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Old 09-28-2019, 03:56 PM
JackDetect97 JackDetect97 is offline
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Default Why am I so hesitant?

Hey all,
I just wanted to see if there are ways to combat anxiety when seeking permissions. I want to do so much with metal detecting, but I have this irrational fear that every door I knock on will be a hostile person, like my second permisson a few months ago. I've read a couple threads on door knocking and what to say, but my nerves get the better of me. Any advice for a beginner detectorist?
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Old 09-28-2019, 04:56 PM
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Old 09-28-2019, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by JackDetect97 View post
Hey all,
I just wanted to see if there are ways to combat anxiety when seeking permissions. I want to do so much with metal detecting, but I have this irrational fear that every door I knock on will be a hostile person, like my second permisson a few months ago. I've read a couple threads on door knocking and what to say, but my nerves get the better of me. Any advice for a beginner detectorist?
A few observations:

1) try NOT to "knock on doors" in first place (although I realize it's sometimes inevitable ) . Instead, the better way, is to catch them out in the open. Ie.: to "bump into them". Like when they're out sitting on their front porch, or mowing their lawn, etc.... Otherwise, when "knocking on doors", then sure, now you're in their private space, you've interrupted their TV show, and you are going to be lumped into a category door-to-door salesman stigma.

2) Try to have some "names to drop". Eg.: so & so down at the market was assisting me with my history research report, about a stage stop somewhere back in this canyon. And they suggested that you might know something about it", blah blah.

3) Have credentials that you can "drop" : Eg.: Hi, I'm so & so, who works at such & such museum, and I'm doing research for an article, blah blah". Of course, this requires that you do indeed do volunteer docent work at your city or county museum. So join local historical societies, do docent time, etc.... That will give you names to drop, a cool looking name badge on a lanyard, etc...

4) Let them know you're their neighbor. Or that "your neighbor so & so down the street is my brother in law..." blah blah It's human nature to feel kin-ship, and lower your guard, when there's some sort of kinship or connection, vs a total stranger.

5) Some have suggested business cards to hand to the person.

But I have almost entirely gotten out of "door knocking" in my 44-ish years of md'ing. Door knocking, cold-call emails, cold-call phone calls, etc... almost ALWAYS go nowhere. Best to catch them when they're out and about. Know someone who knows them, etc....
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Old 09-28-2019, 07:28 PM
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Yeah door knocking is too awkward.

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Old 09-29-2019, 12:48 AM
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It's bad enough these days with robocalls ,telemarketers , door to door cult members wanting you to join them , people selling fruit and meat , poll takers , politicians etc.
I can't bring myself to invade someone else's privacy because I cherish mine too much . I agree with Tom and metaladdict .

Nowadays quite a few doors have hostile people behind them . I'd hate to end cut in pieces in someone freezer because I wanted to find a few coins . Dude , as you can see I'm probably even more paranoid than you are !
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Old 09-29-2019, 11:48 AM
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I might be able to help you here...May I offer an alternative thought process to alleviate your irrational fear? Heres what I do!

Just dont bother door knocking at all! Just go and hunt anybodies yard you feel like without asking! Ya see, In the USA, the State owns all property even if its 'paid for' and the current inhabitant is just that, a squatter!...No different than a dirty hobo living along side the RR tracks! They never really own it, they just happen to be there at the moment...they can stay there as long as the property taxes are paid is all, so why ask permission from a dirty hobo or a 'renter' ?

Then, put in your mind you are a good guy who doesnt like to bother people...Nobody who is home wants a stranger to be banging on their door! You are doing them a favor by NOT asking! Just go give it a quick sweep to see if its even worth your while in the first place!

If somebody comes out and asks what the Hell do you think you are doing? Tell them in a stern voice to mind their own business! Tell them you are from the Gas Co and sniffing for leaks! Tell them you are from the local DNR Fire Ant brigade and digging around setting ant traps! Tell them anything you want or nothing at all! Make something up! Heres what I say....

"Ma'am, my instrument here is showing you have some pretty high levels of toxic Tri-Chlor-Ethelene back here underneath this old clothes line area, plus some trace amounts of heavy metals deposited pre-dating 1964 underneath this tree!" "Are you aware you may be eligible for some Federal Funds for the clean up of this possible Superfund site?" "You may also qualify to be the recipient of some Erin Brockovich kind of 6 figure Hazmat settlement!"..."Just let me do my job Ma'am, go back inside please while I get some samples, I will also have to take a bag of these tomatoes from your garden to run through the lab...Why Yes, I would like a ham sandwich and a glass of lemonade and maybe take a shower when I'm done if that would be no problem?"

