Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Slyde’s Pet Peeve # 6 – Storefront Sellers

I haven’t done one of these pet peeve thingies in a while, but DAMN IT if this didn’t happen to me again over the weekend, and it really PISSES me off!

I absolutely cannot fucking STAND people who decide it would be a good idea who put up a little table in front of a store that I need to enter, and try to sell me some piece of shit that they are selling.

Does that completely irritate anyone else out there?

Sometimes I see them as soon as I’m walking across the parking lot towards the store: Usually a group of little kids, or old men……. Anything to just try to pull on my heart strings.

Sometimes, they want me to take a “quick” survey. More often than not, however, they want me to either buy some piece of garbage souvenir or shitty piece of candy, usually in the name of some charity or organization.

They irritate me so much that if I happen to see them before I park my car, I will just drive to another store that sells what I’m looking for rather than to have to deal with them.

But, more often than not, I usually don’t spy the little bastards until I’m too close to the store to turn around and not have me look like Rainman, so I trudge forward.

Usually, I’ll try to look for a fat person also going into the same store as me, and try to hide behind them so the hawkers won’t see me. That doesn’t work too well. It’s pretty rare to find a chubby enough person who just happens to be walking right in front of me.

So, I inevitably get accosted with some little cherub running over to me and asking:

“Hey mister, want to buy a candy bar for charity?”
“Hey sir, care to donate for the Veteran’s fund?”
“Hey you, can you spare 10 minutes of your time to take this quick survey?”
“Hey fuckface, give me 10 dollars or I’ll key your car!”

Ok, that last one doesn’t happen too often, but you get the point.

Anyway, I usually stammer out something really clever like, “Sorry, I don’t have any money on me!”, and then run into the store.

One minute later, It never fails to amaze me how fucking pathetically stupid it sounds to tell someone that I have no money, as I’m running into a store to obviously BUY something, but that the Hell? I never said brains were my strong suit.

Anyway, going INTO the store is never the hard part. If the anxiety I feel when I have to LEAVE the store, knowing full well that they are out there, waiting to accost me.

I usually try to loiter around the exit, looking to again employ the admittedly-not-too-successful “Hide behind a fatso” strategy, but more often than not I just put my cell phone to my ear, and run out the door pretending that I’m talking about something very fucking important.

Its not that I don’t believe in giving to charity. I do, and probably do it more often than most. It’s just that I like to give away my money the way all socially maladjusted people do…. by clicking a paypall link on some website in the anonymity of my bedroom.

I know that I have social anxiety issues (a subject for another, MUCH longer post someday), but these miscreants really piss me the Hell off.

I can’t be the only one, can I?


Verdant Earl said...

Here's one that doesn't bother me at all. I don't know them personally, so I have no problem ignoring them.

I just look straight ahead and I walk right past them without acknowledging their very existence. And then I do it again when leave the store.

Two words: Fuck them.

Heff said...

I do WORSE than B.E. Earl : I STARE RIGHT AT THEM, and keep walking away, lol !

Chris H said...

I do the same as Earl...
I also HATE with a vengence people inside a Mall who are trying to sell hand cream... they step out in front of you and wave their friggin hand cream in your face trying to give you a 'free' demonstration of how bloody fantastic it is.. then expect you to buy it! AND it is always hugely expensive... I just ignore them too... but if they step in my way to try and make me stop I tell them to F*#k OFF... VERY LOUDLY. I am not nice.

mo.stoneskin said...

Mate I work (only for7 weeks more) in such a poor godforsaken public-toilet of a town that not only do they have the streets full of charity collectors, the shops with stalls and gimps out front etc., but the Subway even hires a DJ every couple of weeks to drive me mad. Worst still, the indoor shopping center has a rolling big-brotheresq recorded advert system that constsantly informs you of diets you should be on and things you should buy.

Mrs. Hall said...

Yeah. People are outside trying to sell stuff. I don't care if it's a bald cancer kid . . wait... no, I would care for kid's cancer or kid's hospital but . .

Anything else, no. I make money to feel me and mine. I make money and portion it out appopropriately.

I have no shame simply waving, smiling and saying NO THANKS to the girl scouts.

or boys scouts, or old men with the flowers.

no, you don't get my money.

too bad. so sad.


Mrs. Hall said...

I meant to feed my family. . .

Dr Zibbs said...

I usually say, "I bought them from my daughter. And she died in World War 2".

That shuts their traps.

SK Waller said...

I don't like it either because, believe it or not, I'm pretty shy when it comes to strangers.

I just try to look really preoccupied; I've used the cell phone thing a couple of times myself.

What I really hate is the bell ringers at Christmas. Arg!

Michelle said...

I usually let them talk, pretend as if I will donate or buy or whatever then scream out APRIL FOOLS!!!!!

Even if it is not April 1st, which only happens once a year, if that. So, you see how well that works right??


How are ya buddy???

sybil law said...

