On Saturday I chose to go shopping for a few things at the mall. I was already a little nervous because of the lack of mask usage but I needed to get a few things.
My mom had me go in alone because of the lack of parking and just the sheer amount of people. I run into about three different stores and am walking out with a few bags when I hear a man yell out for a girl wearing Nike’s. I look back because I am in fact wearing Nike’s and it was a man at a Kiosk stand.
The man gestures me over and I do not want to be rude so I walk back a little towards him. He starts asking why my shoes were so dirty and struck of a conversation and then started cleaning my shoes. He started cleaning my shoes.
This man was trying to sell me the shoe cleaner and I said I was not interested but he would not give me my foot back. After a few minutes and having both shoes cleaned, I walk away without having made any purchases from him. He was super pushy and it was a red flag from the start.
I get that sales people are trying to sell their product no matter what, however I wonder if some took a less aggressive approach if they would sell more. I am already skeptical of anyone who seems to talk down to me, talk over me, and not listen to what I am saying and I feel like those are some things sales men rely on.
For example, if this guy had not yelled for me across the aisle I may have had more of an open mind going into the interaction. If he listened to what I was saying instead of talking over me, I would have been more interested.
Now that I think about this interaction, I do not think I have ever interacted with a female salesperson. Would she take the same tactic? They are all taught the same things, but I almost do not think a women would have treated me the same way. Does sales have something to do with toxic masculinity?
Was the whole him not listening to me and talking over me attributed to him being male and not just him being a sales men?
With this at the back of my mind I kind of want to go through this interaction with a women and see if it went any better.
For a young teenage girl walking the mall alone, I am glad I am strong minded otherwise I would have walked out with the cleaner he was trying to sell so his aggression probably works a lot, but is it truly ethical?