Saturday, May 22, 2010

TAKE THE HIGH ROAD

I’m getting sick of shopping.

Five words I never thought I would put down on paper.  Or type on the computer, oh you know what I mean.  



I am pretty much, a shopaholic.  Don't worry, I'm fully aware of my situation, I just really, really enjoy wandering around and buying shit.  Even more so when I have a mission.  Like, oh, say for instance, a new doona for our bed.  A man, or most men, would walk into the nearest shop that sells doonas, preferably one that had easy parking access, pick one out, pay a bazillion dollars for it, walk out and go directly home. 

And that brings a tear to my eye.

See, how does he know whether, if he had bothered to canvas at least 4 other stores, that he may not have got a) something better, b) something cheaper and c) found something else like a lovely pair of winter boots inadvertently whilst casually strolling past Novo.   He wouldn’t.  And that is a total shame.

I of course have regressed as per usual because the above has absolutely nothing to do with why I am beginning to loathe walking into a shopping centre. 

I blame the Dead Sea Minerals.  Without them, there would be little reason for a hairy Brazilian Lothario to approach me whilst I walk innocently through the shopping centre.  Nor would there be reason for him to be calling me Beautiful  and/or gorgeous over the din of the shopping centre crowd and trying to convince me my skin would look ten years younger with a dab of his miracle dead sea crap.  Hey dude, you just insinuated I look a bit rough and basically said I look like an old hag.  Impressing your target market - Fail.



I have these guys sussed now though.  Funnily enough, I find I just can’t get enough of whatever is the shop window directly opposite their stand.    Wow!  A bidet shop.  How interesting, are those arse squirting toilet seats in that window?  Or else I will suddenly engage my three year old in a conversation about his kindy girlfriend.  Or whip out the mobile phone and have a fake conversation. 

What about the Citibank people trying to catch my eye so they can try and flog me a new credit card with an introductory rate of 1%, to be increased to a bazillion percent in 6 months.    I often just try and give these people a wide berth, but when that is not possible and I get too close, why do I feel the need to make them feel better and not be too rude?
 


“Excuse me madam, are you satisfied with your current cred” I cut her off  with a tight, frosty smile and speed walk past with a “No thanks, I’m fine”.  Why don’t I just stop and say what I really want which is this: “Look lady, I know you’ve got a job, but I just want to walk through this shopping centre and not be harassed every five fucking metres.  If I want a god damn credit card, I will seek out a god damn credit card.  And by the way, I’m only 35, certainly too young to be called Madam, now please politely fuck off and LEAVE ME ALONE!”  

 

What about the ones who want to lock you into a yearly contract to donate to the Heart Research Institute or WWF, World Wildlife Fund.  Do you reckon these good looking hippies are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts?  No freaking way.  Commission.   My boss told me once she got accused of “not loving the animals enough” because she walked on by.  A heads up, insults and shame-outs will get you nowhere.   

Then there’s the stalls selling teddy bears for cancer research or raffle tickets for Rotary.  Whilst I do partake in buying something probably 5 times out of ten, I do for some reason, find it necessary, to say to no one in particular whilst walking past them.  “Oh I’ll get some on my way out”.  Like they give a shit.   They're probably muttering “either pay up or walk past crazy lady”.  And I really don’t have a problem with these guys.  Except the guilt factor I find I associate with it.

It just shits me to no end the amount of these mid corridor hawkers that have cropped up of late.   Everywhere you look; there they are, waiting for you with nail decorations or an ugly monkey jumper.    They are inescapable.

 

Take probably in my opinion, the best shopping Centre on the Gold Coast, Robina Town Centre.  This shopping centre is so full of win, I can barely articulate.  It has everything in one spot.  All three major department stores, David Jones, (it is about to get a Myer), all the big grocery stores, Max Brenner, (a grown ups Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) every specialty store you can imagine and even a V-Max movie theatre and restaurants.  It has it all.  Yet, it is populated by the largest amount of mid centre “salespeople” on the Gold Coast. For this reason alone, it makes me want to stay away.
 


So to all those people out there, trying to sell this stuff, realise this: We will not be pleased to see you, nor will be overjoyed when you select one of us out of the masses and insinuate we are massive fatties and in desperate need of a session on your Vibro board.  I have a message from us to you: LEAVE US THE HELL ALONE TO SHOP IN PEACE!    If we want what you got, we’ll come over.  Okay?  

I’m not alone right?

26 comments:

katepickle said...

ah no you are not alone...

used to do the shopping centre thing all the time when we lived in the city, not so much these days. Went in to a BIG one yesterday and was blown away by all the hawkers...

