22 Jun2011

There’s nothing like a mini-rant to get my blood flowing after 24 hours in transit in cramped quarters on a jumbo jet. I will admit that I am cranky-er when jetlagged and have low blood sugar, and worse, that I have had nothing but bad vibes whenever I enter the large Duty Free Building near the NAIA airport. So one wonders why, oh why, despite having stayed away from that store for nearly 3 years since I wrote my last mini-rant on the place, here, I felt compelled to return. It was driven by the need to locate some toilet paper and large roll cling wrap which they sometimes have in their grocery. But before you can get to the grocery, you must be herded like moronic sheep through a path of all manner of imported goods. In the first section, liquor and wines, I veered perilously close to the wines, glancing at bottles of champagne and prosecco, wondering if I could pick up several bottles for a toast at a restaurant opening in Cebu.

I was quickly approached by a salesperson who said “White wine, red wine, French Wine, Italian Wine, Champagnes…” to which I bit my lip, glared at her and continued to browse quietly. She rattled on, more aggressively, in a louder voice, as if I had a hearing impairment “American wine, Asti, white wine, red wine, etc.” to which I calmly said “Miss, if I need help, I will ask you, okay?” to which she came closer and still aggressively and annoyingly repeated, “Sir, what about white wine, champagne, red wine, Asti, etc.?” at which point I blew my top. I looked at her and said in a raised voice (approximately the same decibel level as she had been using) “is this a market? Palengke na ba ang Duty Free? Do you need to keep repeating the same thing? I know you are probably not stupid, nor am I stupid, I do know how to read, so please do you have to be so annoying? Do you think you will make a sale this way?” Which finally put an end to her spiel. Funny how it’s okay for a salesperson to be offensively aggressive, but once a client retorts at the same or elevated level of aggression, they seem to understand that it isn’t right… Needless to say, I didn’t buy any wine, champagne, liquor, etc.

So onto chocolates and cookies we go. Understanding that I was already in a foul mood, I took a deep breath and let salesperson after salesperson literally scream out at me various products but for the most part, they stayed out of my way, touting from the sides. I said nothing, and simply didn’t look at any products manned by aggressive sales personnel. I managed to get several boxes of cookies, and some chocolates from stalls where I could look at the offerings in peace and quiet. But a few seconds later, I was literally accosted by two salespeople from Hershey’s, who rushed at me, breaking my personal space perimeter for strangers (say a foot or so away) one standing directly in front of me, blocking my path, another brandishing a large bag of Hershey’s products and in raised aggressive voices trying to get me to buy their goods. Honestly, they couldn’t have picked a more pre-irritated subject. I screeched back at them in the same tone and decibel level as theirs that this wasn’t a market, they weren’t hawking fish, I did not appreciate my path being blocked, did they think aggressive selling was going to yield them more sales, to get the hell out of my way, and they did finally step aside. Nary an apology, nothing to say, suddenly tails between their legs. Suddenly silent, looking blankly in the other direction. Not wishing to waste any saliva on them, I asked another person where the floor supervisor was and headed to a rather hidden section where Ms. Supervisor was sitting, chatting away animatedly with another employee.

I told Ms. Supervisor that I did not appreciate the aggressive selling tactics, and that in fact, it was such a turn off for clients that I suspected they sold LESS rather than more with this strategy. She at first said the staff were just trying to sell goods but when I pressed her if she considered it appropriate behavior that they block my path while walking the down the aisle, forcing me to stop, and having to side step and continue on, she quickly changed her story to say that these were all concessionaires, and not her or Duty Free’s employees, though under her purview. I asked her to walk back with me to the Hershey’s section and lo and behold, not a SINGLE ONE of the 30 sales reps on the floor were engaged in any touting, screaming, “aloking”, naming products, etc. Several other customers chimed in to say that they agreed wholeheartedly, it was as if they were being assaulted by salespeople “nakakainis” or “sobra” and like good pinoys, couldn’t bring themselves to say something until someone with a bigger mouth got started… I asked the supervisor if she was uncomfortable that I was aggressively complaining to her, following her, asking her to explain, raising my voice at her and of course she agreed it was annoying and uncomfortable. Duh, if it annoys her, why wouldn’t it annoy customers???

