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Author Topic: Clearly I need to get better at using this...  (Read 6735 times)

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Rockie

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Clearly I need to get better at using this...
« on: September 17, 2015, 11:22:03 AM »
...or maybe it was the wrong one for this?

I was walking by a big park on my way to something else and saw there were bikes for rent. I was curious about the rates, so I looked at the sign nearby to see if it had them. It didn't, so I started to walk away figuring I'd come back when I didn't have anywhere else to be. The vendor started following me (I didn't even notice he was there) and trying to get my attention and at first I avoided making eye contact and didn't respond. He kept following me closely and saying things like "Don't pretend you can't hear me" and "Don't be scared". I finally turned around because I was getting unnerved and he started trying to sell me on the bikes. I told him I wasn't getting them right now and he finally left me alone.

In retrospect maybe I should've either kept ignoring him and walked faster? Or maybe since telling him I wasn't renting right now got him off my back I should've done that earlier? I suppose I could've asked the rates then, but at that point I just wanted to get away from him (I did get them later elsewhere). Could I have handled this better?

Harriet Jones

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Re: Clearly I need to get better at using this...
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2015, 11:28:32 AM »
You probably should have said you were curious about the rates, but you don't have time to stop.   I think ignoring him was *slightly* rude, but he was also a bit rude in his comments as well.  It's entirely possible that you couldn't hear him.

dawbs

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Re: Clearly I need to get better at using this...
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2015, 12:17:14 PM »
You know, there's really not much that is scarier than a stranger being creepy and telling you not to be scared.
It means they KNOW they are behaving in a scary way, but they think you owe them attention regardless.

Drunken Housewife

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Re: Clearly I need to get better at using this...
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2015, 12:36:04 PM »
All the fault here is with the vendor.  He tried to pressure you in a very creepy way.  Good for you for leaving and resisting.  It is difficult when dealing with a stranger who is acting inappropriately to know how best squelch them.
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greencat

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Re: Clearly I need to get better at using this...
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2015, 05:43:50 PM »
"Stop following me" would have probably been the most appropriate response, followed by "Leave me alone.  I definitely won't be renting from you if this is how you treat potential customers."

NFPwife

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Re: Clearly I need to get better at using this...
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2015, 07:48:55 PM »
This was creepy and scary and he KNEW he was being creepy and scary. I think this is a time you turn towards him and, in a loud, clear, stern voice, tell him to back off.

I think silence didn't work, initially, because he read the silence as an opening to continue to badger you.

diesel_darlin

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Re: Clearly I need to get better at using this...
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2015, 02:52:39 AM »
I liken this situation to the kiosk people at the mall. I had a guy try to approach me from very far away. I tried to smile and keep walking in the direction I was going. He tried to tell me about what he was selling. I told him no thank you. He continued as I was walking away. He yells at me YOU HAVE TO STOP. ummmm no, I dont. And the high pressure youre putting on me guarantees that I will NOT be patronizing that kiosk.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Clearly I need to get better at using this...
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2015, 01:14:45 PM »
POD to dawbs.  Someone saying "don't be scared" while following you is a reason to be scared.  He was probably just trying to get you to rent the bikes, but it cam across as aggressive and creepy.

Silence wouldn't be appropriate here.  That's where a clear "Stop following me" said loudly and to his face.

Rockie

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Re: Clearly I need to get better at using this...
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2015, 12:30:07 PM »
Thanks for the replies. I'm glad I'm not the only one who found it creepy/scary (funny how him telling me not to be scared had the opposite effect!).

Generally speaking, when I know I'm definitely not putting down any money that day, I don't want to waste the vendor's time. I also don't want to deal with any high pressure hard selling (I've encountered vendors who did not want to take no for an answer). I was wearing earphones, so I didn't catch whatever he said before those comments. The most egregious thing to me was that he clearly picked up on my discomfort, yet he continued to push (and followed me a considerable distance away from his bikes) until he got me to respond. If he was hoping to push me into giving him my business that backfired, because I remember where he was and won't rent from that location (also I'm one person so it's not like I'd rent more than one bike no matter how much I like the bikes, so it's not like I'm particularly lucrative).

