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The Unapproacheable

So, I was in a supermarket the other night and was in line at the checkout. I noticed the manager of the store, a skinny, grumpy looking guy in his 50s, talking to a couple who was bagging their purchases. He had a clipboard and was writing something down as he and the couple talked. I only could make out bits and pieces of what was being said but it sounded like he was conducting a survey.

I could hear the husband(?) telling the manager that they didn't have any kids, that they lived in the neighboring town and drove to the supermarket, etc. Soon, he was done asking questions and moved onto a man who'd just arrived at the bagging counter asking the same kind of questions. It was late in the evening and the place was not crowded and as I finished paying for my bags of chips and 2 liter bottles of Coca Cola Zero, I knew I would be the next subject for the survey.

I started preparing my answers in my head. First, I tried to come up with a profile.

Age : 40
Marital Status : Married
Children : 2 (Boy/6yrs old, Girl/3yrs old)
Occupation : Construction worker

Ya know... a regular Joe. I would tell him that the discounts on the pre-cooked meals and entrees should start a little bit earlier than 9 pm. Also, they should have a sliced-to-order deli meat counter. Oh, and they should instruct their cashiers to ditch the phoney put-upon smiles and that annoying mannered way of speech that they ALL seem to have. What else... Yes. The bakery really should stop ringing that hand-bell every 10 minutes. It startles the hell out of me every time.

The manager was still asking the man questions but the man had to go because his wife was waiting outside in the car. OK, I was up!

The manager looked up from his clipboard and our eyes met for a brief second. I gave him one of those tight-lip smile (which he returned), subtly signaling to him that I was ready for the survey. But he just walked away!

I give them plenty of business. I mean, I am there all the time! I KNOW the manager remembers my face by now. Doesn't he want to know what I had to say? I felt like I just had been rejected by a date, and wanted to know why. Was it the way I was dressed? My dirty baseball cap and the full beard that I had been working on for 2 weeks didn't exactly give off that "Family man" vibe? Or did he remember that one time when I complained about the annoying jingle they play non-stop and I had been put on his list of "difficult customers"? What!?

Come to think of it, I never get stopped by the "survey people" on the street. Those young women who give out complimentary packs of tissues at the mall never approach me. It could be very disappointing when you walk by these people, anticipating to be stopped and even preparing go, "What, for ME? Hey, thanks!" with a feigned look of surprise, then they just ignore you. You know they saw you. How could they not? They CHOSE not to give you the free pack of tissues for whatever reason.

Take yesterday afternoon at this mall in the city of Sano. SOFTBANK, one of the major cell-phone service providers in Japan, was doing a big promotional event in the courtyard. They were handing out tickets to the shoppers for prize giveaways. I was curious as to what they were giving away and walked by them a few times. Still, out of 4-5 people who were working the event and handing out tickets, none approached me to gime me a ticket. Not that I really wanted the prizes, which were cell-phone charms, tote bags, stuffed toys, etc... It's true that I am not sure that if they had given me a ticket and won something, I would have had the courage to walk up to the make-shift stage to claim my prize in front of everyone. It's just a matter of principle.

I know some of you'd say that I should just go up to them and ask for a ticket/a pack of tissue paper or whatever. I can't. I even have a problem reaching for food samples in supermarkets. I guess I just don't want to appear... greedy or something. I know it is stupid but that's how I am.
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Dang, I feel the same way whenever those people handing out leaflets and flyers at the station ignore me.
 
Wait, you have two kids?! Or is that part of your cover?

I know what you mean. It's kind of like, "I hope he doesn't come interview me...wait...he didn't come interview me! Why the hell not?!" But you don't know why you care so much since you didn't want to be interviewed in the first place. Poor Ashikaga :(
 
Wait, you have two kids?! Or is that part of your cover?
It was just a profile I made up on the spot to make the survey a little more interesting.

It's kind of like, "I hope he doesn't come interview me...wait...he didn't come interview me! Why the hell not?!" But you don't know why you care so much since you didn't want to be interviewed in the first place.

lol...yeah, exactly. 
 
Nakama! :D
Well, those young girls and boys I see in the streets don't hand out those little packs of tissue paper to me either. My sister-in-law claims the same.
Before you say it--okay, I'll admit! They don't expect business from us old ladies! 😊

About you...
Maybe it has something to do with HOW you look? :evil:
Or, they have this thing about "ara-four"? 😊
 
epigene;bt1858 said:
Nakama! :D
Well, those young girls and boys I see in the streets don't hand out those little packs of tissue paper to me either.
You know, if it was a promo for...say, a hair salon, then I would understand why they wouldn't want to waste a perfectly good pack of tissues on someone like me.

About you...
Maybe it has something to do with HOW you look? :evil:
Or, they have this thing about "ara-four"? 😊

What I need is a child to acompany me on these trips to the malls. Better yet, a baby! That way, even if they still wouldn't approach me with free stuff, I'd be able to ask for the Anpanman balloon or the Maneki Neko-Duck eco-bag without much embarrassment.

"Excuse me but my child would like an Anpanman balloon... oh, and may I have another one for my daughter at home? I don't want them fighting over this one, ya know... Yes, the pink one, thank you."

The way those young women look at me would surely change from "What's he doing in a mall all alone on a Sunday afternoon? Creepy...." to "Aww~ I love a Dad with a baby... Oooh~ no ring! I wonder what his situation is..." , to which I would play a single Dad (his younger wife left him) who's grateful for the free pack of wet-naps to wipe the baby's chinny chin chin!
 
I just got a chuckle out of this! It happens to me too. But what is really funny is I will be out with my wife (who is Japanese) and the tissue girl hands one to me and not her... I REALLY get a kick out of that!

But the kid thing works too. I bring my two girls with me everywhere (their Japanese is 1000 times better than mine) as my little interpreters, we are always getting "stuff". The "Otto-san" dog stuff was their favorite so any time we would see Soft Bank handing out stuff they would get it.
 
Navy Guy;bt2454 said:
The "Otto-san" dog stuff was their favorite so any time we would see Soft Bank handing out stuff they would get it.

You're lucky. The trouble I had to go through to get my hands on one of them Oto-san cell phone charms!! I was too proud to walk into a Softbank shop and ask for one, I bought one off an internet auction.
 

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Ashikaga
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