I asked for the supervisor’s name, asked how long she had worked there, and in one of those “moments,” she gave the year in the mid 1980’s that my father actually took over as the head of the Philippine Tourism Authority, ironically including as one of his tasks under the (first) Aquino administration, the management of the Duty Free Philippines Shops. Trust me, at that time, there were no market like selling tactics at that store. As for Hershey’s, I can tell you I have a weakness for Hershey’s Kisses, a childhood thing, and even wrote a special post on them on their 100th anniversary, something folks at Hershey’s Philippines read at the time and they sent me an email to offer me boxes of chocolates as a “thank you” that I predictably declined graciously. But after this afternoon’s experience, I can tell you Hershey’s is on my personal S@%TLIST right now and I did not buy a single Hershey product nor will I do so for at least the next year. I should mention that these kinds of market like tactics and retail behavior are not limited to Duty Free… have you ever tried to buy shoes at Shoemart lately? You are accosted by a salesperson PER BRAND. But you want a good tip on how to keep them quiet? Ask some really pointed if completely clueless questions. Things like “Do you know what the tensile strength of the rubber on the sole of a shoe? How do you translate Filipino sizes into Eastern European sizes? Is that teal or chartreuse? For chocolate, I should have asked at what temperature I should stop stirring to get the perfect gloss, what kind of emulsifiers and additives they use, is the milk from real cows, are there any trace amounts of rat hairs or human skin allowed in the chocolates they sell??? Yes and yes to the last two questions I believe, according to US FDA guidelines on non-food matter in commercially prepared food products. I know, I know, I can be a pain in the ass — BUT almost always only if I am first provoked.



  1. myra_ps says:

    What a perfectly lovely rant :)

    Jun 22, 2011 | 5:26 pm


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  3. sister says:

    You should have made a trip to Costco where there are no sales people and filled up that last bag… chocolates sold in the Phil. are formulated differently to avoid melting in hot weather so it’s like eating a bar of soap.
    Or Maison, Vosges, etc. for high end sweet pasalubongs.
    Come back soon!

    Jun 22, 2011 | 5:28 pm

  4. adam says:

    Very funny about SM shoes! We tried to buy shoes for our young son there last week but I gave up having literally lost the will to live – no ‘assistants’ could provide any useful information or recommendations AND kept delivering the wrong size of shoes for him to try on. In the end I resorted to writing down the correct size on a piece of paper in order to avoid confusion and so that the info would not be lost during the short walk to and from the stock room. All to no avail. Mind you, the seemingly simple act of buying socks in peace at Landmark would try even the patience of a Saint!!

    Jun 22, 2011 | 5:46 pm

  5. Constant Reader says:

    You’re lucky your kid is already a Teen and you no longer have to go to a local toy store. They employ the same tactics at the local Toys R Us and Toy Kingdom and it bugs me no end. They promote their brands by yelling at you and shoving stuff into your kid’s hands. They chatter endlessly even if you aren’t listening. They won’t even stop when you tell them that you’ll be the one to approach them if you need something. It’s gotten to the point where even my toy store addict of a six year old won’t go to these place anymore because the sales people frighten her. She doesn’t speak Tagalog very well and these sales people actually make fun of her or taunt her because she tells them she can’t understand what they’re saying. It makes my blood boil.

    Do they really think this helps them sell anything? Credit card sales people do the same thing in malls. Real estate sales people too.

    Jun 22, 2011 | 6:16 pm

  6. Visitor says:

    Having only lived in Manila for a year I am constantly stunned by the number of people standing around in shops, Rustans, Landmark, etc telling you what is there – ‘Tuna Ma’am’ – yes thank you I can see that – a whole aisle of tuna – lucky you told me as I might have missed it. But then when you get to the cashier there are only 5 out of a possible 20 open and huge lines – the waiting time so long that they get you a chair… how about stop pointing out the bleeding obvious and do something about what obviously needs to be done – open more cash points, get more trolleys, pretty sure no one is going to miss seeing the tuna while you are gone.

