The Water Cooler: Do You Answer When Somebody Knocks or Rings?

March 30, 2016 12:00 pm · 75 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon.

Today’s question….

QUESTION: Do you answer your door when somebody knocks on the door or rings the doorbell, or do you just ignore it?

Talk about it….

Julie March 30, 2016 at 12:07 PM

this is not the 1950’s…it’s not even the 1980’s, so no. I do not. I open my front window, which is far from my door/front porch, and ask can I help you? if I see a solicitor type, with clipboard, or any form of sketchiness, I have my immediate answer down pat “no thank you”, with window being shut as I am saying that. I do not engage. I have given them clear sight of someone being home, I can run out my backdoor if I sense I am in danger and get away. I live in Martinez. I bet this is common. I won’t be a victim.

Nick March 30, 2016 at 12:07 PM

I have no solicitors sign, but most everyone still knock at my door, especially inconsiderate ATT and Comcast salespeople. I dont open the door, but i keep a shotgun by the door, loudly cock it as I ask whos there? Half the time they just leave.

Cellophane March 30, 2016 at 12:07 PM

I usually answer. I usually have my shotgun in hand unless I know a neighbor is coming by. If not my shotgun, then my pistol.

Most sales types leave pretty quick. Religious people take a little encouragement.

Concord Grape March 30, 2016 at 12:08 PM

Day, usually. After 8PM I am accompanied by Billy Club

grah March 30, 2016 at 12:12 PM

Look out window then choose to ignore or not.

Honestly door knockers bother me less than people who leave their spam junk mail anywhere from the front door to my gate and on my driveway.

JLG March 30, 2016 at 12:16 PM

80% No.

Mac March 30, 2016 at 12:19 PM


Fletcher G. Fitzgerald March 30, 2016 at 12:30 PM

You have to at least look through the peephole. But, most of the time I’ll answer the door, unless it’s my in-laws.

Leigh March 30, 2016 at 12:35 PM

No! I check my facebook for my real friends all the rest are scammers

Future Catlady March 30, 2016 at 12:37 PM

I usually ignore it unless I am expecting somebody. There are too many people going door-to-door trying to solicit something or another. I don’t want whatever they are pushing 🙂

Anon March 30, 2016 at 12:41 PM

Most of the time yes. If I’m in the middle of something and am not expecting anyone, than no.

Bucket man March 30, 2016 at 12:49 PM

I just say no thank you through the door

wc March 30, 2016 at 1:06 PM

Most heed our NO SOLICITING sign. I only answer if someone is expected.

Sally March 30, 2016 at 1:11 PM

I look through the peephole to see who it is, then I decide whether to answer it or not. I usually do open the door and say “Not interested” to sales people.

Captain Bebops March 30, 2016 at 1:20 PM

NO SOLICITING sign here and two security cameras that point to the entrance. No one rings the doorbell unless they are neighbors or illiterate religious people. 😉

Pyrrhus March 30, 2016 at 1:22 PM

I check to see who it is. If it’s a solicitor then I just ignore. I know it’s not the question, but I ignore all phone calls that are not saved on my phone. If it’s an important phone call then they can just leave a message and I can choose to call them back or not.

Clint Eastwood March 30, 2016 at 1:23 PM


Nick March 30, 2016 at 1:25 PM

We don’t have a no soliciting sign, but if someone knocks, we look through the peep hole or dining room window. If we don’t know them, we don’t open the door.

We rarely get solicitors.

Justifyable Languor March 30, 2016 at 1:33 PM

Only if I feel like it, or if it is a neighbor. I often do not.

DanMtz March 30, 2016 at 1:40 PM

Yes, because most of the time it’s either the Post Office or UPS needing a signature or letting me know they dropped off a package on my porch. The Xfinity/Comcast guys haven’t been around in a couple of years.

Silva March 30, 2016 at 1:45 PM

I’m still friendly and usually answer the door. Some kids down the street got my number selling lemonade. Pretty cute. I have to tell folks “I’m broke” a lot, and I cut sales pitches short by telling them frankly that they would be wasting their time on me. They always appreciate it. I have my own special vibe I pull out when necessary.

Bring IT On March 30, 2016 at 1:51 PM

IF after reading one of two identical signs they still knock on my door they encounter rude as never before.

If you are pushing a product, service, religion, politician or ballot measure

Three teachers going door to door for susan bonillia evidently couldn’t read. And were totally ignorant of her vote to pass AB-109 or the detrimental effects on quality of life thru increased crime that one bill has caused.