Best of all was the optus net guy who just wouldn't quit even when I told him we lived somewhere without optus wireless cover he still didn't believe me.

Or then there was the 'hire the treadmill' guy... UM hello I am 30 gazillion weeks pregnant don't try to tell me I could loose 10kgs in 4 weeks you idiot!

Carly Findlay said...

Agreed. I hate corridor hawkers.

But what I hate more (and I guess it's a blessing) is that I am always COMPLETELY ignored by the makeup salespeople. There have been several occasions where my friends or mum and I have walked together through a mall, and the salespeople have greeted and carried out a conversation with my friends/mum as if I was invisible. I understand I don't look like I can use these products - I can't use them. And I can't be easily sold by these hawkers (I prefer to shop without influence). But I think it's rude not even being greeted by them when they try to get a sale out of my shopping partner.

As for the charity salespeople - they do my head in. I give to two funds through workplace giving, and I give up a large part of my time volunteering at the hospital, but when I tell them this, it doesn't appear enough for them. Since when should you get into a contract to donate to a charity? What happened to dropping a few dollars into a bucket or calling into an appeal??

Great post :)

Taryn Rucci said...

I agree Bern! It seems to be getting worse. I am always muttering "no thanks" "not today" "no" "not interested". I find that walking VERY FAST and avoiding eye contact is the best way to avoid conversation with these people.

danielle said...

great post! even better emily image :) hope youre having a good weekend x

Jen said...

I try to ignore them and mostly succeed but then you get the 'persistent' ones who will follow you around gggrrrr. I have always managed to be polite, the closest I got to being rude was saying to someone last week 'I already said no, please don't keep trying'. That was firm, not rude, right? :D I find my patience with this kind of thing thinning as I get older. Great post. Oh, and I would love to visit that shopping centre, it sounds great:) Jen.

alliecat said...

Ace post, couldn't agree more. One of my pet peeves actually. I expect to be hassled (or not, whatever) if I walk into a shop. But walking through a shopping centre, umm, noo, bugger off. I use the kids conversation / adjacent shop window ploys all the time.

Just found your blog by the way, love love love it. Loved that Mothers Day post about your mum, and so sorry for your loss. The day you had for her sounded just perfect.

Smudgeblurr said...

Hey Bern,
Great post - as usual. Maybe Ipswich is different - they just have new permanent stalls crowding the aisle ways making it harder to get past the slow walking people with trolleys(they do my head in) maybe when i get to go to the big smoke I will experience this... My mum has some of that dead see stuff - she tried to palm some off on me - bet she was sold by the lothario! ha! now i know!

Wx

Lori @ RRSAHM said...

Definitely not alone. I have to physically restrain myself from headbutting the Deep Sea people.

livinglifeasme said...

I totally agree. I am sick of trying to look busy or look away and then feel guilty as crap because I didn't talk to them. I constantly feel harrassed and if I say know they try to make me feel guilty. I like to shop online - no one harrasses me there. Funny post again Bern - you crack me up!

Kylie L said...

Much as I recently admitted to Kerri & Seraphim that I didn't like coffee, I am now admitting to you that I don't like to shop. Way to make friends and influence people. I just find it too... everything. Too bloody bezerk to get a carpark, too bloody hard given I'm always with children (if I have childfree time I will go and read or swim or, ahem, tweet- not shop), too bloody many choices, too expensive, too crowded, too hard. If I need something I'll buy it online or ask my mother to get it- Chadstone (biggest shopping centre in Vic) is her spiritual home, especially if I ask her to buy my kids clothes. Am not familiar with the Deep Sea people or their ilk, but it's not making me want to rush to a mall.

Hope you had a great day with MA and AKIL today... hope I get to meet IRL you someday. But if we do, we won't be going shopping. xxx

Wanderlust said...

I don't shop in malls, I hate shopping (weird, I know, I know), so I mostly avoid this, but I hate all aggressive sales tactics in general. I hate fielding sales calls at work or fundraising calls at home or those damn door-to-door sales people who want to treat our lawn or spray our foundation or whatever. UGH!

Bronnie Marquardt said...

I feel exactly the same way ... in fact for that reason I will not buy anything from these people, even if I might have wanted the product. 'Cos I don't want to encourage them.Like you say, we're grown-ups, and if we want to buy something/donate to charity we will do so at a time and place when it suits us. When I'm dashing to the shops with a whinging 9 year old on one side of me, and a 7-year-old dying to go to the loo, and all I want is bread and milk and to get the hell out of there, no I don't have a few minutes. I have a friend whose signature answer to these people is: "Sorry, I have to get back to the mental hospital." I think I'm going to totally start using that one!

So Now What? said...

