We’re all guilty of it. Walking through the Spectrum one day, Jeff and I pulled a great one. There was a guy with a clipboard getting signatures for some petition or another. As we got to the point of interaction, where he tries to make eye contact and ask you “Have you heard of…?” Jeff pointed towards Anthropologie saying something like “Didn’t you want to check out that shirt…” and he started to walk towards the door (and a foot away from Mr. Clipboard). And no, I didn’t want to see any shirt in Anthropologie. Don’t get me wrong, I love to browse through there and see all the adorable clothes I can’t afford, but I had never mentioned a specific shirt to Jeff that I really wanted to check out. And in one of my finer (and rare) moments, I caught on rather quickly and followed up Jeff’s question with a “No, not now.” By this point, we had walked past Mr. Clipboard. Avoidance tactic: success!
I recently (ahem, today) worked a demo table at a grocery store, and got to see some of these amazing tactics being used on me. Purposefully avoiding eye contact at any cost when we’re the only two people in the entire aisle was my least favorite, especially because I was SUPER NICE, and pretty much wished everyone a good night, whether they said hi to me or not. My favorite was the ladies walking towards me, obviously determined to get somewhere that was past me, but saw the demo table, and me, and SUDDENLY realizing there was something in the aisle right before mine that they desperately needed…people can make some quick and sharp turns with a grocery cart when they are set on avoiding something!