    Jun 22, 2011 | 6:16 pm

  7. Marketman says:

    Constant reader, I have learned from wise commenters… here some tips for credit card agents… ask them just as aggressively, do you have a credit card? yes? How many? Can I see your wallet? What is your credit limit? Are you a permanent employee? Do you know how to calculate late charges? What happens if your card is stolen? If you don’t have a card, why not? It doesn’t EVER fail to chase them away. They think you are so crazed that they are shocked to face exactly the same tactics they employ. Do this in a calm and ratatat fusillade of questions all in a row. A similar vein of questions can be asked of pushy real estate salespeople…

    Visitor, the explanation for that is that the “promo “girls” and “boys” are paid for by the tuna company, not the grocery. And it is their job to highlight the existence of their tuna in the tuna aisle. Outrageous, I know, but that’s the reason they aren’t at the check-out line. I once timed several check out personnel and figured out that on average, taking into account “buggers aka baggers”, that many local cashiers are 2-3 times slower than say the more efficient ones at a large western grocery. Of course, there are exceptions. For grocery rants, check this one I wrote a while back.

    Jun 22, 2011 | 6:23 pm

  8. ShackelMom says:

    Oh, you hit the nail on the head! I took my shopping resistant husband to buy boxer shorts at SM and we were accosted and surrounded by young female reps (embarrassing the husband who likes to buy his underwear quietly, unnoticed) from 6 different underwear companies, waving underwear of various sorts in out faces! Ack! My husband was ready to bolt! I said, “Please, step back and let us look. You are too close. My husband will buy nothing if you don’t stop!” They backed off, but doesn’t any one else feel this way? Isn’t it common sense to let people shop in peace?! Ack!

    Jun 22, 2011 | 6:26 pm

  9. Marketman says:

    ShackelMom, hahaha. Now that’s a situation I may have relished for amusement factor. Asking them why the boxers were really more comfortable or better than the other. Had they tried them on. Didn’t the fabric feel a bit sandpaper like. Would their gonads appreciate that, assuming they had any. Was the fly buttoned or just open to facilitate rapid urination. What size did they think I needed to keep the jewels 3-4 degrees cooler than the rest of my body for optimum seed manufacture? Did they have padded underwear? You know, like women have padded bras? Trust me, they would back off after a few minutes of that line of questioning… :) This is obviously a sore topic.

    Jun 22, 2011 | 6:31 pm

  10. atbnorge says:

    Poor MM…My last experience at Duty Free Philippines was also an ordeal and even if you didn’t post this rant, nothing can induce me to shop there again.

    Jun 22, 2011 | 6:32 pm

  11. cumin says:

    Oh it’s awful being accosted by screeching staff who want me to buy their produce!

    And although I hate to say this, but even groups like Unicef are adopting this screeching attitude. Last week, I passed their table in SM and was prevailed to speak briefly to one staff only because I didn’t want to be rude. When I passed again a few minutes later, another staff ran after me (please tita, please please talaga) and I was aghast — why do you need to beg!

    Are their salaries linked to sales, you think?

    Jun 22, 2011 | 6:55 pm

  12. James says:

    Between the promo girls and the stockboys, shopping in Filipine “super” markets is a horrible experience. Stores don’t seem to understand that stocking during peak hours is rude.

    The local Robinson’s insists that carts may not be pushed through the checkout stands. So, carts have to be retrieved by the boys, pushed back through the hoards of people waiting in line, and return to the cart stand.

    Management here just doesn’t care about the customer. In some cases, they seem to think they are doing us a favor by merely existing.

    Bastos talaga!

