Doorbell Etiquette

Trust me when I tell you that this post is extremely important. I am not kidding. Most of the time I am here to entertain; today I am here to educate. So grab a pencil, some paper, and an eraser for when you inevitably make a mistake, and take some notes. You will thank me later (probably not).

Show of hands, who here has ever had a stranger come to their door trying to sell them something? To paint the picture, they could have a clipboard, a partner, and a groggy look on their face.

Wow, that’s a lot of hands. I’m glad everyone showered today.

Alright so here’s the thing, the moment that door-to-door salesman/snoop puts one foot on your driveway, you already hate their guts. Or maybe that’s just me.

Sorry, but if I needed to buy something, I would leave the house and go get it. Don’t come to my door and try to sell me something I didn’t think I needed before you entered my life.

Unless your delivering food that I ordered, I probably don’t want to talk to you. If you are delivering food, I’m standing at my window jumping up and down the second you pull into the driveway. Then, when it takes you forever to get out of the car, I make sure to say “Geeze, how long does it take to get out of a car!?” whether someone is around me or not. By the time you reach the front door, I already have it open. 

Back to the salespeople and snoops. My problem is they don’t know proper etiquette when they reach the front door.

Surely they know that people don’t want to talk to them, right? They get rejected more than that guy at the bar.

This next part is important.

When you approach someone’s front door, you look for a doorbell to ring. Am I wrong? Someone tell me I’m wrong. I dare you. Unless there is a sign that says, “Do not ring the doorbell”, you ring the doorbell! And you ring it once!

I can’t believe I’m about to do this, but this is how you ring a doorbell.

Step 1: Locate your index finger (doesn’t matter which hand).
Step 2: Locate the doorbell.
Step 3: Use your finger-eye coordination to place the top of your finger on the doorbell.
Step 4: Press it and hold for about 0.5 seconds, before releasing your finger.
Step 5: Step back from the doorbell and wait.

Congratulations, you all just received your doorbell diploma.

Why is this so hard? Don’t hold it down too long. And don’t you dare press it more than once. It’s a doorbell. We hear it.

The proper thing to do after ringing the doorbell is to wait. Back away from the door, even turn to look at the street for half a second so you don’t look threatening, because when we come to the door, we’re looking through the peephole and don’t want to be staring up your nose. So, back up.

After about 25 seconds, if no one answers the door, walk away. Accept defeat and leave.

Some people don’t walk away, I find. This is where improper etiquette begins.

They ring the doorbell again. Surely no one in the house heard the loud noise the first time.

In addition to a second ring of the doorbell, they proceed to knock on the windows, or the door itself. Hold on, why are we knocking now? Police knock, right before they break down the door. Cool it, Johnny Knocks-a-lot. Stop watching detective shows.

I don’t know, knocking is kinda frightening, is it not? It’s very horror film-ish. A loud knock at the door meant you hid under the sink in the kitchen and hope the bad guys don’t find you while you’re sitting on the dish detergent.

Then there are those that approach the front door and don’t even look for the doorbell. They instantly start knocking. Huh? Where did you go to doorbell school?

Some houses have a screen door before the solid front door. Some people have come up to my house, opened the screen door, and then knocked on our front door.

Sorry, why are you opening our door now? The screen door is there so when we open the front door, we still have a barricade between ourselves and whoever you claim to be.

One step further: one salesman opened our screen door, and then proceeded to open our front door. Look, I know this is Canada, but you can’t just walk right in! What are you trying to do? Shout into the house saying you’re at the door? Heeeeere’s Johnny? Stop.

People are weird.

Trick or Treating at Halloween was supposed to prepare people for the real world of doorbells. When you’re a kid, sometimes you’re too short to reach the doorbell. But you dream of the day when you’re tall enough to ring every doorbell, no matter the height of it. Maybe I’m the only one who had that dream.

Last thing, don’t let people into your house.

We’re here to check your ____ which should be located in your basement.