Good to see, for those of you who do go to the shops, you hate being accosted as much as me. For those who don't, I'd be happy to start personal shopping for you. I'm generous like that :)

Draft Queen said...

This is exactly why I love shopping online.

Tracy (ssmama) said...

You mean that hairy Brazilian doesn't really think I'm stunning (subtext: for my age)? Sigh. Have to go back to accepting compliments from the checkout chicks when they discover I'm old enough to be their mother (in some cases, technically, their grandmother...gulp!).

Personally, my big country town/regional shopping centre of choice offers a shopping mall AND the good old main block (complete with 2nd Woolies, fruit shop etc) to do my shopping in.

Guess where I prefer to shop?

At least I only have to put up with the leering drunks as they lurch out of the corner pubs at lunchtime...

Manda said...

I couldn't agree more - I work next door to a major shopping centre, and relax in my lunch break by doing some recreational window shoe shopping :),(well mostly window shopping!) I can get accosted several times in one day - I now have a very determined mean stare, and no longer acknowledge them, because really I am not really sorry when I say no sorry or do they care when they ask you how you are today.
I know they are doing their job, but if I was interested I would go over and visit. When I think about it, the ones who do leave you alone, like the Rotary Club ladies selling raffle tickets, I tend to buy one, maybe the "marketing experts" at some of the more aggressive companies could learn something from them.

Cate Bolt said...

Oh what... so my high pressure guilt trip to get you to sell raffle tickets last night wasn't welcome??? Is that what you're saying?? LOL

I have a great tactic for these people. You need to embrace them...engage them and then turn the tables. I happened upon this when I was homeless, quite by accident. A sales person for a well-known phone company rang my mobile & tried to sell me internet connection. I explained what "homeless" meant and then challenged the sales person to provide me with the best plan. When he finally suggested he didn't think they could help I asked "are you discriminating against me because I'm homeless?". Suddenly I was demanding an internet connection and he hung up on me!
Same thing can work in the shopping centre. We had a large number of people trying to retile roofs. You can have a ball with these guys.
Before the insulation scheme failed requesting a quote on a 3 bedroom tent was a riot!
But it doesn't end there for example beauty related places. "ooh, yes please I haven't been able to remove these scars from the last bout of scabies." And attempt to show them the skin between your boobs... (honestly, I haven't tried this one yet, but I'm sure it will be a winner).

Pop and Ice said...

Boots! But what'a doona? And why do I hear music on this blog? Yes, I've been out of the loop a while plus I live in the Northern Hemisphere and am not hip to doonas.

I shop online mostly but found a lovely open-air mall recently opened too far, but not absolutely too-far, from home. I fear for my spending future...

Sarah said...

Ugh, I could've written this post myself! HATE THEM!

Tenille said...

I know this is picking up on the smallest detail, but when did Max Brenner get to Robina? I was visiting rello's in Burleigh in January, so had a few trips over to Robina (their DJ's is my happy place), but didn't see Max. I love Max. I used to work near a Max. I don't any more. I miss Max.

So Now What? said...

Hey P & I, Doona, a Duvet? Thing we put on our bed. Music at bottom. I probably should warn people hey?

Tenielle, Max Brenner, umm, maybe over a year now? Down the bottom near the restaurants. :)

Katie said...

I have found that a perfectly timed animal noise(any animal-don't be shy) renders these leeches speechless long enough to make a quick get away. Yeah you look crazy, but that's the point...and they remember you next time... heh heh

Marita said...

Hmmm I've not had huge drama's with the mid corridor hawkers, usually I just ignore them. Have found it helps to glare if they are persistent.

OTOH I :heart: Robina Town Centre, I used to work there just after it was built and it was such a lovely relaxing environment. Sadly my parents live up the other end of the Coast so on my visits we frequent Harbour Town which I find to be a frustrating place to shop.

Marita said...

I do wonder though if the mid corridor hawker is the new telemarketer as most people are now savy enough to put their number on the 'do not call' register.

These people have to be employed somewhere.

Sarcasm Fairy said...

Oh those Dead Sea people are fun. I once had a Dead Sea sales person come up to me to sell their products.. and she had worse skin than me!

Atleast the Foxtel people know to leave you alone huh? The TV lures the kids in enough

Great post :D

Jodie at Mummy Mayhem said...

Feel your pain. I do.

I used to hate to go in to Jeans West back in the old days as a youngin'. The sales people there were unbearable! No sooner were you in the door, they'd pounce on you. "Can I help you? Would you like to try something on?" And then you'd be in the change room and they'd be sticking their head in and saying, "How about a belt with that?"

Oh get nicked.

I stopped going there.

So, I don't blame you.