    Jun 22, 2011 | 7:22 pm

  13. gensanite says:

    whapakk!!! heavy rant eto… hehehe… we’re excited on the opening of the restos here in cebu… i promised my team to treat them to lunch there when it opens… my officemate actually lives near the area (mango), and last week, she told me that the resto is already open… though i doubt her, as i do not have any news from this blog… anyway, welcome back!!! :)

    Jun 22, 2011 | 7:23 pm

  14. Footloose says:

    I hope this obstacle course of invasive hawkers did not keep you from finding the items you were there to shop for.

    Jun 22, 2011 | 7:33 pm

  15. Marketman says:

    Footloose, the objective was successfully achieved — 36 rolls of Charmin (not the ultra strong variant that has difficultly going down the drains) but the softer version until the local S&R or grocery restocks. And at a good price I might add. As for the cling wrap in 300 meter lengths and food store widths, I found that PLUS double waxed baking paper in rolls as well. So all was not for naught. As an added bonus, in an obscure corner of the housewares section, I finally found Mario Batali’s wooden risotto spoon, which I have been searching for since I saw it on a program he hosted, and for two years I have searched food stores here and abroad in vain, only to find the motherload (some 100+ risotto spoons) on a wall at the DFS. Apparently not a single other person has purchased one. At $6, it was a good find. :) Assuming it is useful, that is…

    Jun 22, 2011 | 7:43 pm

  16. chrisb says:

    These sales people are like robots with proximity sensors that activate their spiel when you come within 3 meters. Even if you avoid eye contact and deliberately walk faster than a pace that can facilitate conversation, you have no escape. Worse, they don’t even think- I have been greeted with “good morning sir/ma’am!” so many times walking into a store alone. Like, what, you can’t decide whether I’m a man or a woman?!? Some do not even bother to look at you while reciting their lines.

    And don’t even get me started on the reception diners get at any of the “dampa” establishments. It’s something else- just plain harassment.

    Jun 22, 2011 | 7:48 pm

  17. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    Credit card hawker- “Sir, do you have a credit card?”
    Artisan- “Miss, are you still a virgin?”
    Credit card hawker- red faced “Sir, thats a personal and rude question”
    Artisan- “Miss, your asking me if I have a credit card is also personal and its rude to ask if have one”.
    Credit card hawker – still red face and shocked by my response.
    Artisan- walking away with a big smile on his face

    Jun 22, 2011 | 7:58 pm

  18. Sarah says:

    @cumin, I think it’s not just UNICEF that employs those annoying tactics. I was once accosted by a person working for WWF. She didn’t even give me a chance to say no… she just went ahead and invaded my personal space and asked me a barrage of questions.

    I don’t get why they do that. Were these salespersons trained to be aggressive? And are their employers actually making money with this kind of selling style?

    Jun 22, 2011 | 8:19 pm

  19. EbbaBlue says:

    Three situations I can think of right now. At SM 10 yrs ago, took my teenage daughters to shop clothes. I was wearing pambahay and nobody approach me, but my 2 girls (1 mestiza italian, the other american indian) were boambarded with sales talk, when they told the sales ladies I am their mother (who will pay for the items), they focused their attention, and when we started purchasing “many” items – naku po, more than 10 siguro nagkagulo sa amin. Ang nakakainis pa, openly they were “tsismising” why my other daughter look different than her sister, and like.. pareho ba ng Tatay?. And who is better looking? Nagbulungan pa, eh naririnig ko rin naman.

    2nd situation – Shopping with my husband at a clothing store – it was obvious ako ang kasama nitong si “kano”; the ladies came to me and hushedly told me to ask my “man” to buy items for myself. Pinagduldulan pa ang mga “sexy” underwear. Magpabili raw ako ng marami, tiyak na bibilhin naman daw nito.

    3rd – Some Pinoy Phone Cards company sells your number to local Phils. phone card establishment. You’ll get a call from home (or from the number you use calling Phils), and they beg and rant for you to switch to their monthly plan. Ang nakakainis – they will sound it like kilala ka nila (but they don’t know your name). They’ll say something like – “sige na naman, Tita, bumili ka na.. wala pa akong benta, sige na Tita, bago pa lang ako dito, maka-benta man lang ako.” And most of the time after saying Thank You, I hang up. Pero minsan, I said I am not interested and hung up, the lady called back and said – “Hoy, kung hindi ka bibili, huwag kang basta na lang magbabagsak ng telephone, ano bang akala mo, kung sino ka, porke’t saleslady lang kami, ang yabang mo.” – – Oh, gosh, imagine that.

