Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mall Walker

I didn’t want to stop for her. I avoided eye contact, walked purposefully (as purposefully as one can walk when leading a 3 year old) and almost passed her. Then she made her move. She stepped one foot forward, held out her clipboard and said, “May I take a few moments of your time?” Uh, no, actually, all my moments are counted and allotted and today I see that I did not schedule any time for “stupid mall survey.” She pursues. “Just a few questions, 7-10 minutes?” I look at the 3 year old, on her way to lunch, after which feeding I, myself, will be grazing with one of my 3 book groups (another story, but chalk it up to my inability to resist.) Fine. 7-10 minutes, but make ‘em snappy.
She begins. “Have you purchased in the last 3 months or do you plan on purchasing a cartoon character t-shirt for either yourself or a child?”
Easy. No. I don’t do cartoon t-shirts.
“In the last 3 months have you purchased liquid fabric softener?”
No. I only use dryer sheets.
“No liquid fabric softener at all?”
No. I repeat. I only use dryer sheets.
“And you haven’t purchased a character t-shirt for anyone in your family?”
Um, so this 7-10 minutes, was it going to consist of just 2 questions, repeated over and over? ‘Cuz I don’t really need to be here for this. I told you no to both questions, so you can continue for the rest of the interview on your own, since I’m not likely to suddenly remember that I do, in fact, use liquid softener instead of dryer sheets. Nor am I likely to be persuaded that Hal really, really needs a Hello Kitty t-shirt.
As I walk away, pleased that I chose to be nice to the mall worker and yet did not, in fact, have to follow her to the tiny cubicles to sniff different products, I hear her say with the same tone my 10 year old uses, and I am not making this up:
“Thanks a lot. Very helpful.”
Excuse me? In a former life, I would have whirled around and told her off. Something like, “Excuse me, Miss Minimum-Wage-and-Lucky-to-Get-It, but who’s your manager and do you have your resume ready?”
Instead, I burned her face into my memory so that every time I walk by her, I can shoot her death glances and wish her black thoughts. I feel better, my child didn’t hear any swear words, and I still made it to book group on time.

5 comments:

The Stevens said...

did she think she was going to get life changing, very intriguing and helpful answers with questions like that?

Tara said...

So is the marketing company trying to determine if they should market cartoon character-themed liquid fabric softener?

buttercup said...

I hate it when sales people are all sweet until they realize you aren't going to give them a sale and then they turn into snots. I might have come back now I never will!!! (Although I don't know if you really go back for surveys. I hope you noted the products, you could have named them here and then a rep from their company could come and explain what they were trying to get at just like the Arbor day people did.)

Irish Cream said...

You could've titled this "Mall Stalker" as I feel like those people practically lay in wait for you to pop around the corner, just hoping to catch you.

I can't believe that she was SO RUDE after you were willing to a) answer her survey of "only 7-10 minutes" and b) gave her forthright answers to both of her questions, TWICE. Harumph. The gall of some people!

BTW, I don't buy liquid fabric softener or cartoon t-shirts either (even though I also have 3 daughters)

halsadick said...

Maybe you should take a taser with you next time.