Silva March 30, 2016 at 1:53 PM

In less mature times I sent a couple of religious peddlers scurrying away by explaining I was a Satanist. I didn’t get bothered again for a long time afterward, either.

The Closer March 30, 2016 at 1:54 PM

Only if it’s Opportunity knocking.

Kirkwood March 30, 2016 at 1:59 PM

I have never lived in a bad neighborhood so I greet anyone who comes to the door, and politely decline sales pitches. A raised deck adjacent to the front walk allows me speak to callers across a low fence.

Roz March 30, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Same as Pyrrhus, #16.
Thought we have a ‘No Soliciting’, some still knock.

Paladin March 30, 2016 at 2:10 PM

I loudly ask, “Who is it?” from behind cover adjacent to both the shotgun and with handgun generally on person. Ignoring the knock or ring would not seem a good tack as that would give the impression of an empty house and could lead to a forced entry by bad guys either through the front door or the back.

Simonpure March 30, 2016 at 2:12 PM

@ Silva #23…way too funny. My son once told religious peddlers while standing in his underwear at the door that he worships satan and they said “I’m sorry” and left. A couple hours later they came back and were sprinkling water on our front lawn. Still cracks me up many years later.

Zardoz March 30, 2016 at 2:14 PM

Reading these posts and their social negativity, I would think some posters here don’t get many visitors anyway.
I live in Concord, only lock the front door at night. And family and friends know they could walk right in.
No problem with solicitors, I give them a moment to make their pitch and politely send them away unless there is
interest in what they are pushing. I don’t see the need to hide from other humans.

warbirds45 March 30, 2016 at 2:18 PM

Knock knock!

Who’s there?

Little old lady?

Little old lady who?

Wow! I didn’t know you could yodel!

Incognito March 30, 2016 at 2:26 PM

Installed a peephole exactly for this purpose. Look through peephole to see if it is someone I know. If not, I don’t answer.

My front door is also posted: “No soliciting unless you are dropping off a bottle of wine and would like to do my laundry”. Even with that, I’m amazed at the ignorance of those who solicit and will still ring a door bell when it’s clearly posted and that they should bugger off.

Bazooka Joe March 30, 2016 at 2:28 PM

If I don’t know who it is, I don’t answer the door. It’s not that I worry about being robbed, it’s that sometimes I’m lounging around in my skivvies and also, I don’t want to be bothered by solicitors.

The Mamba March 30, 2016 at 2:37 PM

You guys crack me up and remind me of the time in college when some missionaries came to the door. My roommates invited them in, started pouring the beer and put on an adult film. It was pretty entertaining.

Original G March 30, 2016 at 2:56 PM

Guy at work talked at length once with religion types who knocked on his door.
They repeatedly returned until he moved across town. He was baffled when within a month they showed up at his new house to continue their discussions.

Wasn’t until a year later he found out the only one previous neighbor he didn’t get along with had dropped the dime on him and told them his new address.

FlyingSpaghettiMonster March 30, 2016 at 3:06 PM

A few years ago a door to door magazine salesman murdered an elderly lady in Lafayette. And many times when the police are called by residents annoyed by these groups of salesmen, they frequently find at least one and sometimes more in a group has an active warrant out for their arrest. They are not harmless.

TeacherMan March 30, 2016 at 3:20 PM

Not super paranoid, so I’ll typically open to see who it is. I can always no thank you.

Rob March 30, 2016 at 3:30 PM

LOL – people with their pistols or shotguns when they answer the door…

I have my kid handling the 50 caliber behind the sandbags in our living room when I answer the door.

Silva March 30, 2016 at 3:41 PM

#35, That was so sad.

Elwood March 30, 2016 at 3:50 PM

I answer with a “Who is it?

If unknown to me, the door stays locked.

Silva March 30, 2016 at 3:53 PM

I did catch a guy trying my door when I didn’t answer right away recently.

@29 March 30, 2016 at 3:58 PM

You are real lucky so far

Julio March 30, 2016 at 4:04 PM

We have installed a big locked gate and keep out and beware of dog signs. Means nothing. We get more phone solicitations than we do at the door however. Both are annoying.

I think my dog deters most door to door people by his incessant barking.

bubbles March 30, 2016 at 4:10 PM

I look on my camera to see who it is first. I usually see whoever it is walking up the driveway long before they knock.
Anyone who doesn’t have a simple inexpensive cam setup on the front door area needs to get with it.
No excuse people not to have your property under video surveillance.