    Jun 22, 2011 | 8:22 pm

  20. Gej says:

    “Do you know what the tensile strength of the rubber is on the sole of a shoe?” and the like – HA HA HA! What a great idea to get them to stop bothering with the hard sell!

    Looks like the high pressure selling by the sales reps/merchandisers is caused by equally high pressure from their mother company/consignors for them to sell more – which of course makes them even more ineffective.

    Jun 22, 2011 | 8:30 pm

  21. Super.me says:

    OT: singer Richard Poon tweeted that zubuchon is delicious!
    Congrats MM!

    Jun 22, 2011 | 8:36 pm

  22. JE says:

    Just to contrast from personal experience, for salespeople manning retail stores in the US (who are usually in their teens to early 20s), the usual spiel is just a “hey, what’s happening” once you come in or something to that effect before they leave you to your shopping. If you have a question about an item, they’re usually able to help, but otherwise you are left to mull about the store without anybody minding your business.

    Compare that to here… yikes.

    Jun 22, 2011 | 8:46 pm

  23. hungrycurious says:

    @EbbaBlue, i can’t decide which of the three is the worst!

    Jun 22, 2011 | 8:54 pm

  24. Laurel LT says:


    Bull’s eye! Right on the money! What a lovely rant, that is! I hope this gives some people and “sales people” a lesson. Good for you, MM.

    This is really what I hated in Pinas. There’s a million sales people in a single store and they could be annoying… most of the time. On the brighter side, somebody’s there to help you especially when trying to find the right size or color.

    I’m glad that I don’t have to deal with these annoying sales people here in the US. I can shop peacefully and quietly and the sales people here are not as intrusive as there in Pinas like what JE mentioned.

    Jun 22, 2011 | 9:39 pm

  25. lizzy4301 says:

    Few years ago, my date and I was at a mall and I asked him if we could stop by the SM dept store to buy a lip balm. While he was waiting for me one of the saleslady approached him and asked “sir, gusto nyo pong i try tong product namin para mawala yung mga freckles at blemish nyo, medyo marami po kasi”

    huwaat?! my date was so embarrassed i saw him blushing! I pretended that I didn’t hear what that lady said.

    tsk tsk!

    Jun 22, 2011 | 10:07 pm

  26. shin says:

    Hi! Been a lurker since ’07, but first-time commenter!

    Last December, a college buddy of mine accompanied my family to the PI, seeing as I told him how great the beaches were. As soon as we landed, we found out that our bags were left in Taiwan and we wouldn’t get them back in two days–at least. As such, my cousin decided to take us to an SM in Cubao, where my Chinese-American friend (he resembled Dao Ming Si) decided to buy some underwear.

    We were joking around, asking questions like, “What’s your size? Fat?”, when a saleslady approached us as we neared the underwear section. She immediately grabbed a sample pair of briefs and showed us some of its features—-a flap at the front for immediate access when you go #1 and strong cup support, which she demonstrated by cupping the crotch area of the briefs. It was an awkward situation, but we politely declined, telling her we were looking for boxers instead and moved to the next section.

    It was then that I heard them mumbling, “Gwapo sila, sayang mga bading nga lang!” When my friend asked what they were talking about, I simply told him that they thought he was a nice guy. Haha.

    Jun 22, 2011 | 10:17 pm

  27. Mary Lee says:

    Whoa! Jetlag + hi volume sales pitches (or aggravated assault, which is what it sounds like) = lucky there wasn’t wholesale carnage at Duty Free. Glad you’re back home safe and sound, well, sort of. Someday, we should just descend on Duty Free en masse…and do a training session. And, BTW, bet Ms. Supervisor gets a nice cut under the table from all the concessionaires. Happy shopping.