Uh, no you are not. That is not how it works. Don’t be the person that invites themselves to every party. You don’t see me showing up at your house saying, “Hey, can I tour your house, and then use your toilet? I had burritos for lunch.”

I’ll say it again, people are weird. Avoid them.

Moral of the story, if you go to a stranger’s house, ring the doorbell once and wait. If no one answers, leave. Unless it’s really important, like you want to give them money. Other than that, don’t try to guilt them into answering the door with a second ring and an intimidating knock.

We’ve all seen Home Alone, we’re prepared for anything.

Don’t be a ding-dong, ring the doorbell.

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About Paul

This is the part where I'm supposed to write something interesting about myself and you'll read it and think, "That's not that interesting." So let's not do that and just think about pizza instead, on the count of three. One, two, three. Donuts. Now, wasn't that interesting?
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53 Responses to Doorbell Etiquette

  1. Little Rants says:

    “People are weird” – sums everything up. EVERYTHING! Lol. Mark will make fun of me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I knock on the door then follow it with HEY YOU GUYSSSSSSS (Goonies reference if you didn’t get it) lol…Now that’s a way to get attention! Way better then a doorbell. Lets be honest here.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. wingedprisms says:

    Great post! Another – do not ask the person in the house for a drink of water after we tell you we are not interested in your product!
    I once asked a detective who was looking for witnesses where his car was – I didn’t see his car! I’m no fool. haha

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The mental picture of someone shoved in a kitchen cabinet, sitting on the dish detergent is very amusing- thanks for that! 🙂

    And our doorbell is busted, so…. It’s pretty okay though, because we have dogs that bark whenever someone walks up the steps, or even passes by with in half a mile, so we know when someone is coming.

    Thanks for the how-to! Very educational. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. datingflops says:

    Don’t know if you have them in Canada. But in Australia we have the “Do Not Knock” sticker to place outside so salespeople know not to come knocking at the house. It still applies even for doorbells!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. markbialczak says:

    OK, Paul, Ellie B aka Dogamous Pyle goes bananas at stranger’s knocks so I usually get up to chase them away more quickly if they persist despite the howl of the barking hound.

    The last guy does not take my wave away with one hand as I hold the leaping mutt with the other as the obvious sign it’s meant to be. No, he hangs there until I open the screen door and say, “No.”

    But still he must get his pitch out. “I’m from the cable company,” this guy says. “Do gou have cable?” “Then he looks at the numbers on my door and starts punching at his iPad.

    “I don’t want any!” I answer, closing the door, not mentioning that, yes, I have cable, because I’m thinking, anybody who works for the cable company would not waste his time knocking on the doors of people who already have cable from the cable company. Yeesh. I hate people who knock on my door trying to sell my something.

    Great post, Paul.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thanks, Mark. They are like telemarketers, but in person! I’ve noticed too that they sometimes don’t have information that they should have (if they are who they say they are). Also, some don’t even have any company ID on them and want to enter our house because they have to check on something. Ellie B sounds like a formidable body guard and deterrent.

      Like

  7. Barb Knowles says:

    HYSTERICAL! The food delivery aside was awesome, too. “you already hate their guts” and the screen door image…wonderful. But wait until you have kids. The nanosecond they realize that you don’t want the doorbell rung 50 times in a row, the torture begins. Please click.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Ah that just means I’ll have to put the doorbell high enough where they can’t reach it! Glad you enjoyed this. Click.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Barb Knowles says:

        Of course, when I copied the pic url, I expected the link to be there, not the photo. And I didn’t see a little edit thingy on the reply lol. Oh – this was a 2 door closer. Hysterical. Click.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        2 doors!? I wanted this to be educational not entertaining!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Barb Knowles says:

        haha. When my oldest daughter was 3 years old she got really mad at her father and me. I sent her to her room for some reason that I can’t remember. She slammed her bedroom door so hard that the molding all around the door frame came off. 3/4 of this huge rectangle of molding came down in one piece. The look on her face told it all…..”omg I’m really in for it this time.” I thought of that reading your article. Do not slam your own door no matter the provocation. Let them keep ringing the bell.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Wow! She must’ve been a strong 3 year old. I’ve been tempted to knock back at the people who repeatedly ring the bell and hang around even though we don’t answer.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Barb Knowles says:

        hahaha I keep telling her that I would write a post just about that incident. She was very strong.
        I do that when students come late to class. They knock on the door and I knock back at them. It annoys the crap out of them. I think I’m hysterical. Who’s immature!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        hahaha if there is a window in the door you should engage them in a game of peek-a-boo

