Like McDonalds, Taco Bell, and Costco on a Saturday, sometimes I wander into a mall only to remind myself why I rarely do it.
Malls are great when you’re a kid. There’s a lot of kids loitering around. Dudes who spend more time styling themselves than the girls they’re with. Kids in shoes with skate wheels. Bangs on boys, girls with the midriffs exposed.
The things that attracted you to the mall as a kid are the same things that keep you from ever wanting to go as an adult.
And what’s with the lack of toy stores in mall these days?
What are we talking about again?
Oh right, avoiding things at the mall.So I have trouble saying no. Even worse, sometimes when I do say no, and people rebut, I find it even more difficult to say no a second time.
“Excuse me sir would you like a sample of this raspberry ketone tea?”
“Oh, no thanks.”
“Just a sip, you can keep walking.”
Damnit! I stop, and that’s when they have me.
One of the big changes I’m working on at the moment is being more social, listening to people, finding fascination in the mundane, not topping, and so on.
Good things to practice, all of them. But salespeople at the mall?
Screw that noise.
Fake phone calls.
If I’m in the mall by myself, I call someone. I stretch the conversation out as long as possible.
It’s usually my dad. We can complain about the Thunder or OU for hours. It’s nice, and makes shopping tolerable.
If you can’t find someone to talk to, fake it.
I can get away with this because I spent four years as a sales associate at Gap while in college.
I wouldn’t want to talk to college me at the store. I wore the same thing like five days a week, work included.
Yet I’m going to recommend what jeans you should wear?
“OH YEAH BOB THAT’S A GREAT IDEA JUST WRITE UP A PROPOSAL THIS WEEK AND SEND IT OVER”
“Excuse me, can I offer you…”
“GREAT IDEA BOB” (waves off eager kid selling magic tea, keeps on walking)
That’s right. Hold the phone up to your ear, silence the thing, and chat away. Most of them won’t mess with you. The ones that will, simply wave your free hand.
I know other people who do this. And some of them don’t even fake conversations. They just hold their phones to their ears in complete silence. They’re not even trying to pretend.
A phone to the ear is like a mobile “no solicitation” sign.
I’ve even tried it with the door to door kids. This is an even better application, because you can say some ridiculous things at your house.
“THE WHAT? GOT STUCK UP YOUR ANUS? OH MY GOD BOB YOU SHOULD GO TO THE DOCTOR? DINOSAUR TOYS AREN’T SUPPOSED TO BE USED IN THAT MANNER BOB. THOSE TINY T-REX ARMS WON’T EXTRACT EASILY. YOU KNOW, YOU AND JUDY SHOULD CONSIDERED REGULAR, BORING SEX BOB. HOLD ON SOMEONE’S AT MY DOOR”
Kid at door: Uhhh, I can come back later…?”
“Thanks for stopping by, don’t worry about coming back. BOB HAVE YOU ASKED ONE OF THE KIDS TO HELP YOU PULL THE TOY OUT OF YOUR ASS? WHAT ABOUT ASTROGLIDE OR KY JELLY?”
Look, there’s a time to be open and malleable to what the world has to offer.
Then there are times you’re in the mall, or there’s a kid selling home alarm systems (or religion) at your door.
Those times call for desperate measures, at least for those of us who have issues saying no.
Don’t feel bad. Pull out your phone, and call Bob.