Mimi (original) March 30, 2016 at 4:25 PM

Absolutely NO! I will call through the door (and security screen door) to ask who it is, but if it’s not someone I know or am expecting they get the big brush-off from me!

Hello March 30, 2016 at 4:29 PM

I’ll look but I don’t answer. If it’s someone I know they’ll get my attention if not then no. 10/10 it’s something I don’t care about.

Atticus Thraxx March 30, 2016 at 4:37 PM

Every time my doorbell rings is an opportunity to make a new friend or a new enemy. Can’t have enough of both, in your life.

KAD March 30, 2016 at 4:41 PM

I do the same as Elwood. I don’t want them to think no one is home since someone is almost always home.

I answer with a “Who is it?

If unknown to me, the door stays locked.

Clayton Squirrel March 30, 2016 at 4:47 PM

I will be the first to die in a zombie attack as our front door has beveled glass and there are two big windows next to it.

I can see a person’s general shape before I open the door even if I don’t look out a window. I almost always open the door as it has always been a neighbor, gardener, or delivery person lately. UPS is easy to tell because of the rumbling truck and the receding figure. Once it was a religious group but they were extra nice as I answered with no hat on my bald cancer head. No one comes around at night unless there is a loose horse.

KAD March 30, 2016 at 4:51 PM

Zardoz – That is great that you can be that way. I was like that before things got bad and people thought it was OK to take things that they did not pay for. Also, when you get old you can’t defend yourself if someone decides to do a home invasion.

Mika March 30, 2016 at 4:51 PM

It’s such an invasion of privacy for a stranger to walk onto your property without prior permission. They are rudely greeted by me.

TK March 30, 2016 at 4:52 PM

Draw my weapon.

Dogamatic March 30, 2016 at 5:05 PM

No. My doorbell doesn’t work, I walk around naked all day, and I am the Devil.

Cowellian March 30, 2016 at 5:15 PM

Back when I was a single sailor, my “solicitors will be violated” sign kept most folks from my door. But marriage civilized me enough to remove the sign, so I now answer my door.

lizzie March 30, 2016 at 5:24 PM

NO! Only the people who knock are strangers. My dogs bark loudly and growl, so who ever it is, leaves quickly. My neighbors know to leave me alone, I usually bring hours of work home.

Zardoz March 30, 2016 at 5:32 PM

@41 no, just not paranoid. Couldn’t imagine living life like that. Even scarier for some, I take walks in Todos Santos park most every night, unarmed. Sad people live in such fear.

THE ANIMAL March 30, 2016 at 5:37 PM

I usually answer, if it’s a unwanted visitor I can get real rude …………….

Mr. Social March 30, 2016 at 5:40 PM

If they knock or ring, they know where the landmines are buried and have earned their passage.

lg March 30, 2016 at 5:45 PM

No way, No how! It pisses me off when they come and disturb me and don’t take no for an answer. My answer is to ignore them. I know when I’m expecting somebody or not!

Heisenberg March 30, 2016 at 6:11 PM

I am the one who knocks.

Look first/Usually do March 30, 2016 at 6:19 PM

Mostly, it is only neighbors or the UPS/FedEx guy who knock. Occasionally kids selling stuff to earn money for their sports teams. I look to see who it is first. I actually can’t think of a time that I haven’t opened the door, though. If I am at home and it is daylight, I am usually outdoors so I catch them before they get to the door. If I am suspicious, I call the cops and ask them to check up on them. The Clayton police are pretty good about that if they have time. They will come by after a few minutes and ask which direction they went and go looking for them. If it were after dark, I would not answer unless I knew them. Sometimes, if it looks like someone who was dropped off to do door-to-door selling, I might ask through the window nearby what they want and say no.

DrDuran March 30, 2016 at 6:24 PM

Last person to knock on my door was concord PD, a neighbor had seen smoke in my back yard. I was smoking salmon. LoL

I don’t normally answer the door as I work odd hours and am sleeping when most people would knock.

RaeLynn March 30, 2016 at 7:14 PM

I have “No Solicitation” signs on the wall below the doorbell and on the door itself. Most of the time, no one knocks. My friends know to call first, so I know to expect them.

But one time, a group of religious peoples came around and ignored the signs. I answered the door with my hair all messy and a crying baby. I asked (thru a locked screen door) if they were the babysitter. They took off so fast, it was funny!