Cali.in.UK

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Re: Clearly I need to get better at using this...
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2015, 04:22:36 PM »
I hate that! It happens to me sometimes in touristy areas when the prices are listed so small and close to the restaurant/activity. I think in this situation complete silence was not working, but you are fine to say that you were just looking. It really puts me off something when the sales person is aggressive, that is not my shopping style at all.

EllenS

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Re: Clearly I need to get better at using this...
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2015, 04:58:18 PM »
I think if he had immediately tried to engage your attention and alerted you to his presence/approach by saying something like, "Excuse me, were you interested in renting a bike? I can help you..." or something like that, then ignoring him would be rude because that would be a completely legitimate way to engage with a potential customer who's obviously just been examining your business display. In that case, the polite thing to do would be to say, "Sorry, can't stop today, thanks" and keep walking.

That doesn't sound like what happened to you. If he was following you without speaking, that started off creepy from the get-go, and "don't engage, keep walking" would be a very reasonable reaction.

When you say he "tried to get your attention" after following you, how did he do that? I mean the first things he said, before you intentionally ignored him.

Rockie

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Re: Clearly I need to get better at using this...
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2015, 11:56:08 AM »
I think if he had immediately tried to engage your attention and alerted you to his presence/approach by saying something like, "Excuse me, were you interested in renting a bike? I can help you..." or something like that, then ignoring him would be rude because that would be a completely legitimate way to engage with a potential customer who's obviously just been examining your business display. In that case, the polite thing to do would be to say, "Sorry, can't stop today, thanks" and keep walking.

That doesn't sound like what happened to you. If he was following you without speaking, that started off creepy from the get-go, and "don't engage, keep walking" would be a very reasonable reaction.

When you say he "tried to get your attention" after following you, how did he do that? I mean the first things he said, before you intentionally ignored him.

Yeah, if he'd approached me like in the first paragraph, that would've been completely fine (and I wouldn't have made this post). I didn't even know he was there until after he started following me (so no he didn't say anything before that point). I didn't really catch what he said before the comments in the first post (I didn't hear the word "bike" in there anywhere before I stopped though), but I did notice someone close behind me who kept talking (which turned out to be him trying to get my attention). I initially thought it was just some random person who was either talking to someone else or just wanted to bother me (I certainly didn't expect a vendor to be so persistent in following me and getting my attention!), which is why I initially ignored. He probably just wanted to make a sale, but the overly aggressive approach did really put me off.

EllenS

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Re: Clearly I need to get better at using this...
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2015, 12:52:12 PM »
I think if he had immediately tried to engage your attention and alerted you to his presence/approach by saying something like, "Excuse me, were you interested in renting a bike? I can help you..." or something like that, then ignoring him would be rude because that would be a completely legitimate way to engage with a potential customer who's obviously just been examining your business display. In that case, the polite thing to do would be to say, "Sorry, can't stop today, thanks" and keep walking.

That doesn't sound like what happened to you. If he was following you without speaking, that started off creepy from the get-go, and "don't engage, keep walking" would be a very reasonable reaction.

When you say he "tried to get your attention" after following you, how did he do that? I mean the first things he said, before you intentionally ignored him.

Yeah, if he'd approached me like in the first paragraph, that would've been completely fine (and I wouldn't have made this post). I didn't even know he was there until after he started following me (so no he didn't say anything before that point). I didn't really catch what he said before the comments in the first post (I didn't hear the word "bike" in there anywhere before I stopped though), but I did notice someone close behind me who kept talking (which turned out to be him trying to get my attention). I initially thought it was just some random person who was either talking to someone else or just wanted to bother me (I certainly didn't expect a vendor to be so persistent in following me and getting my attention!), which is why I initially ignored. He probably just wanted to make a sale, but the overly aggressive approach did really put me off.

I can't imagine anyone responding positively to being approached like that. I wonder how long he'll have that job?