"Thank you for asking...by the way, where is your Husband?...Oh, thats too bad, you probably have a whole lot of things around here I might be able to help you with...I'm from the Govt and I'm here to help!"....

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  #7  
Old 09-29-2019, 12:27 PM
MTtrashdigger MTtrashdigger is offline
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Knocking on doors and asking strangers permission to dig up their yards is very awkward. I try not to do it unless there is just no other option. Instead I use this technique. I drive the neighborhoods that interest me at times when people are most likely to be outside. Just after work but before dinner, after church on Sunday and almost anytime on Saturday. I try to stop and talk to everyone I see outside , even if they have a small yard, obviously new landscaping or even a "keep out" sign on their gate. Their property may not interest me but the one next door just might and good info on the neighbors can be gleaned in the conversation.
I start the conversation right away by letting them know I am not selling anything, politicking or evangelizing, but instead have a historical interest in the area. I tell them I have been and will be detecting the curbstrips and private yards in the neighborhood and that I am mostly interested in the "public right of way between the curb and the sidewalk" but will also be detecting private yards with the permission of the property owner. This is an important distinction to establish in the conversation. You will be detecting the public right of way but only detecting private yards with permission .This is the segway to asking about the neighbor or any other property in the area that they may know about. In most places, the property owner is responsible for the maintenance of the curbstrips adjacent to their property, so I let them know that I understand that and I will leave no trace that I was ever there. I ask if they have a sprinkler system and if so, how it is layed out. If I can establish trust that I am no threat in any way, assure them that I will be respectful in all ways, they usually offer access to detect the yard as well. If they don't offer, I ask. This approach may require you to veer slightly outside of your comfort zone but it works and it does get easier every time. Good luck!!

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Old 09-29-2019, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Mud-puppy View post
I might be able to help you here...May I offer an alternative thought process to alleviate your irrational fear? Heres what I do!

Just dont bother door knocking at all! Just go and hunt anybodies yard you feel like without asking! Ya see, In the USA, the State owns all property even if its 'paid for' and the current inhabitant is just that, a squatter!...No different than a dirty hobo living along side the RR tracks! They never really own it, they just happen to be there at the moment...they can stay there as long as the property taxes are paid is all, so why ask permission from a dirty hobo or a 'renter' ?

Then, put in your mind you are a good guy who doesnt like to bother people...Nobody who is home wants a stranger to be banging on their door! You are doing them a favor by NOT asking! Just go give it a quick sweep to see if its even worth your while in the first place!

If somebody comes out and asks what the Hell do you think you are doing? Tell them in a stern voice to mind their own business! Tell them you are from the Gas Co and sniffing for leaks! Tell them you are from the local DNR Fire Ant brigade and digging around setting ant traps! Tell them anything you want or nothing at all! Make something up! Heres what I say....

"Ma'am, my instrument here is showing you have some pretty high levels of toxic Tri-Chlor-Ethelene back here underneath this old clothes line area, plus some trace amounts of heavy metals deposited pre-dating 1964 underneath this tree!" "Are you aware you may be eligible for some Federal Funds for the clean up of this possible Superfund site?" "You may also qualify to be the recipient of some Erin Brockovich kind of 6 figure Hazmat settlement!"..."Just let me do my job Ma'am, go back inside please while I get some samples, I will also have to take a bag of these tomatoes from your garden to run through the lab...Why Yes, I would like a ham sandwich and a glass of lemonade and maybe take a shower when I'm done if that would be no problem?"

"Thank you for asking...by the way, where is your Husband?...Oh, thats too bad, you probably have a whole lot of things around here I might be able to help you with...I'm from the Govt and I'm here to help!"....
puppy-mud, my only goal in life is: Not to meet beautiful women. Not to find more gold coins. Not to be rich. None of that matters. My only goal in life is to someday ascend to be able to attain to your level of creative writing wit ! Is there some secret potion you can clue me in on ?
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Old 09-29-2019, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by MTtrashdigger View post
...., even if they have a small yard, .....This is the segway to asking about the neighbor ...
Good post MT-trashdigger. I was going to add that to my post as well. I do the same. I have been known to drive randomly @ old neighborhoods, at peak-times like you describe (where it's likely that folks will be out and about in their yards). Eg.: having a garage sale, or mowing their lawn, etc...

