I wonder what sort of a stunt I might stoop to if my job involved getting quick stepping punters in a shopping mall, to stop long enough to hear my spiel.
After the crapola on the phone yesterday, I trooped off to the mall today to speak to a real person and the whole thing was sorted quick smart. Yippee!
However between the car park and the shop front there was some sort of kiosk staffed by youngsters, probably on holiday, probably not on any sort of base pay, almost certainly hawking something that I neither want or need.
I always feel sorry for these kids. What sort of a shitful life would it be. So I am not predictably rude to 'em. I just smile and say, 'No Thanks.' Yes I will admit that that's before they have finished their first sentence, but it means that neither of us have to break our stride. They can continue to canvas, well, I imagine tourists, but I am not sure cos I don't know what they are selling.
So it was today on my way TO the shop front. We all smiled and got on with things. Ah.
On the way back to the car however, I made the mistake of letting the girlie get out her first sentence, 'How are you today?' Shit, I answered before I could think not to. 'Yeh good thanks.'
Isn't it strange how this sort of exchange is Pavlovian. People ask 'How are you?' without the least little bit of interest in your answer and you answer, 'Good ta.' even if you are actually really bloody dreadful.
How much more honest it would be if we greeted strangers or relative strangers with, 'Hi, I'm in a hurry, don't speak to me please.' and then they could say, 'Hi, good I have no interest in you whatsoever so bugger off.' Yeh it sounds nasty, but at least it's honest
But I digress. So as the girlie got a response that was better than head, down eyes averted, 'No', she pushed on with the next part of the script she had been given.
1. Ask how the punter is.
2. Compliment them...
Well it was at this point that I felt really sorry for her, but admit that I did enjoy the fact that she was so obviously new to the gig that her ability to find something to complement me about was not as fluid as it might be, or maybe she was so shocked that I had not told her to bugger off that she was tilted a little off kilter. I reckon that these kids might do well to follow a sleazy bloke on the pull at any pub or club on a Friday evening. These fellas are good at the off the cuff crap.
Anyway, here she was faced with a responsive, old fat woman, so she looked me up and down and down and up and across and back, and she finally settled on, 'That's a pretty dress.' Unfortunately, it took her so long to come up with anything pleasant to say that I only heard it as it floated along on the aircon wave. Yep I was well gone. It did make me smile.
My dress today
I reckon she will be better next time.
I reckon she might eventually get up to a speed that might just detain a regular passer-by long enough for her to try out number 3 in the training manual - whatever that might be.
It did give me cause to ponder just how shithouse I must look that it took her quite so long to come up with anything nice to say.
I reckon I should make a bit more of an effort so as not to scare the kids. I should but I rather doubt that's gonna happen anytime soon.
But none of this addresses what I would do to attract punters' attention. For that I might well have to delve into the memory banks of Kuta Beach or the side streets of Seoul. I think they try to give you stuff and then follow you all the while coming up with strange complements. I am not convinced that would work in a mall in Southport. Perhaps playing the pity card would be the way to go?
What would you do to get the punters to stop and listen to your spiel?