The Gauntlet of the Modern Mall

Can someone explain this to me?
Some bright marketer somewhere decided that shopping mall revenues weren’t high enough. In a burst of creativity, and noting all that wasted empty space in the middle of the halls (never mind those pesky shoppers), it was decided to populate this space with oh so charming pushcarts, just like those lovely street vendors we think we’re all so fond of.
Well, the pushcarts turned into kiosks, and the kiosks turned into little stores. Somewhere along the line those stores became the haven of cell phone vendors. Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, Nextel – they’re all there, several times over. Right next to each other. Where one could easily tag the other with a spitball.
So in this rich capitalistic cutthroat environment, the kiosk owners decided it wasn’t enough to let the customers come to the vendors. Since they had already moved the more obnoxious sales droids out of the small stores into the kiosks, the droids still weren’t satisfied. Now they needed to accost walkers-by with questions about their cell phone service.
Now, see, here’s where I lose it. I go to the mall to shop. Sometimes to get something to eat. If I’m interested in buying something, I will go into the store, or stop by the kiosk. If I’m walking by, and desperately avoiding eye contact with the salesperson, and perhaps even talking with my son running along side me, what POSSIBLE reasoning would lead you to decide to interrupt me with “Sir, may I ask you a question?”
Even worse, these freaks are preying on the social expectation that it’s considered rude say “No” in response to that. My answer to this is, fuck it, THEY’VE already broken the personal space barrier and intruded into my world, when I expressed absolutely no interest in their product or their services, and THEY are expecting me to defend myself as to why I am not interested in their product.
It really makes me consider NOT going to a mall because of these bozos. By the design of these space, I have no option other than to walk those halls to do my shopping there. What’s next, someone physically stopping you and not letting you pass until you prove you cannot possibly afford what they’re selling? How about the old vacuum cleaner tactic of spraying dirt on you so they can demonstrate what a cool cleaner they have.
And the malls wonder why retail sales are down, and online sales are up. Hey malls, here’s a prime example. If you make the shopping experience more annoying, people will stop coming to the malls.

Dave Shevett

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A wandering geek. Toys, shiny things, pursuits and distractions.

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