And then, even if it's not a good looking yard that I would prefer to have chosen, I waltz up, detector in hand. At a polite distance away on the sidewalk. Strike up conversation (with the various tips in my post above). Then once I've gotten the permission on THAT yard , and giving them some wheaties and a buffalo nickel I find on their yard, then yes: That often segways into the next yard hither and yonder. Be sure to get a name (eg.: the Smith's house, etc...), so that when you do go to the next one (that perhaps was REALLY the one you had in mind), you have a good starting line :

"Hi, I was just at the Smith's house next door. They allowed me to scan their yard with my detector (as you hold out your hand and show them a merc. and some stuff). So was wondering if I could scan your yard as well. You're welcome to anything that turns up. It's just a hobby".

Naturally, this works best if they too "just happened" to be outside. So sometimes, while working the first yard (which perhaps wasn't the juiciest looking on the block), I will be perpetually watching, up and down the street , to see if any others are coming home unloading their groceries, etc.... Ie.: a method to be watching for others, to "catch on their front porch", so to speak.
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Old 09-29-2019, 04:13 PM
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A guy I usto work with would ask anyone for anything.I was just amazed at how easily he could ask a total stranger for somthing,and most times get it..Like he told me one day,A closed mouth don’t get fed.lol..Not insinuating you should run up on someone’s doorstep with a shovel,but I think the fear of rejection is probably more than the fear asking. Good luck tho
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Old 09-29-2019, 07:00 PM
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Prozac? If door knocking is your biggest stress in life ; I want to be you.
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Old 09-29-2019, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Gaspipe View post
Prozac? If door knocking is your biggest stress in life ; I want to be you.
In terms of metal detecting as a hobby, its my biggest stress. In terms of life? You would surely not want to be me, friend.
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Old 09-29-2019, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Mud-puppy View post
I might be able to help you here...May I offer an alternative thought process to alleviate your irrational fear? Heres what I do!



Just dont bother door knocking at all! Just go and hunt anybodies yard you feel like without asking! Ya see, In the USA, the State owns all property even if its 'paid for' and the current inhabitant is just that, a squatter!...No different than a dirty hobo living along side the RR tracks! They never really own it, they just happen to be there at the moment...they can stay there as long as the property taxes are paid is all, so why ask permission from a dirty hobo or a 'renter' ?



Then, put in your mind you are a good guy who doesnt like to bother people...Nobody who is home wants a stranger to be banging on their door! You are doing them a favor by NOT asking! Just go give it a quick sweep to see if its even worth your while in the first place!



If somebody comes out and asks what the Hell do you think you are doing? Tell them in a stern voice to mind their own business! Tell them you are from the Gas Co and sniffing for leaks! Tell them you are from the local DNR Fire Ant brigade and digging around setting ant traps! Tell them anything you want or nothing at all! Make something up! Heres what I say....



"Ma'am, my instrument here is showing you have some pretty high levels of toxic Tri-Chlor-Ethelene back here underneath this old clothes line area, plus some trace amounts of heavy metals deposited pre-dating 1964 underneath this tree!" "Are you aware you may be eligible for some Federal Funds for the clean up of this possible Superfund site?" "You may also qualify to be the recipient of some Erin Brockovich kind of 6 figure Hazmat settlement!"..."Just let me do my job Ma'am, go back inside please while I get some samples, I will also have to take a bag of these tomatoes from your garden to run through the lab...Why Yes, I would like a ham sandwich and a glass of lemonade and maybe take a shower when I'm done if that would be no problem?"



"Thank you for asking...by the way, where is your Husband?...Oh, thats too bad, you probably have a whole lot of things around here I might be able to help you with...I'm from the Govt and I'm here to help!"....
Wheezing laughter and reading through tears!
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Old 10-02-2019, 01:41 AM
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Originally Posted by JackDetect97 View post
Hey all,
I just wanted to see if there are ways to combat anxiety when seeking permissions. I want to do so much with metal detecting, but I have this irrational fear that every door I knock on will be a hostile person, like my second permisson a few months ago. I've read a couple threads on door knocking and what to say, but my nerves get the better of me. Any advice for a beginner detectorist?
You're far from the only hesitant one. I have gazed longingly upon so many beautiful 1850s and 1860s houses and imagined old the beautiful coppers and silver just waiting in the yards; if only I had the boldness to go "invade their privacy" and ask. Lots of great strategies in this thread though. I especially like the curb-strip segue; it would really help to earn the trust of homeowner.

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Old 10-02-2019, 12:28 PM
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I keep telling myself... what's the worst that could happen. Then I play those scenario's out in my head over and over, and never go knock....haha

But really what is the worst that can happen, and what is the likelihood of that happening. Worst is they say no, and you can't detect. The likelihood of them getting angry and hostile are slim (I would think)


With that being said, I still haven't tried to knock and ask yet.


