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The tension and the spark.

The tension and the spark.

Sometimes persistent salespeople can be downright annoying, rushing to corner you while you have a leisurely stroll down the street. The last thing you needed was being recommended a long list of suspicious-looking but – oh well, new products. Another thing is that I simply cannot stand their eagle eyes while I attempt to browse and do a bit of shopping; they seemed to stare right through you as if scanning for hidden items stashed somewhere within your body. They would then follow you around closely, making you feel utterly nervous and intimidated. I usually get irritated by salespeople who display this sort of behaviour, and walk out of the store immediately – it makes me feel as if they were intruding my privacy and not respecting my rights as a consumer.

Of course, some of us might be brave enough to stare them in the eye, thus rendering a sort of a silent communication – which would then end with the salesperson doing a 180-degree turn and walking away briskly, to hide behind a rack full of colourful, long-sleeved t-shirts made up of the size XXXL.

Unfortunately, I do not belong to that category – most possibly due to my timid demeanour and somewhat shy appearance (although I can never understand why my former housemates chose to describe me as ‘fierce’ and kept a safe distance away from me). Sometimes I really do wish that I can possess a stern look on my face at will, along with the ability to say a definite, resounding ‘no’, so that others may not easily take advantage of me, constantly asking me for help in their own personal projects.

The other day while waiting for my father to pay the bills after refueling the car, one of the petrol station attendants approached me cautiously. He was quite apprehensive as he fished out a bottle of stain removal from his pocket and began promoting the product. Overall, he was soft spoken and polite – and although I was not interested to make a purchase, I listened to him anyway because I could not bear to turn him down. I asked him some questions to show that I was, indeed, listening to him and that his recommendations on the product are not really going down the drain.

“Sudah beli, sudah beli, (already bought)” barked my father as he returned to the car. I shrugged at the petrol station attendant and tried to give him a smile, but he was already shuffling away. That made me feel more sorry for him.

But I was not really sure where to draw the line. Do we turn them down immediately or give them at least a few minutes to have them babble about something that you are surely not going to purchase anyway? Are we wasting our time, really?

Then again, there are some really diligent and fast-talking salespeople out on the streets no matter rain or shine, trying to convince a potential customer or two. They are making a living out of it. While we may dismiss them as pests, should we also look at them in a different light and somehow admire them for what they do?

P.S.: Hey, we could still shake hands another time. :)

Details of this entry.Monday, April 19, 2004, filed under Blogger Archives.
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