I’m extremely non-confrontational by nature. Learning to stick up for myself is something I struggle with almost constantly, even now. As a child, getting in trouble was one of my biggest fears. When faced with confrontation, not only does my heart start pounding and my ears start ringing, but I break out into rash-y looking hives on my neck and cheeks.
That’s why it is no surprise I hate the kiosks at the mall.
And really, I cannot fault people for trying to find meaningful work. Heck, it’s more than I can boast for myself, and that’s the truth.
But riddle me this: Why–why–must those dadgum kiosk workers at the mall be such vultures?
All I wanted was a salted pretzel from Auntie Anne’s, but the route was heavily guarded by three different dreaded kiosks: one for Swarovski crystal-bejeweled hair clips, one peddling mineral face powders, and another–much more threatening than the others–vending cell phones.
“No, it isn’t worth it,” I decide. I could forgo food forever if it meant I never had to walk past another Kiosk Vulture.
There’s always a slight chance of survival if shopping with another person, because at least then I have someone with whom to conspire, “Quick! Look right into my eyes and talk to me about something really important…”
But even that doesn’t always work if the Kiosk Vultures catch my eye before “really important” conversation can begin.
“Hey, ladies,” I hear from ten feet to my left. I can’t ignore it. Try as I might, I cannot walk by without acknowledging the person who I know was talking to me. But that look–that one tiny glance and slight little nod–is cause for certain capture. Every time I think I can smile and walk on by…
…and every time that same maddening voice in my head screams, “How can you be so rude? He was talking to you! You were raised better than this–you cannot treat this human being like dirt.”
Of course, my one tiny glance and slight little nod are all the Kiosk Vultures need to ask more questions–questions I can hardly ignore: What cell phone service do I have? Do my hands feel dry? Do I like free things? Would I care for a sample?
Telus™; surprisingly; of course; yes, thanks. I have to answer–I don’t know how I couldn’t.
But why? Why are they shouting at me? Why do these people think it’s okay to yell inconsequential questions at me from across the corridors of the mall? In what other situation is it acceptable to yell at a complete stranger, “HELLO! DO YOU HAVE STAINS ON YOUR LIVING ROOM CARPET?!” I fail to see how it’s any of your business, fellow human being. Especially since there is no way I would ever purchase wares from a Kiosk Vulture–it goes against everything I stand for.
And in these difficult times, the problems is only getting worse. Now, with 20-minute teeth whitening and remote-control helicopters and hermit crabs and sarongs/scarfs/headwraps and 100% UVA/UVB sunglasses and vintage portraitry and Crocs™ and VitaChangeYourLifeForeverMineralJuiceOfTheUniverse and genuine leather luggage tags and *take a breath* Seaweed-Kelp Body Butter…
…is nothing sacred?