I have been out curb strip detecting. This I fully expect someone to come out yelling "get off my lawn" "what are you doing" "why you hiding behind my car"

What I tell myself is, someone coming to confront or ask about me detecting would be a good ice breaker to ask to detect their yard. Yet so far nobody has said anything to me while detecting curb strips. So that also tells me I am worried for nothing. If someone did have an issue, I would just move on.
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Old 10-02-2019, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by JackDetect97 View post
Hey all,
I just wanted to see if there are ways to combat anxiety when seeking permissions. I want to do so much with metal detecting, but I have this irrational fear that every door I knock on will be a hostile person, like my second permisson a few months ago. I've read a couple threads on door knocking and what to say, but my nerves get the better of me. Any advice for a beginner detectorist?
I'm with you. I get bad anxiety asking so I rarely do, just cold. I have to have an in, a warm lead.

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Old 10-03-2019, 01:18 PM
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"But I have almost entirely gotten out of "door knocking" in my 44-ish years of md'ing. Door knocking, cold-call emails, cold-call phone calls, etc... almost ALWAYS go nowhere. Best to catch them when they're out and about. Know someone who knows them, etc...."

I respect you Tom and your opinions.

That being said, I easily have a 75-80% success rate on knocking on doors cold.

My buddy Ron I swear has a success rate north of 90% he wrote about how he does it here: http://detectinglife.com/blog/door-knocking

If that fails, to quell your nerves, try a little Jack Daniels!

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Old 10-10-2019, 02:39 AM
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Ive got a new tactic to eliminate anxiety when asking for permission, I knock on the door and as soon as the door is opened I smash the person on the side of the head with a baseball bat, proceed through the house and make sure nobody else is there then rush outside and begin detecting.

I figure I have a good 20 to 30 minutes before the uncooperative renter/land owner regains conciousness.

I keep one headphone off, so I can hear when the person that refused my request comes around.

When I hear the cries of the offender, I throw on my yellow vest and start yelling "Gas company" " I just checking the meter" then begin yelling No, No, call off your dogs, I run, jump in my vehicle and take off.

This works almost every time I ask for a permission...................

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Old 10-10-2019, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Bajanick View post
Ive got a new tactic to eliminate anxiety when asking for permission, I knock on the door and as soon as the door is opened I smash the person on the side of the head with a baseball bat, proceed through the house and make sure nobody else is there then rush outside and begin detecting.

I figure I have a good 20 to 30 minutes before the uncooperative renter/land owner regains conciousness.

I keep one headphone off, so I can hear when the person that refused my request comes around.

When I hear the cries of the offender, I throw on my yellow vest and start yelling "Gas company" " I just checking the meter" then begin yelling No, No, call off your dogs, I run, jump in my vehicle and take off.

This works almost every time I ask for a permission...................
You are in close 2nd place with Mud-puppy, for the golden pen award !
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Old 10-10-2019, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom_in_CA View post
You are in close 2nd place with Mud-puppy, for the golden pen award !
WTH?, I have NEVER condoned physical violence when gaining a permission! Not that I am opposed to it, I simply avoid asking altogether! Besides, who would answer the door if I was standing there on their front porch with a Baseball bat? A golf club would perform the task just as satisfactorily as a Baseball bat, as well as gain a bit of curiosity advantage over the door answerer...they would be at ease if all you had was a golf club...they would think you are harmless...

I prefer to smash people on the side of the head verbally.... with a fresh hot Coccamamie Pie, or a steaming hot delivery of a Bullcrapp HotNReady pizza!...

Scenario: I'm hunting somebodies yard without asking, middle of the day, middle of the week, digging all sorts of holes, pulling silvers etc. some nosy old Lady who should be watching Oprah or The View comes out and inquires, "WTH are you doing in my yard?" So I ups and says, "Go back inside and leave me alone dammit! We was brushhogging the ditches last week and we slung the pintle pin off'n the Three point clevis!" "The boss man sent me out here on account of I gotta find it before somebody hits it with their lawnmower!" "I gotta do the whole block and find that damned old pintle pin!" "Its dangerous!" Somebody hits that pintle pin with their mower and who knows who can be killed!"

Wimmen love sweaty guys trying to protect the neighborhood..like Firemen and snake wranglers and whatnot...note: a dab of diesel fuel for aftershave is way better than OldSpice...Chicks dig the odor of Diesel Fuel and Mansweat and tobacco....Ya see? You dont have to club anybody and make a nuisance out of yourself by door knocking at all!!

"If you want to help, go back inside and make me a ham sandwich"..."BTW, is your Husband a golfer?"

But yeah, Bajanick's method also works...on the weekends primarily, when the guys are at home...they dont fall for the Old 'Pintle Pin' routine as easily, and they for sure aint gonna make a ham sandwich for ya!..

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