Saturday, March 7, 2009

Do I Really Look That Gullible?

So tonight I had to make a quick trip to Target. I went in, got the few things I needed, spent less than $20, and left. I was very proud of myself. As I was walking out, someone calls out, "Hey! Come here!" Naturally my curiosity got the better of me and I looked for who was yelling out and who they were yelling at. It was a guy standing about ten feet away from me calling to...you guessed it...me.

Okay, before I continue, I know you are saying to yourself, "Oh, Rhia...please tell me you did not go over to this guy...when are you ever gonna learn?" But I instantly thought that maybe he needed some help or something. I mean, he was just standing there (in a lit area full of people walking in and out of the store) like he needed...something. And it's just not in my nature to be a total b**** to a stranger for no reason...well, most of the time.

So I walk over to...we'll call him Jason (my apologies to any Jason's out there who are reading, it's not that he reminded me of you, it's just that he looked like a Jason), and he seems very eager to talk to me. He's literally jumping up and down. He introduces himself and says he's from California and that he's part of a contest (I instantly think of reality TV stardom...don't laugh...you would too), and then asks me where I'm from. I still have this confused look on my face because I'm trying to figure out what Jason needs, and I say, "Uh...I'm from here." He looks geniunely surprised at this and then proceeds to go into his schpeel about how he's in this program that helps him build confidence and in a contest to earn points and how it saves kids from cancer and how he's trying to win a trip to Jamaica and how he had come outside to smoke a cigarette but then saw me and decided to wait as he tucks his ciggy behind his ear. And then he asks me, "Do you like benches?" and invites me to come sit on the bench with him to talk and then says, "You're not married are you?"

Jason stops to take a breath and I'm able to get one word out:

"WHAT?"

I thought he needed help! I thought I was going to be a part of a new reality TV show! I thought at the very least he was doing some sort of scavenger hunt with a church group!

As he is jump/skipping and waving me over to the bench I tell him I can't stay to talk to him on the bench and that I've got to go. Immediately he's back in front of me and says, "It's okay, we can stand and talk." and then pulls out these laminated cards from his man purse/zipper bag thingy and asks me to look at the point totals and if I was going to purchase a magazine what magazine would I buy...

I interrupted him at this point and tell him, "I'm not going to buy anything." and hand his card back. But he won't take it. Instead he sticks another in my hand along with the first one and says, "Oh, I'm not asking you to buy anything, but if you buy one of these magazines then you can help the kids..."

Interruption: "I just told you I'm not buying anything and I really have to go." I'm trying to hand him his cards back but he won't take them! And then he says, "Just two minutes! Two seconds!" I stare at him and count...one one thousand, two one thousand.

And then Happy ADHD Jason changes instantly into Jaded Distant Mad Jason and he says, "Fine, never mind." and snatches his cards back as he turns away from me.

I wanted to laugh out loud but instead I just walked away and said, "Okay thanks!" and he mumbled after me, "I don't know why you're thanking me! You wouldn't even listen."

And now I will get on my soap box:

I said thank you because I didn't choose to annoy people with my multiple personality disorder in order to build confidence. I built my confidence by being polite to people and earning their respect in return.

It shocks me everytime that A) there are companies that train their employees to acost people in shopping center parking lots, be extremely annoying and weird, and lie in order to sell magazine subscriptions, and B) that people do it.

Are you really from California? No. You said that because the weather is nice. If it was rainy, you'd say you were from Washington. If it was windy, you'd say you were from Chicago.

Is there really a trip to Jamaica for you? No. You said that because you want me to feel like I'm doing something for you personally.

Am I really helping to save kids with cancer? No. Organizations that donate all (or even some) of their money to starving kids in Africa or whatever don't get all pissy when you won't give them money. They are CHARITABLE which means they are giving and kind and not in it for the money.

Are you trying to get me to buy something? Yes. Even though you told me you weren't, you flat out asked me. Even after I told you I'm not going to buy anything, you asked me to buy something.

Will this really build your confidence? No. I can't think of anyone that would buy a magazine subscription from someone as they are leaving a store. I mean, they're leaving...they're done buying things.

And the whole win a trip/save the kids routine? Ugh! Do people really fall for that anymore?

