Thursday, December 20, 2007

Can I ask you a question?

Please tell me... is it just our mall here or do you have this problem too?

In our mall there is one particular kiosk where someone walks up to you as you're passing by and asks - "Sir, can I ask you a question?"

IF you're dumb enough to humor them by stopping, they will then dump a lousy sales pitch on you about how great their hand lotions are blah blah blah.

But the worst part is, they do it EVERY TIME you walk by - even if you walk past them, turn around and immediately walk by them again. They're like those little yappy dogs tied up on someone's porch who bark at you every time you walk by the house. They don't care that they just saw you 5 seconds before - they just keep doing it.

I don't know about you, but I don't like to have to decline to answer a question when I'm walking through the mall. It's gotten to the point now where I'll even take an alternate route just so I don't have to walk by them. Is that what all the stores around them really want?

I'm thinking that maybe the next time someone from there asks me - "Can I ask you a question?" I'll just reply with - "Well, I think you just did!" and keep walking.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind kiosks in general. Most of them are pretty harmless - although I get a little tired of the guy who acts like his remote controlled flip-over car is the invention of the century.

And this one just strikes me as odd.

I mean when was the last time you needed to pick up a samurai sword or saber? I just think it's bizarre that someone sits at this thing 7 days a week and is able to make enough to money to pay the rent, let alone make a living at it. But hey - at least he leaves you alone.

To me however, the very best kind of kiosk is the kind that just sits there and waits for you to come to it on your own terms, and then rewards you with something that puts a smile on your face for a good price.

30 comments:

Gary said...

I just make eye contact, smile and say "No Thank You" in a very polite way whilst barging through them, it works for Big Issue sellers too.

The samuri guy needs to work on his selling technique though, he could do demonstrations of melon slicing or stop you with "excuse me sir, can I ask how you pick the dirt out from under your fingernails ?"

deborah said...

No no no no, Gary; they will NEVER EVER EVER leave you alone that way, being all polite and quiet like that, please;

Here's how you do it: First, check out the Samuri guys sword, (Duh here, Jeff) and with the said sword in hand, and quite loudly, I might add, a few eye-bulging and hair-raising Jim Carey "NO NO NO NONONONONO!!!!!!NO'S!" might come in handy.

Then, after you've gotten EVERYONE'S attention, quietly and politely give the sword back and go about your shopping.

OOOH, that reminds me, I need to take Nick to see Santa after school today.

I know exactly what you mean Jeff, they make me nuts, too.

Julie Pippert said...

I don't know...I don't go to the mall. There's...people, and...cars...and too many stores with too much stuff.

It exceeds my acceptable level of chaos (that is to say it is more chaotic than my own mind---which is quite an impressive feat).

However.

I do get hit up every time I got to Home Depot, which is fairly frequent. Thus constantly annoying.

I am in HOME DEPOT with two kids under 7...WTF?!? Do they THINK I have TIME to LISTEN?

I've been known to snarl, "Back off or I'll sic the kids on you!"

Julie
Using My Words

Heather said...

Thankfully, our mall no longer has a kiosk like this but we used to. I found it just as irritating. Especially when I had 2 little kids I was trying to wrangle.

Hilly said...

Generally I just walk by them and hold up my hand, as if to say..."hold it on the schpeal buddy, cause I don't care". Sometimes I even smile a mutter a polite "no thanks".

This one time, before I learned to do this, the same exact thing happened to me with this one guy and his slathery lotions. He kept bugging me and bugging me even though I had BOUGHT his crap already. In fact I went to his kiosk on word from a friend about the damned lotion.

So I kinda went off in the middle of the mall. I said, "My name is Hilly and you've talked to me three times. Remember me...I am a chubby woman with red hair and a black jacket. If you so much as look at me again, I will chew your nuts up and spit them out!"

It may have been a PMS day or something like that.

Anonymous said...

Whenever I get approached like that at the mall, I look at my watch and say "Oh--sorry--- I'm already late to meet someone at (then name a store down the way). Works just fine!

DrowseyMonkey said...

They probably have bad facial recognition, as I do. Or they're so bored they want to go buy one of those swords and kill themselves.

But you're right about that sword kiosk...LOL...still laughing. The yappy dog description is too funny.

Windyridge said...

We have those too. And yep they hit you on the way back. It's universal. St Cloud to Syracuse. There's no escape!

Anonymous said...

How many noticed that world famous skate boarder and his beautiful sister in the last picture? - Bill

Marie said...

I've learned to always pretend to talk on my phone as I walk past the kiosks. No easy feat since I am anti-Bluetooth and have to push a stroller. But once one of those lotion people actually just grabbed me and started lubing me up, without so much as a faretheewell.

Elizabeth said...

A what? A kiosk?? Our mall has about three stores in it,and they all sell Carharts and Extra Tuffs.

