Saturday, 12 July 2008

Avoiding Sellers.

I have several strategies when I don't want a stranger approaching me, wanting me to purchase or sign up for some product or service from them.

  1. Using my mobile. Pretending I'm in the middle of a call or deeply engrossed in texting someone.

  2. Acting like I'm in a rush, so can't stop.

  3. Listening to my mp3 player.

  4. Being deeply engrossed in a book, newspaper or magazine.

I don't wish to shun all forms of human interaction but there are times when I want to be left to my own thoughts or to get on with doing something. Its perhaps that I don't appreciate being approached by a total stranger suddenly acting like they're my best mate and foisting a product or service upon me. I respect the fact that your trying to make a living but please leave me alone.


  1. I once got out of an awkward situation that involved a couple of people trying to sign me up to some charity-giving scheme by simply acting dumb (mainly by mumbling "Eh?" in response to pretty much everything they said) until they gave up and went off to harass somebody else. I can certainly relate to your irritation about being approached by complete strangers wanting to sell you stuff, particularly the ones that start acting all palsy-walsy; few things put me more on guard than fake friendliness (something I've also had beggars, Scientologists, Bible-bashers and other well-known public nuisances employ on me). The worst people for bothering you these days (at least in my neck of the woods) seem to be charity collectors, as they no longer appear to be interested in getting one-off donations; instead, they want to sign you up for regular giving. Sorry, but if there's one thing I simply will not be pressured into doing on the spur of the moment, it's pledging a certain amount of my income to some organization that I've only just heard about.

  2. I love the telemarketers the best. I'm always sitting around my house just hoping that someone will call me out of the blue to tell me all about some product or service that I didn't even realize that I needed. Ha ha. I usually tell them to hang on for a minute then set the phone down and go watch tv and check back on them in about 10 minutes. They usually have hung up by then, although I had one stay on the phone for most of an hour once with me apologising every 10 minutes that I'll be back with them in just a minute. True story, and one of my favorites too. ;)

  3. Also annoying are peddlers of credit cards. Not only do I receive (and promptly tear up) unsolicited mail from credit card companies on a regular basis, but I've also run into people in public who try and pressure me into signing up for this or that card. I've found them a particular nuisance whenever I've been at an airport - the one in Melbourne (Australia) seems to be a particularly bad spot for them; they congregate in a spot that everyone has to pass through when boarding or exiting a flight; as a result, you literally find yourself "running the gauntlet" when passing them. The worst thing about people like them, I've found, is that they have ready answers to all the polite excuses you might give them as to why you're not interested; you really have to dispense with good manners and just tell them to "Fuck off!" if you want them to stop bothering you. Funnily enough, I've a younger brother who was once talked into selling Gold Amex cards - he thought he was going to make a fortune, but quickly discovered that the only people who seemed interested in buying them were individuals living in the poorer parts of town who he figured were going to get themselves in all manner of trouble with them. Not surprisingly, he soon gave up on the venture; I think it pricked at his conscience a little too much.


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