Open Thread

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  1. Jody

    This is just something I happened to think about today when I was at the mall so I thought I’d put to the group. Most (if not all) of the malls I patronize have kiosks in the hallways. Some of the kiosk salespeople are rather pushy, almost standing in your path to give you a sample of their product (usually cosmetics or fragrances offered to females). I don’t like to be rude to people, but I’ve found that a polite “no thank you” doesn’t work so I walk past them as if I don’t see them and avoid all eye contact. Does anybody have a better idea on how to handle the kiosk salespeople?

    • Elizabeth

      Nope that’s basically what you have to do. IF you stop to take a sample, they will. not. let. you. go. Their sales tactics basically force you to act in a way that one would normally consider rude. I hate it!

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Unfortunately, there is not much you can do. You could decide to “vote with your feet” and not shop in the mall anymore. Indoor malls are becoming less desired places to patronize these days for this very reason. The best you could do is write a message to mall management telling them that you find it very difficult to continue shopping there since you are constantly being hassled when you just want to peruse stores in peace. Some malls have places restrictions on kiosk “barkers.”

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      I agree with Elizabeth. You completed your obligation when you said “no thank you.” It is not your fault that they are trying to continue conversations you made clear were over. I have a similar frustration when charities call asking for donations. I explain that I can’t afford to contribute right now, and they continue to try to make the sale saying “I understand but this is for our veterans (or whatever the charity is). So can I put you down for $50?” To which I say “I already said no” and hang up.

    • Shop online.
      99% of all my shopping is done this way, and I haven’t step foot in a mall in years.

      A more practical solution was offered by others, and as Elizabeth intimated, you may simply have to be rude. That’s very sad when rudeness is the correct answer. Some of my friends choose to visit malls on busier days (such as Saturday) so that all the extra people make it tougher for the kiosk people to focus on one person.

        • Vanna Keiler

          This is a tough scenario, and great question too! I have personally tried to say “No, thank you” as I am approached, and the conversation continues as I slow down and keep walking to listen to them but gently demonstrate I am not planning to stop. By that time, of course one feels guilty to have engaged at all.

          My best results have come from (1) Avoiding eye contact as I walk by the kiosk, feigning acute preoccupation with something in the window or on my mind, so conversation does not even get a chance to start; (2) pretending I don’t hear if I am far enough away or I have already passed by (that perception allows the salesperson to save face and avoid rejection as well). One thing to note, is that these employees are trained salespeople and are expecting a certain amount of rejection while they openly solicit passersby. Therefore, I could be wrong, but I do not believe it should be considered rude if one chooses to ignore a solicitation, or simply does not feel charitable to respond. A brief smile and shake of the head as one passes by may be all that is required to acknowledge congenially that they have a job to do, and we in turn have our own worries and concerns to tend to, as we tend to our errands.

  2. Carol

    Have a question I have married a widower and he still talks to people about his wife’s sister as his sister-in-law. even though he and i have been married now for almost three years.. Would not the death of a spouse sort of close out that relationship in those terms even though they still do maintain a friendship as he and his late wife were married for 40+ years. I just felt hurt as i no longer introduce my previous family in that way. I would have said my late wife’s sister.

    • Alicia

      Have you talked to him about it? I can see his habit of 40 years sort of being stuck even with late wife being gone and also see your point. But really this is not right nor wrong so much as something you two need to talk about. His habit and validation of the family like relationship ( and maybe not wanting to hurt the late wifes sisters feelings by always mentioning her dead sister in context of her introduction) and your feeling of primary current wife status. Speak to your husband ask him why he calls her that really listen to what he says and then if you feel it is still an issue with you bring up your feelings to him.

    • Elizabeth

      I think people feel really differently about this kind of thing depending on how their relationship ended (divorce vs death) and also how they feel about their in-laws as people. Your husband did not exit his first relationship “willingly” so to speak. So it is natural that he would still feel close to a SIL that was in his life for 40 years. It might help you to reframe this in your mind: instead of seeing it as competition, see it as testament to the loyalty and fondness he feels for his in-laws. If he mentions her in conversation, presumably he still sees her on occasion or she is still in his life in some way. If it’s based more in duty that sentiment, be glad that he’s so polite and takes into account the feelings of people in his life. It doesn’t take away from the relationship you now have that he has a sister-in-law or a late wife. There’s room in human hearts for multiple people.

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