CoolMusicFan March 30, 2016 at 7:30 PM

I am a single woman who works from home and lives alone. Unless I am expecting someone I will ignore whoever comes to my door. About a year ago, I had an unexpected “visitor” who got in my backyard. Obviously, he didn’t expect me to be home in the middle of the day. We looked at each other thru the sliding glass door and I yelled at him and he took off. I think I scared him more than he scared me. I now have a lock on my back gate and a Tennessee Thumper near by.

ON DA March 30, 2016 at 8:51 PM

Unless the person is expected or invited yes otherwise beware because this neighborhood is impossible to sell anything.

Zardoz March 30, 2016 at 8:57 PM

Living in seclusion and in a state of paranoia is not living at all. May as well be in prison or on some island away from society.

@ Rob March 30, 2016 at 9:37 PM

I know, cocking a shotgun because someone knocked on your door seems a bit excessive. Hope they don’t blow away a Girl Scout, or a neighbor bringing them mail. Good to be cautious, but geez Louise…

Bird lover March 30, 2016 at 10:50 PM

I just did that! Bad move! The young African American male about 6 feet, smoking a cigarette with a weird ID on a strap draped across his neck comes knocking at my door in like a fool I opened it up and he told me that he represents some kind of African-American school that needs money something and I said no thank you right away because his smoking the cigarette really scared me because no one smoke cigarettes anymore like that especially when they’re coming to your door to ask for money! As soon as I told him no thank you I called the cops because I knew that was a mistake and that he was not representing this African-American school but he said he was and he took off ! I could’ve been killed at that point and I was very fortunate to have a chance to look at the mistake that I made and I will never make it again! Never open the door before you know who it is and I have a side window that I could’ve easily look through first!

I always answer the door. March 31, 2016 at 7:20 AM

And my large, mean-looking dog always answers it with me. People normally have no problem taking no for an answer.

TIFOKCIS March 31, 2016 at 8:27 AM


In this day and age identifying someone by race?

I must admit you’ve proved to be smarter than your comments suggest.


I have a cat, he’ll answer the door with me. If they want to take a chance getting past me 6-1,235 they can then deal with my wife’s center mass placement.

Dr. Jellyfinger March 31, 2016 at 9:03 AM

Are you peephole, people nuts?
Never look through the peephole!
Didn’t everyone see that movie where the guy knocks, waits… and then , SLAM! puts an ice pick right through the peephole?
Best bet is to have a camera set up to the computer and view that before opening the door. Side window might help but, a professional killer will know to target those as well… plus it’s a guaranteed head shot!
Go with the camera. I have several, so I can see the innocent looking fake mailman standing at the door… and see the 6 Jihadi butchers hiding behind him just waiting to rush in and lop off my noggin.

TheGhetto March 31, 2016 at 9:22 AM

I answer the door only for people I know. Otherwise, they are dog food.

KAD March 31, 2016 at 9:57 AM

Yesterday around 3:00, someone rang the doorbell several times really fast. I was worried that they was a problem and quickly asked who was at the door. A little girl answered that they were selling candy. I opened the door enough to look out and not let the dog out and found a boy and a girl about 6 and 8 standing there. I asked if their parents were with them and they said no. After questioning them enough to know that they lived down the street and what they were fund raising for I told them I would buy 5 of their candy bars. They were very polite. I love that children in my neighborhood are still doing this, going from door to door. We need to support the kids so they feel comfortable making money for their sports.

CLR March 31, 2016 at 10:52 AM

Since my house is the first house in a 28 unit complex and I am on the B.O.D. and have a NO SOLICITING sign posted, I kindly explain we don’t allow soliciting and please leave the complex, most do. Those that choose to ignore the polite request, I call the police. Usually there is a pretty good response time.

Frog Voice March 31, 2016 at 3:07 PM

Oh it is a bad idea all around. DO NOT – repeat – DO NOT answer your door – you did not invite them – they are not welcome – I don’t care if they have a wagon of $100 bills. – see ya.

H*ll no! April 3, 2016 at 4:15 PM

I have a “No Soliciting” sign under the doorbell. Unfortunately, people seem to have difficulty with big words, and they ring or knock anyway. If I’m in a bad mood (usually), I slowly look them in the eye, move my head in the direction of the sign, point at it, look at the solicitor again, raise one eyebrow and they usually take off. If that doesn’t work, I cuss at them in a foreign language.

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