    Jun 22, 2011 | 10:23 pm

  28. gezel says:

    Went home to Bacolod this last 18 days, went to SM for a bit of food shopping, items on my trolley is more than 10 but less than 15, there were a lot of big carts tellers open so I went to them to pay for my stuff I was told I have to queue at the blue cart tellers as they are only for big carts, and to think there are 5 open tellers and not serving anybody and they told me to queue to another teller, my English husband is fuming mad, where’s customer service in that, they are supposed to make shopping easy for the customers not let them suffer. ( It’s not as if I was pushing the queue, they were just there standing and chatting).

    Jun 22, 2011 | 10:44 pm

  29. tintin says:

    I remembered someone from the US visited here in the Philippines and i joined him to go shopping at SM. Funny how he was so amazed, shocked maybe, at the number of sales person on every section, every aisle actually..

    Jun 22, 2011 | 11:04 pm

  30. cindy says:

    Oh MarketMan!!! Just last week the same thing happened to me at Marks and Spencer (as well as all other Rustan’s/SSI stores). My inner bruha came out in full force! It’s bad enough when shopping for wine, choclolates or shoes—but underwear shopping???!!!! Talk about intruding in your personal space. The supervisor was apologetic,but I rather doubt it will get any better.

    Jun 22, 2011 | 11:44 pm

  31. Mayk says:

    This type of selling is also done by NGOs like UNESCO and WWF. In Makati, using fresh grads, some even look younger, they would block your path, have a handshake and try to “sell” their monthly auto-credit donation.

    @cumin, @Sarah they’re making their reputable NGO look bad. I think they work on commission like credit card peddlers.

    Jun 22, 2011 | 11:46 pm

  32. dhay says:

    Oh so true, I totally agree with you. When I’m shopping I want to be left alone, and obviously If I needed any help, I will personally approach a sales associate around. It is very irritating when someone is constantly in your face when you’re trying to make a puchace. Same thing here if you’re trying to purchase any elctronics, although they’re probably not as persistent like in the phils, but still, it’s just simply annoying!

    Jun 22, 2011 | 11:52 pm

  33. tonceq says:

    “Tensile strenght?” “are you still a virgin?” Wonderful! As you’ve pointed out MM, these reps are “bibo” to the point of being invasive but once you actually pick a shoe design and ask for a certain shoe size (for SM), it takes them a million years (umm.. maybe 10-15 minutes) to get the shoe that you’re looking for.. unfamiliarity of the stockroom born from their lack of visits to it due to their undersirable strategy! :)

    Jun 23, 2011 | 12:26 am

  34. k. ramos says:

    I was in the sanitary napkins aisle once, and this Whisper promo girl kept bugging me to buy their new cotton-covered napkins. I just gave her The Stare, took a Moddess 12-pack, and walked away. I’m lucky to have what the Cebuanos call “isog ug nawung” (matapang ang mukha) that’s why The Stare is enough to scare them off. Same thing with the real estate and credit card peeps.

    Jun 23, 2011 | 12:29 am

  35. moni says:

    MM, reading your rant is so cathartic.I felt that I am not alone after all. They do heavy selling tactics in the detergent products area too. Like most people, I also prefer to shop in peace to be able to compare brands but in Shopwise Makati, one is assaulted by promo reps from different companies. I would cover my ears with both hands and tell them: “Please lang, tama na. Ang hirap mag-isip kung ang iingay ninyo.” Then they back off. But having to drive away these aggressive sales people often leads to a non-sale. I would just say, “Hindi na ako bibili kasi ang kukulit ninyo!” and walk away.

    BTW, MM, S&R has a KIrkland plastic wrap, 300 m also which has a slider to cut it. I bought that in Costco and find the slider to be quite convenient in tearing the plastic wrap. That will make it easier for your resto staff.

