time, I received a phone call asking me to donate ice cream to her son's football fundraiser. I once again told her that if I were going to donate something then it would be to the school that my cousin goes too. But this time I also told her that I am not in charge of who the company donates to and that if she is looking for a donation she needs to call the office and get it approved through my Grandpa, the owner to the company. As in please stop asking me to give you things.

I'm not trying to be rude. But my family runs a business. That means that when they give you ice cream for free, you aren't buying ice cream. Thus taking money away from the business. I wouldn't show up where you or your husband worked and constantly ask for free stuff. That's just not how things are done.

She just did it again. She is doing some sort of a walk and she was wondering if I would be willing to donate. I politely informed her, "Not at this time". While wondering why I even bothered answering the phone. But she once again persisted. "Are you sure? I was hoping to donate a basket from the culdesac.". I stuck to my guns and repeated no. Still, she continued on. "Do you know anyone who might want to donate? Anyone at all?" There was that nice little hint in her voice that I should step up to the plate and give her all the ice cream she wants needs. Not happening lady. I SAID NO! And I will keep saying no again and again. And once more, she exasperatedly asked, "You don't know anyone at all? Anyone who'd want to donate?". I was done. I repeated NO for the millionth time and told her it was nice talking to her and hung up.

Can you sell a neighbor's house? Have an agent come look it over and toss up the sign? Anything to get her to leave me alone. I am just so tired of being polite to her. Has anyone told her the economy is crap right now? That it's rude to repeatedly ask for free things? That no does in fact mean no? I am just feeling very done with her and the whole situation right now. Ugh! Any advice? There has to be some way to get my point across politely, doesn't there?!


Unknown said...

Oh no - not nice at all.

I would probably hide behind the sofa next time she turned up at my door, but then I am a bit of a coward!

Lisa Anne said...

You need to screen your calls and just not take her calls anymore. LOL I've wanted to sell a neighbors house before too.

On the upside I love living in my culdasac where everyone knows eveyrone. We always have block parties but people always bring their own stuff and it just kinda happens. That lady is going way overboard though. It might come down to where you just need to put her in her place.
Tell her next time she calls:

"Look I realize that you are having yet another fundraiser, but at this time in this economy I really can't afford to participate or donate anything. I feel bad as it is and would appreciate it greatly if you wouldn't ask me anymore. I'm sure the other neighbors would be happy to assist you. It's just not a good time to ask me. Maybe next year!"

I think that might work, if you're lucky. It never hurts to make yourself look like a victim, make her feel like your poor and sorry for you. Then again you may find her dumping off old clothes and food to you.

Good luck!!

Holly said...

Here's my advice: Come live at my house where there are gang members 2 doors down and where people are constantly confusing my house with there house and at times it can be scary. Then decide if you would like your neighbor back. If you still don't, well, we can just trade houses.

Haha! No, actually that's really annoying! What a pest!!! I am sorry, I don't really have any advice other than you should ask other neighbors if she is calling them too. Maybe then you can joke with them about her, that's terrible but it would add some humor, "Oop! She's at it again!"

Aleta said...

I wouldn't answer the phone. If you have caller ID, just don't answer. Seriously. Let her get the answering machine.

Fortunately for me, I live in an older neighborhood. The worst I've had to deal with was an old lady who was mean. If someone came over, I had to make sure they didn't park their vehicle ON MY SIDE OF THE STREET across from where her driveway, because otherwise she'd pitch a horrible fit.

Mom and Dad used to have a weird neighbor. She'd sit in the tree - kid you not! -- drink her tea and talk to herself!

Well, I guess talking to oneself is better than the neighbor you have. Yikes and good luck!! Maybe you could say that your relative sold the company and you can't get ice cream for free any more! Then again, that wouldn't be right to lie. Nah, just don't answer the phone! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Wow. I never understand the nerve of some people. it's like they have no social filter or something. Sorry you have to deal with her. I'm a non-confrontational sort I'd probably hide behind the couch, too!

Summer said...

Ah shoot. I was just about to ask for free ice cream too. ;-)


Cougar Tales said...

Funny post! It is completely the opposite where I live. I don't know my neighbors at all. Everyone looks down so they don't have to say hello.
- CougarTales

Amber Page Writes said...

Well, maybe you could arrange to have cats start howling outside her window, skunks start skunking her house and the neighborhood kids pulling pranks? Anything to get her to move. I feel your pain, I've had bad neighbors too...and just stopping by from SITS to say hello!