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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Sales People....

The Sales People

Good old Spring!  The warmer weather seems to have brought out the solicitors in my neighborhood like the dandelions.  I can't remember ever having so many people selling door-to-door. I don't know if it is the bad economy, or some other phenomenon that I've not figured out yet. 
Just the other day someone came to the door wanting to sell me new windows for my house. I have windows, of course, but theirs were some fancy kind that you can wash from the inside.  "Your neighbor down the street just bought new ones from us," he said.
Keeping up with the Jones' -- the neighbors got new ones so I should too?  "Guess I'll just plug along with the ones I have."  They have been good enough so far.  There are many things I'd rather have for that kind of money than new windows.  New carpeting, for instance. 
A couple of my windows are moldy.  I think when I had the house painted that they put back the storm windows before the paint had fully dried.  But, good grief, wood can be cleaned and repainted.  I don't need to replace all the windows in the house over a little mold. 
Then yesterday morning someone else banged on the door trying to sell landscaping.  It was 8:30 in the morning.  Who in their right mind would come around doing solicitations at that hour of the day?  Besides, I already have someone that does gardening.  If I were going to plant nursery stock, I would not get it from a door-to-door sales person that is here today and gone to tomorrow. 
Actually, I do need a couple of trees.  I lost two trees last year, trees that had been there for years.  I don't know if it was the hot and dry summer or what happened to them.  But I will have the company that removed the old trees come and replace them.  I've had a hard time keeping trees alive. I need someone to plant trees that knows what they are doing. 
Last night right at suppertime, someone rang the doorbell again.  Can you believe it? It was someone selling windows and home improvements again. Two solicitors in one day? That's really a bit much.  I still don't need any new windows, thanks.  Actually, I've been thinking about how nice it might be to add a patio room on the back, but I certainly wasn't going to mention that. I made the mistake of looking at them once and the company nearly drove me crazy calling.
Attention solicitors: I'll give you a clue on how to get my business. Don't knock on my door unless I've called you.  Don't call me on the phone unless I ask you to. The way I find people to do work is to look in the yellow pages and find someone who is bonded, insured, and has been in business for 20 years or more.  If they have been in business that long, there is usually a reason. 
Here is what I want:  First of all, be dependable and show up when you say you will. Do good work that does not have to be redone a few months later.  Charge a fair price.  I don't expect someone to work for nothing, but I hate being overcharged.  Don't try to tell me I need stuff that I do not need, like new windows.  If you had asked me about painting the trim, replacing the broken storm window, and repainting the molded windows, I might have let you bid the job. I would still want references since I don't know you, though. 
So, I've put a "No Solicitors" sign on my door before the guy with the vacuum cleaner arrives.  These sales calls are making me nuts. Leave a brochure in my mailbox, advertise in the yellow pages, leave a card, or, best of all, don't call me, I'll call you.

Copyright 2009 Sheila Moss

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