Topic: Deflecting Unwanted Sidewalk Attention
Deflecting Unwanted Sidewalk Attention
It’s midday and sweltering on my day off and I’m attempting grab a quick bite and/or get my heavy groceries home without them melting. As I reach the home stretch on 14th between Irving and Kenyon, the tag team in matching shirts lurks in the distance, clipboards in hand. “Got a minute?,” they ask as I walk by.
Canvassers used to not get to me, but lately I have been annoyed at the level of aggression displayed by some who try to simultaneously enlighten me while soliciting my credit card information. I’m tired of being lunged at and feel singled out (“Hey you! Yes, you! You know you want to talk to me about the environment, because you’re carrying reusable bags!”) as I attempt to run a few measly errands at DC USA. In most cases, I will smile and politely decline or say I’ve already talked to them before (FACT), because they are ALWAYS out on that stretch. What irks me is how some will formulate a quick retort intended to make you feel like a soulless individual who doesn’t care about gay rights, protecting a woman’s right to choose, or contraception for all. In writing this, I do not intend to offend anyone who does this for a living. I deal with enough craziness at work, and I just want to walk in my neighborhood in peace!
So I ask, fellow PoP colleagues…what’s your strategy for handling canvassers or other unsolicited individuals who approach you when you’re out minding your own business?