Shooting Down Over Enthusiastic Street-Sales

It may come as little surprise that I was walking through my local town centre this weekend. While I was walking along, minding my own business with the old iPod filling my ears, I was accosted by a man with a gun. A paintball gun but alarming at first nonetheless. 

This clown was already mid-pitch by the time I removed a headphone from my ear to be told about the joys of “shooting your co-workers really helps build team work” and trying to flog me one a choice of corporate days out.

Now aside from the fact that I’m not an MD or HR or anyone who would make such decisions for my company, and the absurdity that they’d find anyone who was by jumping them in the middle of a town centre,  didn’t anyone stop to think that launching yourself at strangers brandishing a paintball gun isn’t the best way to sell anything?

It’s an epidemic lately though. Not long ago I had another vinyl-hunt interupted by someone pitching a gym membership at me while behind her a group of people rode exercise bikes to thumping club music – giving a ‘live demonstration’ – without even realising that, as an existing member of that gym, she’d signed me in 4 times that week already! 

Why have these “extreme sales pitches” become so popular given that little old ladies are no longer allowed to shake the collection buckets for the Sally Army as it’s technically intimidation? 

In teacher-training you’re encouraged to put yourself on the other side of your methods, would you enjoy things presented to you in this way? 

I propose that the same thing be carried out to these sales-pitch planners. Next time they’re thinking up some forced-grin, over-enthusiastic and, frankly, aggressive “cool way” if they’d like it and if it’s really the appropriate forum for it. I’m not anti-fun, honest. But it’s all getting a touch David Brent lately. 

What’s next: undertakers jumping out infront of you and attempting to box you into a coffin while telling you the benefits of the 6ft Pine model? I’m not sure it’s that far a fetch… 

I’d love to know if I’m alone in getting wound up by this, I’m fairly sure I’m not, and if anyone can beat the paintball gun moment?


  1. Interesting that you assosiate the Sally Army with little old ladies…


  2. oops….I do know how to spell “associate” really!

  3. I guess that’s fair enough if that’s your experience.

    As a Salvationist, it’s interesting to hear what people’s perceptions are..


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