    Jun 23, 2011 | 1:19 am

  36. Lyn says:

    Alleluia!!! I thought I was the only one in the Philippines who hates the badgering of these people. You rock MM for making a difference because if someone who does not look “rich” or “pretty” no one gives a shit on what you say. Very entertaining.

    Jun 23, 2011 | 1:32 am

  37. sur says:

    is this cultural? uniquely filipino? as an expat flip, i cannot ever remember when perusing such stores within airports the world over [CDG, MAD, LAX, HKG, FLR, BCN, MXP, DFW, NRT, VCE, ORD, BWI, LHR, LGW, CHI, SCL, EWK, JFK, EZE, and more recently IST, TLV, DE] to be anything that approaches what you described. there exist in these other places a controlled decorum/ subtlety/ nuance/ and dare i say, class?– in the approach to selling.

    and, more importantly, the impression of commercial crassness conveyed to visitors of the PI! horrors.

    and, i may be opening up a can here, were we ever known as a people for our refinement? ;-)

    Jun 23, 2011 | 1:34 am

  38. myra_ps says:

    The WWF people who accost you in the Ayala/Rufino or Paseo de Roxas underpass are particularly aggressive. I hate walking that way because of them. I wonder if they get positive results from such a hard sell.

    Related incident: Fish guys at SM like to yell out the fish available for the day… “Ma’am! Maya-maya! Alumahan! Talakitok! Salmon! Blue Marlin!!!” … Lady customer walks away without buying… Other fish guy says: “Baka gusto niya pala Green Marlin…” *group laugh*

    Jun 23, 2011 | 1:40 am

  39. Lava Bien says:

    I don’t think they have the common “3 ft. space rule” in the Philippines. I and other Filipino-FromSomewhereElse noticed that locals will cut the line at the register even if one was already waiting at the line (what line?). This has happened many times at SM stores and locals and the cashiers will look at you funny if one raised any questions. Mabagal raw kasi kami (then what is the line for? -eh wala ngang line eh, kulit). I was just keeping space between me and the one infornt of me.
    I’ve actually done the questionings at SM aisles like MM would do to a credit card agent. I’ve asked them their schedules, personal stuff with a grin on my face and they would just stop, and get what I was trying to do hehehe. I give what I get hehehe.

    Jun 23, 2011 | 1:57 am

  40. Lava Bien says:

    Same goes for the restraurants, they’ve got hawkers aggressively thowing their menus on your face. That’s just plain retarded!

    Jun 23, 2011 | 1:59 am

  41. giancarlo says:

    I think its an arms race like escalation of aggressiveness due to boredom, Maybe the more neurotic try to irk people intentionally.

    Jun 23, 2011 | 2:13 am

  42. Mojow says:

    @myra_ps I agree! I now take the long way to where I want to go instead of taking the underpass just so I can avoid them.

    Another thing, when they say it’s only for 2 minutes, it’s never really just 2 minutes!

    Jun 23, 2011 | 2:29 am

  43. netoy says:

    This reminds me of that time when i went shopping for some CDs in SM. While the sales lady did not say anything, her following me around like a hawk was so unnerving that I asked her pointblank if she thinks I was there to steal something. She was practically my shadow everywhere I went. I totally understand that they are just doing their job (what ever that is) but that was totally bordering on stalking..

    On the other side of the coin though, not being ‘disturbed’ by these sales people in the US may have its reward but then again, they are no where to be found if you have any question and then you practically have to go all over this big store just to find someone to help you out. )-:

    Jun 23, 2011 | 3:34 am

  44. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    @ Sister – I think the east coast Costcos might be more refined than they are here in California…LOL…but not to the level experienced by your brother. Alot of older Filipinos have found employment with Costcos and many of them are repping free samples…cheeses, nuts, snacks etc. You can hear a distinct Filipino accent “chips and salsa, chips and salsa”. But you can be rest assured that the volume doesn’t go beyond their space and that they don’t venture beyond that space and block your way.

    Being that there’s a Costco less than a mile from SFO, it would be an easy pit stop before or after the airport. That would actually be kinda of funny. Board a flight from Manila to SFO, land, go to Costco and then fly back. Thinking about it, with the current flight schedules, I think its possible.