So really, do I look the type? Do I look like I would fall for someone's stupid song and dance and give them money? Cause I've heard all this junk before (obviously). What is it about me that makes people think I'll fall for it? Be honest because seriously, this guy needed his ciggy and he wouldn't have postponed it if he didn't think it would be beneficial.

7 comments:

The Patton Family said...

Oh, I had 2 teenage girls come to my door doing the same stinkin thing!! I said I didn't really have time to read magazines, so they said I should just buy some for dying kids or something. It took me a while to cinvince them that I was not gonna buy their crap to help them go on a trip. If I'm giving money to anyone to go on a trip... it's ME!!!!! I deserve a trip more then they do!!

Matthew Ware said...

I was on the Plaza in KC a few years ago with a couple of friends. As we're walking to our individual cars this guy starts walking over to us. My two friends get in their cars and drive off. I didn't make it...

I actually got in the car and got the door locked, but this guy comes over and talks to me anyway. He says he needs gas money to get his girlfriend to the hospital. Now, at this time I was working at St Luke's Hospital...ON THE PLAZA!

I explain that there's a hospital just a block and a half away and that he can have her seen there. He says they won't see her. I decide not to tell him that I work there. I also decide not to tell him that anyone who checks into an ER has to be seen. It's the law. In fact, if you are an adult and check into a children's hospital ER, they still have to see you.

Now, I almost never carry cash. I prefer paying with my debit card. But I happened to have three or four bucks on me. I hand it over to him and go on my merry way. Was he really taking his girl to the hospital? Of course not. People in those situations that ask for money will lie their butts off, then go buy a beer. Or ciggies. Or drugs. If his girlfriend was critically ill, he would have asked for a ride to the hospital, or for me to call 911.

Of course, who do I blame? Myself. I blame myself for not having the nerve to just drive on.

And where's my charity? My charity belongs to the people who need the help. People that truly need help won't ask for money. They'll ask for their immediate needs to be met. Go up to a panhandler who's starving and offer him a cheeseburger. He'll spit in your face.

Alison said...

I once had a guy come to my door when I was in college. He gave me a song and dance about raising money to go to school, and I was slightly annoyed because no one else in my apartment attempted to answer the door and I was really busy. When I asked him what he wanted, what was he selling, he immediately got all pissed at me and basically said I was prejudice for not being nicer about him wasting my time trying to sell magazines after he'd gone on and on about random crap that I didn't care about. I hate it when people try to guilt you into doing things that you obviously don't care to do.

Allie said...

This happened to me while I was dog sitting at my in laws, the guy was great though, I told him I wasn't the owner of the house, and that I was broke, trying to make ends meet myself, he smiled said thanks and walked away, I almost wet myself, as that usually never works, but what I said was all true. But really some of them are great, and some of them are phonies who are stealing your money, this is right up there with the spend a dollar to help the children thing... when you are checking out, and if you spend 5 dollars you get a golden one.. really I love kids, I donate hats to parkland and I pay my tithing, I think I do my part... oh and petsmart with their donate a dollar to needy animals thing always makes me feel guilty.... Yes I really am that horrible of a person, and I don't donate to the poor animals or children..

Erica said...

I was conned into buying a passbook for Operation Smile on front of a Ross like 2 months ago.

I got home and the coupons were for a DARE campaign last year and like 85% expired. AND I looked at the back of my receipt that I insisted upon and it said 5% of the PROFIT gets donated to operation smile and that this is really a business and promotions company.

You best believe I called that Ross and spoke to the manager and he went and kicked their sorry butts out of the shopping complex. They lied to Ross about what they were doing too.

JERKS!!!

Emily Anne said...

I have been approached by those guys more than once. Once at my parents house in Omaha and once in a store parking lot. They are always from California and ask you to pick out the magazines you want. I HATE THOSE GUYS. They won't leave you alone. Hooray for you for not buying anything. I did once and I got my magazines about 6 mos later. Bad idea, but the guy was cute. Oh well.

Em's end said...

It's not that you look gullible, it's that you look approachable, kind, understand, and nice. Quiet possibly he thought you were pretty too and was hoping to use the "pitch" as an exuse to flirt.

Hey, that's what you get when you are smart, pretty, young, and nice.

Go Rhia!