Wednesday, 12 December 2007
I don't generally post rants, but I suppose this is one. If you disagree, or if you are one of the people I'm ranting about - (i) Don't take it personally, and (ii) I'm quite happy to be persuaded that I'm wrong, so please feel free to try!
I think I've mentioned before my master plan to rule the world with a benign dictatorship, beloved by all my subjects (or else they'll get slapped with a wet piece of celery). Well, today strengthened my resolve to do something about the modern-day highwaymen.
I went into town to do some Christmas shopping. Several times I was accosted by people who really wanted to talk to me. I don't know what they wanted to talk to me about, because I didn't stop. They were no doubt either trying to sell me something or conducting some kind of survey.
I never stop for these people. If they're trying to sell me something, then it must be something I don't want, or that's overpriced. If it was as good as they're going to try and persuade me then they wouldn't need to employ people to try and mug me in the streets - they'd sell it in a shop or online. In fact, they wouldn't need to advertise because news of this fantastic offer would spread like wildfire.
Maybe they're being paid to do a survey. I've no problem with answering their questions provided that they pay me as well. However, if they expect me to give up my time for free, they've got no hope. My time isn't free. Neither is my car's time, at least not whilst it's parked in town.
So, although they don't have guns, and it is possible to avoid them, I still think that these people are modern-day highwaymen and highwaywomen. They want to swindle me out of my time or my money. People stop because they're too polite not to, then get given the hard sell. I don't think this is right.
They used to hang the likes of Dick Turpin. I'm not sure that's fair, so my penalty for this crime (unsolicited selling) will be fines, which will be given to shoppers who will spend it on whatever goods they choose. The goods will be given to the offenders. Obviously the aim is to buy rubbish and useless items (plots of land on the moon, timeshares in Bognor, watches that don't work, perfume that smells like rat's piss, etc).
But surely the "muggers" are just poor people who are struggling to make a living? They can't get a proper job, so are working for starvation wages plus "comission", which they never earn because they can't sell enough of the crap that they're peddling? I do feel sorry for them, and my real problem is with the people who run these businesses.
Not being one for conflict, I generally try and keep my distance, and if they do manage to talk to me I usually say "sorry" and walk briskly on. However, on my way back to my car I simply ignored a pushy woman who shouted something about how rude I was. Not like her, then.
She'd better find another job before I become dictator...