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An open letter to a mall worker.

I had just come from Gap, where I’d actually been able to find a pair of jeans that I thought would fit me for longer than a couple of months, and was on my way to Macy’s to spend the gift card I’ve had since Christmas.  That should tell you how often I go to the mall.

I walked past the the little kiosks, glancing at the workers with a small smile before continuing forward, my eyes on the big, red letters of my goal.

“Hi!  You want to try sample?!”

You practically shouted the question at me as I passed, and the mall was so barren of people that I was unable to use a small child or elderly mall walker to shield myself, which is my usual course of action in these situations.  Startled, I slowed down to stare incredulously at you as you approached from your Dead Sea product kiosk.

The tray of little white plastic cups filled with globs of questionable lotion-like product came dangerously close to hitting me in the face as you pressed, “You try, yes?”

“No, I’m sorry – thanks, though.”  I smiled a tight little smile and attempted to keep going.

“Ah, yes, but let me ask you question.  Do you usually wear your nails natural?”  You gestured at my hands as you said this, preparing the next phase of your attack (which no doubt involved a nail buffing tool and a well-rehearsed speech in broken English).

I quickly glanced at my nails.  If “natural” means that half of them are broken off, and the other half have hangnails because “nail care” is at the bottom of my to-do list, then yeah, I guess you could say that.

“Um.  Yes.  I really do have to go – I’m in a hurry.”  I turned quickly and headed into Macy’s, breathing a sigh of relief at my narrow escape and preparing myself for a satisfying search.

I had made the mistake of trying on jeans in Macy’s, as well (Calvin Klein, you and I are going to have words one of these days, I swear), and in frustration I finally decided to just pick up a shampoo bar at Lush, along with a couple of pairs of opaque tights.  As an afterthought, I picked up a body-slimming undergarment.  Needless to say, I wasn’t in a very chipper mood, even though I saved quite a bit of money with my gift card.

On my way out of the mall, I decided to stop at Starbucks, figuring a well-placed venti, nonfat, no whip, Pumpkin Spice latte was in order.  I was in the upper level of the mall, so I decided to take the escalator downstairs so that I wouldn’t risk passing you and your smelly lotion kiosk again.

I entered the Starbucks, where the perfectly charming (for once) cashier rang up my order, which was delivered to me in record time.  I left the shop in considerably higher spirits.  It’s really not that hard to please me.

As I moseyed my way to Dillard’s, which is where my exit was located, I passed another Dead Sea product kiosk, this time manned by a very slight young woman, who again shouted, “You try sample?!”

Slightly annoyed, I shook my head no while smiling, and said, “No, thank you.”

Then you popped out from behind the kiosk.  And again, you shouted, “Can I ask you question?!?” while gesturing wildly to my hands.

“No, I’m really in a hurry.”  I dropped all pretense of polite detachment along with my smile.  My grip tightened on my cup, sloshing some latte on the floor, which I ignored.  I was wondering why in the hell you were suddenly at the lower kiosk.  I became paranoid that you were somehow stalking me, determined to get your spiel in before closing time.  I thought that perhaps you were thisclose to your quota, and I was the target for that last sale.

My eyes slid away from your face, and I continued onward.

As I passed, I heard you mutter, “Why you in such a hurry for?” in what was quite possibly the most bitchy (pardon the expression) fag-snark tone I’ve heard in a long time.

I wasn’t lying – I was actually in a hurry.  Dillard’s closes and locks the door leading to the mall at 9pm, and it was 8:55pm.  I also had to pick up a bra (Dillard’s is the only place that carries my size), and had wanted to do so on my way out.  The fact that I had no desire to talk to you or try your product was only a small part of the reason why I rushed past your kiosk the second time.  The first time, I was simply not interested, and was trying to politely tell you to fuck off.  I realize that, as a salesman, “tact” isn’t a regular part of your vocabulary, but rest assured that this is what I was attempting to convey.

But since you decided to be such a judgmental prick, how about we address it, yes?