No - you are NOT the only one. I freaking hate it, and hate telling them no, because it makes me look MEAN and uncaring. I am proudly a bitch when need be, but I donate to good causes and stuff! however, they don't know and I feel judged because I don't want cookies. Gah.
Fuck 'em.

The Ambiguous Blob said...

I don't mind them. I generally have two responses.
Response 1 employed for the not at all in your face types: No thanks.
Response 2 employed for the in your face types: I'm sorry. I don't contribute to good causes.
Done and done.

Brittany said...

incredible! :) LOVED this post. Honest-to the point- and so effing true!

debi_in_Hawaii said...

You know I have NEVER bought a box of those damn cookies, and never will. My willpower is strong! I tell them I'm on a diet. Heheeeee.
I know, I'm a big fat liar.

But do you know who I REALLY hate?
Those MoFo's at the damn kiosks with the fuckin' 2,000 degree flat iron shit. I pity any woman brave enough to get demo'd-you can just HEAR their hair getting fried and SMELL the burning. Or lotion kiosks: the "hey, can I show you something? Have you ever heard of the Dead Sea?" (I swear they all use this approach. Wonder when they will realize it doesn't work?)
Now those I walk really fast by and as far away as I can.

AlleyCat Runs said...

They bloody shit me too!

And don't even get me started on cold caller's..........

Love an anzac badge tho.

rachel said...

they were outside the local pathmark and asked me to buy something and I told them I already gave when I left the store

Tamara said...

We don't often have people selling stuff, but frequently have charities collecting money. I always give. It doesn't bother me at all.

What hacks me right off is that there is a beggar at practically every street corner / shopping centre entrance in South Africa, and some get really pushy. We also have street vendors that come up to your car window at traffic lights and try to get you to buy everything from coat hangers to pirated DVDs, car phone chargers and kids' toys. Even if you are wearing sunglasses, they'll harass you to buy a pair of their cheap knock-offs. No is not a word in their vocabulary. You can't drive with your windows down. Ever.

2abes said...

i usually fall to the old vfw guys selling the little red flower for a buck, everyone else gets the hand. Worse than the store front setups is the kid who is dropped off in your neighborhood to sell some really shitty crap door to door.

badgerdaddy said...

@ Chris H - if someone came up to me hawking hand cream with a glob of it on their hand, well, I'd have a field day. "Are you giving away handjobs?" Okay, it helps to be male...

Slyde, this doesn't bother me. I just say, 'No thank you,' and get on with my day. Polite, but firm. And as for the people with questionnaires, they're the best. I always stop for them, then they take my details, then they say "I just need to check that you don't do any of these jobs, because well, we just have to..." Top of the list? Journalist, always. Oh, such fun! "Oh no, that's a real shame. Ah well."

I'm such a fucker.

Karen said...

I usually just throw them a buck or whatever change I just got from the store. I don't really even know what they are collecting for half the time, but for a dollar I make my ego feel good. In general, they never really upset me because I can remember doing that as a kid for sports. But I do get your point. When I think about it they are pretty annoying.

Kimberly said...

Never make eye contact..EVER.

Nej said...

Christmas time is the worst!!! Those darn red buckets, and unrelenting bell ringing!

I still say they should hand out a sticker or something, that you can proudly stick to your forehead that says "I'm holiday shopping, and I gave to the last red bucket I passed...leave me F*CK alone already!!"

:-) :-) :-)

Lifeofkaylen said...

heartless - all of you! ALL of you!!!!
Why can't you just be polite and start talking to them like me and then accidently fall onto their table with a very loud HOLY FUUUUUUUCCCCCKKKKKKING MOTHER OF SHIT as you go down and then just pick yourself up and walk away? It usually sends them home and if not, they will NOT talk to you on your way out.

There's just no reason to be mean and hateful!!

Faiqa said...

I just give them the money. Then, I walk out of the store albeit a few dollars poorer but looking very self righteous to the people trying to hide behind fatso.

terri said...

Hey, if all you have is your check-card, you have an instant excuse. Last time I checked, the girl scouts didn't take plastic.

Cocaine Princess said...

"some little cherub"

What a sweet way of wording it.

It can be quite bothersome. Terri at 10:39 makes a good point but last year at the mall the the leader of the Girl Guides had one of those wireless interact machines.

Unknown said...

No, you are NOT the only one! I just say "No Thanks" and keep going. And hey, the "no money" thing is completely believable, because most people use debit cards, right???

But damn I wish stores didn't let them do that~!!!!!!

Kate said...

Man, I cannot STAND those people. So annoying. I will say, though, that roughly half the time those people avoid me when I put on my "mean city face" -- that's the face I always had on when I lived in Chicago so bums and other people would leave me alone.

However, people in front of the store are still better than crazy Brazilian guys trying to sell paintings for their church groups in the parking lot of the grocery store by knocking on my car window while I'm trying to back out of my parking space.