Chennai Journal
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Attack of the Killer Salespeople
Yesterday I wanted to buy Leela a watch, so went to the Citi Centre which is a new shopping center opened a couple of years ago. Headed to Landmark, the bookstore, where I had seen displays of watches before. What an experience--it felt like being at a night market where every vendor is hanging on you to get you to buy from their stall.

Landmark does not have an large selection of watches--three or four display carousels, one for each brand, which was fine with me because I tend to get overwhelmed when I have too many choices. A tall young man was first to ask me if I needed help, so I described what I was looking for and he started to open one of the carousels and show me watches. Within less than 30 seconds, a young woman was crowding in under his armpit to show me a watch from another carousel, interrupting both of us. They started having a conversation in Tamil and I could tell he was telling her to bugger off, but she persisted. Finally, I asked her to please step aside--that I didn't want to look at her watches. She did.

This was not the end. The young man showed me a couple of watches that looked like possibilities. But, to my left was a third carousel, and I wanted to see the watches in that one, too. Lurking in the background was another young man. As soon as I pointed to the carousel, he appeared at my left elbow, ready to pounce. The young woman was still standing by on the right, crowding next to the salesperson who was helping me. "Wait, wait, wait," I said, "I don't need three people to show me watches. Please, let this guy {gesturing to the tall young man} help me." The other guy, to my left, said, "No madam, each one is separate." Then I got it--in this less than 10 or 12 foot space with only three carousels of watches, there were at least three salespeople, one for each (I say at least because I think there may have been a fourth display, and that person must have been either absent that day or off having a tea break).

Tired from all the packing and feeling hemmed in all sides, I threw up my hands and said, "I give up---I'll go somewhere else." And leaving them open mouthed and dismayed, I walked out. I went nearby to Lifestyle. They had a similar set up with brand-dedicated displays, but it was a lot more civilized and the salespeople weren't cannabilizing each other. In about 10 minutes, I found and bought a watch.

In other news, Junior arrived safely in Detroit. Marty and Sara are as full of joy to see her as Leela has been sorrowful to say goodbye. I guess that is change and moving in a nutshell--both sad and happy all mixed up at the same time.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

Powered by Blogger

Bloggapedia, Blog Directory - Find It! Travel blogs