        Liked by 1 person

      • Barb Knowles says:

        Oh that would go over big. But remember, they are new to this country (this, meaning where I am, not this, meaning where you are), so may not get the peek-a-boo game. Usually, after knocking, I silently say to them LATE PASS. They learn to lipread that fast. With an anguished expression coupled with an eye roll. I don’t press my luck and knock again, though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        hmmm you shall teach them the game in class, and use it in the “real world” when they are late then! Or put a doorbell on your classroom door….noooope that’s a bad idea.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Barb Knowles says:

        We have a “doorbell” in the classroom. It goes to the main office where we can say “Please send security to room whatever.” At that point, the student is hiding under his desk saying “no, no, don’t press the button!!”

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        “The button”. So much fear in two words.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Barb Knowles says:

        Even walking over to it works. The other thing I like to do if someone is being annoying….I pretend my hand is a phone (you know, thumb towards the ear, pinky towards the mouth) and I say “Dad??” The kids say NO NO NO. That almost always works. You’ve given me an idea (of course).

        Liked by 1 person

  8. BookwormwithOpinions says:

    Hahaha you’re not the only one who has dreamed of the day when they’re tall enough to reach the doorbell while trick-or-treating. We have all gone through the struggle…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      It was definitely frustrating! That’s when you resort to screaming “Trick or Treat” until the person hears you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • BookwormwithOpinions says:

        Once, I was yelling at someone’s door and a grumpy grandma in a nightgown came out. I might not have gotten a lot of candy that Halloween but I did get a good scolding and half a chocolate.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        haha half a chocolate. That’s the ultimate Halloween punishment. I once went to a house that had their door open but they had a screen door. I rang the bell, and then someone walk right by the door. They ignored me! And I could see the bowls of candy sitting right inside too. Heartbroken.

        Liked by 1 person

      • BookwormwithOpinions says:

        Ahahaha fate is against you.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Barb Knowles says:

    Oh nice use of the word shall above.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. George says:

    I just open the door with a smile and holding a shotgun. No one has asked to use the bathroom yet. If fact, no one has stayed more than a few seconds. Guess they must have had the wrong address.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. nakedshade says:

    I havent accounter salesperson knocking or ringing my door bell so far. But i used to receive calls from telemarketers introducing new products like insurance and credit card. I think it is such a nuisance too. I enjoy reading this post…. cheers…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Yeeeees! 1,000% YES! I was home alone once and I had some person ring my doorbell THREE times, waited maybe 20 seconds and then rang it again. THEN decided to knock and knock. and each knock got more and more menacing and I just couldn’t handle it. Someone needs to go to doorbell school.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Doorbell school should really be a thing, or at least a class they teach in high school. What you just explained happens to me all the time and then I try to tip toe to the front door and see who it is but always end up making too much noise.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I do too! Plus I have dogs so they’re always going crazy at the front door and it just makes for a very stressful situation… a situation that could easily be avoided!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Wow so you have dogs going wild and yet whoever was at the door STILL felt the need to knock. As if you didn’t hear the bell or the dogs…

        Btw, I like the new name of your blog!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, they still felt compelled to try to sell me a vacuum or whatever it is they wanted.
        and thanks so much! It’s a little play on words with my name. haha 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Lyndsi says:

    I think another rule should be that no matter how many doors a person has, you have to go to the front door… salespeople (and Jehovah’s witnesses) are always coming through my carport to knock on the kitchen door… which IMHO is a door reserved for friends and family.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: People Are Gross | The Captain's Speech

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