I went into a store yesterday afternoon and got attacked.
Not physically attacked – just verbally bombarded.
Let me explain.
I went into this store to check out underwear. I was minding my own business, trying to figure out why the sizing was so odd (big underwear with size 3 on the label – what’s that?) when a well-dressed young man approached me.
No kidding – this is how the conversation unfolded.
“Hello, may I help you?”
Not needing his attention or help while I sorted through underwear, I responded with, “No thanks, just looking.”
“That’s fine. How are you?
Still not having any idea who this young man was, I hesitantly answered, “Ah, doing great, thanks” and turned back to the underwear display.
“What do you think of this weather? I come from Venezuela and I lived with my grandmother who lived on the top of a high mountain and she grew mangos. So different than here.”
I was really uncomfortable at this point so I hung up the underwear and tried to move on by being polite but dismissive. “That must have been a nice way to grow up.” I should have stopped there but I added, “You must miss home.”
For the next two or three minutes, this young man (I still didn’t know who he was) talked about Venezuelan vs. Canadian politics and how thankful he was to live in Canada. He asked me about my summer and where I liked to go for holidays.
At this point, I really needed to end the conversation so I concluded with, “Well, I have to meet a friend soon so I better get going.”
THAT’S when it all came down.
“Well, today you get an extra 20% off your purchases.”
Being very leery at this point, I said a quick, “Oh, thank you. That’s good news” and turned away.
“All you have to do is let me take your photo for a credit card.”
Now it is was all becoming clear.
“I don’t want a credit card,” I fought back.
“Oh, but this is just a temporary card.”
I was starting to get angry.
“You’re not hearing what I’m saying. I don’t want another credit card and I certainly don’t want you to take a picture of me.”
But he wouldn’t stop.
“Just a quick picture.”
I literally had to push the camera down.
Now I was on a roll. “I don’t know who you are but I can tell you, I don’t appreciate the manipulation and dishonesty behind your sales pitch. You are WAY OVER THE TOP HERE, MR.”
I hurried over to the cash register to talk to the lady there who had already started apologizing to me.
“I’m so sorry. I saw it all. He’s not from here. He was sent by ____________ (parent company of this store) and we have no say in it. We’ve been apologizing all day to our customers. Perhaps you can go and complain to ________. “(the parent company)
. . . Which is exactly what I did and I asked to see the manager. I explained the situation and he too was apologetic. He offered me a gift certificate as a peace offering.
“I don’t need a gift certificate. I just want you to know that what happened was totally inappropriate and someone needs to come along side that young man and help him with his sales techniques. I really didn’t appreciate being manipulated.”
With that, I left the store.
We are not to be deceived with empty, meaningless, manipulative words. (Ephesians 5.6)
For such people are not serving our Lord Christ but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. Romans 16.18 b