Last week I had a couple of days off of work. On Thursday, I planned to attend Track and Field day at my daughter's school. The event was canceled, so I had some time on my hands. I decided to go ahead and go to Wal-Mart to buy groceries.
As I walked up to the store, I noticed a man standing to the side of the door. When I got closer, he stopped me and asked if he could ask me a question. I thought that maybe he needed directions or help with something, so I stopped to see what he wanted.
He proceeded to explain that he was asking people to take a short survey, and it would only take a few minutes. I wasn't in a hurry, so I thought, what the heck. The guy looked to be in his late forties. He looked a little scruffy, but he was dressed in decent, clean clothes. He made some small talk, then he motioned for me to follow him over to a bench.
I was starting to get suspicious. If this was just a short survey, then why couldn't he just ask me the questions then I could be on my way? I reluctantly sat down, wanting to hurry and get this over with. He explained that he was trying to earn points so he could win $5,000. He said he wanted to use the money to pay for grad school (yeah, right).
After he made his little spiel, he pulled out a paper with magazine titles. He asked me to show him a magazine that I was interested in. I told him I was not interested in a magazine. He insisted that I pick one. He said he would show me a price and I could decide if I wanted to buy it or not. By now, I was really getting ticked. I told him that he had said he wanted to give me a survey, and he didn't say anything about buying magazines. He laughed and said, "Yeah, that's because I didn't tell you that in the beginning." I told him again that I was NOT looking to buy a magazine. He quickly put the paper away and abruptly said, "Okay, thank you for your time."
I left to go in the store, and I was beyond mad. I actually felt violated. Here was this creepy man hanging outside my local Wal-Mart trying to scam people into buying magazines. There are always groups at the entrance to the store trying to raise money for charity, but never anything like this! I went straight to the customer service desk to complain. The girl at the desk told me she would check into it.
I did my shopping, and when I left I looked to see if the man was still there. Thankfully, he was gone. I still can't believe in our quiet little town someone has the nerve to hang out and try to solicit Wal-Mart shoppers. I was really mad at myself for stopping to talk to him. Usually, I'm pretty good about avoiding this kind of thing, but I just wasn't expecting it here in my hometown.