Doozie said...

oh come ONNNNN, thats sword, knife kiosk is the ultimate!! Please tell me you stopped there and bought me something


I hate being bombarded with sample people. If I want a freakin sample I'll go get one

Jeff said...

gary - I'd watch a samurai melon-slicing demo in a heartbeat!

deborah - I would, but I'd be afraid that one of those mall security people might whip out his flashlight and blind me or something.

julie - Are you saying you get hit up or hit ON at Home Depot? Because those are two very different things.

heather - I suppose you could have asked them to watch your kids while you browsed their products. That would have made them think twice about stopping you next time.

hilly - I would have paid money too see that! :b

anon - No, you absolutely must not make contact in any way - visual or verbal. It's like a signal for them to attack.

drowsey - I can't imagine a more boring job. Yikes.

windy - It's like an epidemic!

bill - Who do you think you are, the proud grandpa or something?

marie - "...grabbed me and started lubing me up."
Oh great, thanks for raising my Google perve ranking. ;-)

elizabeth - Consider it a blessing.

Impetua said...

(I go to the mall fairly often because our library has a branch there and it's the closest to our house.)

We have those annoying kiosks. They seem to be populated by (and this is merely an observation, not meant to be racist or xenophobic in any way) attractive, slightly exotic-looking young people with vague foreign accents. The two that I avoid at the mall are the "mineral makeup" one and the buckwheat heating pillows one. I don't wear makeup and I don't need a buckwheat pillow.

Then at this time of year we get the ones with the flying toys, which they set up near the Germ Farm (play area for little kids) because it's atrium-y there. So now I can't take my kid to work off some of that incessant kid energy without some smartass kid aggressively trying to sell me a helicopter.

Gale said...

I suggest eating a big pot o'beans before heading to the mall. I think that should do it.

Jennine said...

There's a Hermit Crab kiosk at Mall of America. They paint the shells of the little crabs which makes them irrisistable to those who have begging rights.

I've learned that talking aloud to yourself as you walk by those salespeople dramatically reduces your likeliness to be approached. Escpecially if you pick your nose at the same time.

Carla said...

I just stop and stare at them blankly let them talk and then move on without making a comment to them. They avoid ME!

Anonymous said...

rick said...
In Duluth they have a massage kiosk right in the middle of the aisle. I've only seen one person with enough nerve to actually lay down for a rubbing. I just walk past and pretend I'm looking at the life-size Victorias Secret posters.

Jeff said...

doozie - I think about you every time I walk by the knife store. You could be their best customer!

impetua - Holy cow did you nail that one. You're absolutely right, those women seem to have a slight Greek-ish accent. And I was going to mention the helicopter deal too because they're right down the aisle from the lubejob women.

gale - I already do that. What's your point.

jennine - Hmmm, WE have two hermit crabs. Imagine that! Oh, and your nose... I've been told that if you keep picking it, it will never heal.

carla - I could use a decoy like you when I'm there!

rick - Pretend you're looking at the Vicoria's Secret posters huh? Heh.

Mom Thumb said...

My sis-in-law and I were at the MOA on Black Friday (I know, dumb), and this guy accosted us with that fingernail thing. We had already bought that a couple of years ago and we both said, at the same time, "I already have that." He looked at our fingernails with a look that clearly said (in his sort of Frenchy accent) "Eef you have bought my product, how is it that your nails look so 'orrible?" Thus, the moral: things you buy at kiosks don't get used.

Mama Drama Jenny, the Bloggess said...

This is probably a bad time to mention that my husband collects samarai swords.

VE said...

That would make a great new SIMs video game...try to get through the mall kiosks safely!

But you're missing the connection entirely here. The samuri sword kiosk is there BECAUSE of the obnoxious body lotion kiosk. He makes his money selling swords to irate shoppers bent on violent maulings of the body lotion sales people. It's a lucrative business!

Whit said...

Maybe if you bought the sword and walked around with it above your head they'd leave you alone.

Jeff said...

mom thumb - And my response to the kiosk guy would have been... "because your crap doesn't work!"

jenny - Honestly, is there ever a good time to mention that?

ve - Hmmm, that would explain the high turnover rate at that lotion kiosk.

whit - Ya, they would leave me alone all right, but I'm guessing homeland security might not.

Marty said...

I once tried to convince a guy that I would actually buy a cell phone from him if he would buy me a lunch.

It didn't happen. Normally when I bothered by these people I try to negotiate terms but it never works out. I couldn't even get a guy trying to sell me specialty board games (Star Wars does Stratego or something) to get me a coke, even if I paid for it.

Sandy said...

My response, as I'm dragging three screaming kids through the mall when one of these yahoos approaches me?

ARE YOU A FREAKIN' CRACK SMOKER? NO.

And, yes, I once said this to a woman who tried to give me a manicure as she asked.

PG said...

can I ask you a question?

How do you feel about being tagged?

I have a 7 random facts meme for you here.... http://patglennon.net/?p=72

Jeff said...

Go ahead, I don't mind. I've done this one in the past but I'll be happy to make up some new random facts about myself again. That's why they're called random! Although I won't be able to get to it until after the holidays but I'll make sure to let you know when I do.

Ed Stuteville said...

I actually had this happen at the Mall last week and I remembered your blog. It was so funny that I just had to use it. And the sam guy did approach us again when we came back by him a few minutes later. And I thought I had memory problems!

G said...

Those samurai swords would have come in handy for Narnia! I don't do much mall shopping but when there recently, I was accosted by one of these guys. They do have you mapping out the alternate route, you are right about that.