I am an overweight, white, American female.  I had several shopping bags.  I can see how you might have thought that I was an easy sale, but despite outward appearances, not all of us are unable to say the word, “no”.  Shocker, eh?

I can see how you might have figured that, especially with my Starbucks cup, I would be pulled in by promises of beauty with little effort.  After all, surely I’m dumb enough to not count liquid calories, right?  Only trendy fucks shop at Starbucks, and overweight trendy fucks have a bad habit of thinking that, because it’s a “fancy” joint, it’s not really junk food.  Just as they think ordering a salad at McAlister’s guarantees a low calorie count, even as they drench their salad in cheese and Ranch dressing.

I can also see that you, dear sir, are in the most unfortunate habit of denying yourself everything except tacky designer-imposter clothing.  Modeling yourself after Marc Anthony (J Lo’s husband – ask me if I care if I’ve spelled it correctly…go ahead), simpering about with a plastic smile while you stare first at my shopping bags, then my waistline…all of these actions give you away.

Your bitchy little comment sealed my impression of you as a sniveling, panty-waisted, macrobiotic-slurping piece of shit.

The next time you approach me, rest assured that I will be making every effort to let you know as much, in as much detail as I can.  Just for fun, I may accidentally pour some orange-tinted latte (specially-ordered for the occasion) on your wannabe shoes.

Try me.

-Bonnie

 

13 comments to An open letter to a mall worker.

  • I eat lunch occasionally in that mall, and I sincerely hope I’m there when you next converse with this salesperson. :-)

  • Rick

    Oh, I’d pay money to see it.

  • I’ll call you both before I venture out that way again. It might be a while, though. :-P I don’t know that I have the patience to deal with that level of stupidity for a while. College is bad enough.

  • Dead Sea salt-stuff, sheesh – there was a guy on Kaanapali Beach on Maui accosting passersby with that crap, whhile there’s already a whole ocean just a few feet away…

  • falnfenix

    be wary of those individuals. apparently it’s common business practice to grab potential customers by the hand and force them to try the products.

  • How about a complaint, written to the mall manager, maybe copy to the newspaper op-ed section. And maybe file a complaint with the store or the police about harassment and abuse.

    And do complain to Dillard’s, to Starbucks, to Macy’s, and the Gap. Let them know their approachway is being guarded by an unlicensed, unwanted, unleashed . . . hostile obstruction. They care about the approach to their store, and have a vested interest in keeping the crap off the sidewalk.

    Maybe spend a few moments in front of the offending kiosk, intruding when the offender tries to make a pitch to a passerby – step between them, comment to the passerby, “Isn’t she annoying?” No confrontations, the best revenge after all is living well, but you might consider this volunteer effort, a sort of neighborhood watch spinoff. At the least, spend enought time the attacker identifies you as a lost sale.

    Enjoy the day!

  • Joe

    That mall has changed a *lot* in the last couple of years. I no longer go there unless I have no choice. Sad, really.

  • Some people just do not understand “NO”, nor the more subtle non-verbal “fuck off” hints. I had a similar instance with a salesman at a Hyundai dealership here.

    Laura – People actually grabbed potential customers?! WTF? Do that to me and you will not like the reaction.

    Pushy salesmen, hobos, and others rude folks who want something seem drawn to me. Maybe I look like a nice guy or something?

  • Malls? Do they still exist? I thought those trendy little strip shopping centers were all the rage now. You know, the ones where you go outside in the SUN/RAIN/SNOW/WIND/COLD to go from one store to another.

    In your place, I’d put one of my size 12 Ropers on his nice trendy wannabee shoes.

  • I know someone who works at that Macy’s, have been to that Starbucks, have seen that sales tactic. Now I’m tempted to ask for samples every day for a week, park my ugly six and a half foot tall tattooed fat ass in their face.

  • Buzz

    Please keep in mind that those folks are likely Mossad agents. The ones I have run across are all former Israeli military types.

  • “sniveling, panty-waisted, macrobiotic-slurping piece of shit”. love it. wish i knew why your blog isn’t updating on my dashboard. :/

  • Rick beat me to it! I would gladly pay money to watch the verbal smackdown delivered.