The door bell rang the other day while I was paying bills and taking care of other “grown-up” chores. I was going to ignore it, but couldn’t since my children ran to the door screaming “Somebody is here, somebody is here.”
I was forced to deal with a “magazine” salesman.
I’d like to point out that we subscribe to more magazines than a doctor’s office. We get so many each month that we could open a magazine kiosk or host a school bonfire. This is thanks to nieces, nephews and children of friends who sell them for school.
The young man at the door told me a story of how he was trying to stay off the streets, turn his life around and build a better future. His name was Demarcus.
I bought his story hook, line and sinker. If fact, I spent at least 45 minutes giving him my best motivational speech. My inner cheerleader chanted “You can do it… you’re building character and using this job as a stepping stone. Hang in there! Goooo Demarcus!”
I even gave him pointers on how to improve his presentation. We practiced.
He asked a lot of questions about college and trade school, I answered them. I truly believed him because he seemed incredibly sincere. He asked that I pray for him. I told him that I would and I did.
I handed him a check for 4 magazines. We shook hands. He left and took off down the street. I felt “good” about possibly giving someone some helpful advice and encouragement.
But now I can’t help but wonder “did I get ripped off?”
I did a little internet research on the company and found almost nothing on it. That is except for an article warning that it was a scam!
Doh! Did I just throw away my money?
I was so caught up in trying to help someone that I forgot to be cautious. I have a tendency to believe that most people are good, kind and truthful. Maybe I should be a little more skeptical.
I sent Demarcus an email warning that if my magazines didn’t arrive in a timely fashion that I would contact the local police department, the Better Business Bureau and the Texas Attorney General.
It just burns me up to think that I spent so much time encouraging someone who may have ripped me off.
I’m thinking about cancelling my check too. But maybe that’s a little overboard.
Still, my gut tells me he’s a good person just trying to survive in this economy. Maybe the company is taking advantage of him. I’m just not sure.
Hopefully I’m wrong about the scam and I’ll soon receive my new magazines. We’ll see. Until then, I just pray that some of my advice and encouragement will stick with Demarcus. I don’t want to believe that I was “taken” …. instead I’d like to believe that Demarcus IS the hardworking, honest, person for which I took him.