Hate is a strong word, but I really really really don’t like the kiosk guys at the mall.
As if the infinite, bombarding advertisements in the store windows weren’t enough, we now need walking, talking, breathing advertisements to shove more products down our throats and suck the dough right out of our wallets.
Kiosk guys are the most incessant, vexatious breed of salespeople. And just as the best of arguers, I am prepared to abet my argument with viable evidence.
Kiosk guys choose their targets in a very scrupulous manner. Even when you think you’ve escaped their gaze, they’re watching. Waiting. Constantly pursuing their next dupe.
But, ladies and gentlemen, I am no dupe.
There I was, artlessly roaming the mall. Consciously desisting eye contact with the enemy. Gazing longingly through store windows at items that I could only afford in my dreams, subconsciously anticipating the possibility of a sales-pitch confrontation.
And boy, did I get a sales-pitch confrontation.
A man leaning against a kiosk, selling some kind of fancy hand cream had spotted me. He watched me from behind his spectacles as I wandered nearer and nearer to his booth. As soon as the opportunity arose, the hawker snatched my dainty wrist and pumped a coin-sized dot of lotion onto my hand and began massaging it into my skin.
I gave him a befuddled look and attempted to pull my hand back to my side but he resisted. The man didn’t speak English well, but his sales pitch went something along the lines of how his product would enhance and rejuvenate my fair, dry, and cracking skin. I decided i’d humor him, and inquired the price of his miracle cream. The man wanted 29.99 for a 3-month supply of his lotion. Outrageous.
Do people actually pay that much for lotion? I buy the Equate brand from Walmart that costs me about six bucks and it gets the job done just fine. Plus I only run out of it biannually.
Continuing with my anecdote, I allowed the kiosk guy to finish verbalizing his rehearsed spiel of reasons why I needed his product. (Mostly because he was rubbing my hands the entire time. Which beyond creepy and made me a captive audience.) I nodded and thanked him for the free handful of lotion, and continued, rather irritatedly, on my way.
This whole encounter took up roughly five minutes of my valuable time. (Kidding, it’s not really that valuable, and I had nothing better to do.) And the kiosk guy clearly overstepped his boundaries by physically forcing me to listen to his live infomercial. If I remember correctly, I hadn’t shown an ounce of interest in purchasing hand cream that day.
This aggressive method of selling not only makes me want to visit malls less, it makes me totally resistant to purchasing anything from a kiosk ever in my entire life.
My words of retail shopping wisdom: Keep your limbs in tight and your eyes on the floor.