Sometimes, when I’m waiting in line and the cashier is really nice to me, I wonder “Is she making fun of me? Do I have something on my face. Is my hair standing up straight like I just stuck my finger in a light socket?” She (and it usually is a she at the register – I’m not the one being sexist here) can’t be that happy working in retail. I must have left my fly open again.
But that’s not what I wanted to talk about. There was something else that happened at the checkout last week that I wanted to
bitch about share with all of you. It happened a little like this:
“Thank you for shopping at our store today. Would you like to make a terminally Ill child’s last wish come true for a donation of five, ten, or twenty dollars?”
To which I proudly announced to the cashier and the six people standing in line behind me:
“No! I refuse to bow to your emotional blackmail and ambush tactics. While I feel for the plight of the sick children, I cannot abide by your high pressure sales tactics. You’ll get nothing from me. Good day to you!“After which I would storm out and never set foot in that store again.
Which is what I thought I should have said five minutes later. What I actually said was, “Umm. Okay. Five dollars?” because I’m a huge puss and didn’t want to make a scene. I want to be perfectly clear that I’m not opposed to charity or fulfilling wishes (children I assess on a case by case basis), but it’s nice to be asked, not mugged. Also, I have size fourteen feet (not that I’m bragging) and I have to take shoes where I can get them.
Then there are the petition takers and free samplers wandering around like zombies, ready to pounce on anyone foolish enough to make eye contact.
“Would you like to answer a few questions, after which I will totally distort the data to suit my needs no matter what you actually say?”
Sure. No problem.
“Would you like to try our new biscuits made with 100% pure yak butter?”
Would I? Try and stop me! If you have to ask random people to try your product, it’s probably not something anyone wanted in the first place. If it were any good they would be coming to you.
However, I save the bulk of my ire for salespeople. Collectively, they are without a doubt the skeeziest bunch of reptiles that have ever walked the earth. Do they start off looking slimy or is that a patina that develops over time? Now I’m not talking about your average Joe who takes a job selling to pay the bills. No, I’m talking about the hardcore, career salespeople who think it is a lifestyle. What other profession to you expect to get paid for lying to people all day and trying to pass of shoddy merchandise as a quality product? I mean besides writing, because that’s totally different.
Ultimately, I think George Carlin put it best when he said (at least I think it was him):
“I’d rather be told to have a nice day by someone who didn’t mean it, than told to fuck off by someone who does.”
Also, I need to stop writing blog posts in the mall. I think I’ll do all my shopping online from now on.
“No thanks, I just donated to random charity before I come here.”
Once a year, we should just throw a bunch of money in a pile and let all the charities fight for it. We could sell tickets and raise even more money. Like thunderdome for sick kids. Just a thought.
Then start a charity supporting the victims of the thundeedome
You know what I always do, I just tell them what I feel loud and clear
about their way of asking, then I donate $10/20, whatever and tel them
that I’m doing it not because of their blackmail or ambush tactics. but
because I want to do it. Thanks
I usually just give the five bucks or whatever. I always feel a little bad for the cashier being forced to beg for someone else.