Delicate Negotiation

Georgian Door, DublinThe woman on my doorstep is beautiful. She has short blonde hair and speaks with an Eastern European accent. She wants me to switch electricity suppliers.

“No thank you,” I say. But she is not so easily dissuaded.

“You want to save money,” she says. “Yes?”

I tell her I have a policy not to sign up for anything on the doorstep.

“You are right!” she exclaims. “So many people come to your door. Do you know how many electricity companies there are?” She tilts her head skywards, pauses for a moment.

“Six,” she says. “There are six.”

“Also,” she says. “Dog’s Trust.”

I reiterate my policy, smile to show it’s nothing personal.

“When I take this job,” she says, “I cannot believe what I have to do. Coming to people’s houses. Asking them questions and checking their meters.”

She steps a little closer, leans towards me.

“They don’t like that,” she says.

I glance behind her, mutter something sympathetic.

“The people on this street,” she says. “I’ve never met such nervous people. Not since I take this job.”

“Not one will let me in,” she says. “Why are they so afraid?”

I shrug my shoulders; tell her I need to get back to dinner. “I’ll check the offer online,” I say.

Her eyes narrow.

“The discount online is 6%,” she says. The discount now is eleven.”

She holds the clipboard in front of me, focuses intense blue eyes on mine. I hesitate longer than I should, before shaking my head no.

“Tsk,” she says. “Tsk.”

Then, lifting her chin upwards, she smiles. A wide, open smile.

“It was very nice to meet you,” she says.

And turns away.

 

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