    But back to the original post, I think there’s just a prevelant ignorance of common sense, ettiquette, manners and protocols among Filipinos. Its sad really becuase it runs accross all professsions and backgrounds. Not that I’m a snob, but some of the things I’ve observed and experienced would be a rant of my own.

    Jun 23, 2011 | 4:50 am

  45. sur says:

    refined and costco should not occur together in a sentence ;-) – don’t get me wrong, i shop there. and take it without illusions and for what it is: a place to buy a year’s supply of charmin TP, bottles of malbecs, a 50 inch LCD TV. and i’ve been to the eastern costcos– it’s the same stinking pan-class-masses typical of hawaiian and of new york and those in betwixt.

    while am at it, i should qualify my earlier comment: in my recent visit to istanbul’s bazaar, that insistent aggression is the MO [but it must be universal in such a context, as found also in tel aviv’s carmel market, or in jerusalem’s old city’s crass commercialism not yards from the holiest of sites– eg via dolorosa, the holy sepulchre, etc– but aside: to see that the path of christ carrying his cross is now lined with paddlers of all types brings forth a funky dissonance. in the likes of faneuil hall/boston, and similar markets, those behaviors, in fact, adds dimension to the experience…

    the point here: given a context, there are ‘appropriate’ behaviors befitting… filipino’s need not be tone deaf adjusting…

    Jun 23, 2011 | 5:10 am

  46. HD says:

    If you don’t want sales people to bother you, walk in the store looking very plain, wear your oldest pambahay, if they still bother you, just say, i’m just looking. That is what we do, they don’t bother to assist people that look poor.

    Your new problem would be when you need assistance, you will really need to look for one to assist you.

    Jun 23, 2011 | 6:42 am

  47. Peach says:

    I was accosted by a WWF rep myself. I was in a pretty good mood and I really took time to listen to what he had to say. In fact, I wanted to contribute money to WWF but that pushy rep insisted that I sign up for pledges right that very moment! My patience was running thin but I politely told him that I needed time to think about it. I then asked for one of the brochures so that I could read up on WWF’s projects before making a commitment. Here’s the clincher. The rep REFUSED to give me one because, and I quote: “We are saving on paper eh.” Pushy, self-righteous and way too annoying. I gave him a cold stare and walked away. He gave WWF a very bad name. He was lucky that I was in a good mood because otherwise, I would have strangled him.

    Jun 23, 2011 | 8:42 am

  48. ami says:

    My peeve with Duty Free Paranaque is that you have to go through all the sections just to get out. I only go there to hoard Ruffles and Lay’s potato chips and for me to exit the building I need to go through (and this is the fastest route possible): Wines-Chips-Chocolates-Bags-Makeup-Perfume-Watch-down the spiral ramp which is not senior citizen friendly-Sports Apparel-Electronics-Toys-Grocery-Food Court-Alleluia Exit!

    I once went to Duty Free with my senior citizen dad who has difficulty walking long distances and we quickly learned it was not a smart thing to do. They don’t provide benches where their shoppers/old folks can sit and rest. That spiral ramp is really hard for old folks and they don’t provide elevators as an alternative. Then at the baggage counter after the spiral ramp, we saw a small exit to the food court which was only being blocked by a cart so we were moving the cart to let my dad and myself get out. The person manning the baggage counter was reprimanding us that we can’t exit that way and I had to first appeal my dad’s case then get mad before they let us out.

    Jun 23, 2011 | 8:58 am

  49. andrea says:

    i totally agree with getter dragon 1 re: lack of common sense, etiquette and manners – from what i’ve observed and experienced here.

    Jun 23, 2011 | 9:18 am

  50. Blaise says:

    Had a similar experience too in SM Megamall Supermarket. Super long cues for the “blue cart” lanes and none for the “Big Cart” lanes, so I decided to lineup in the Big Cart section. Of course, they declined me saying that it was for big cart only. You know what I did? I got myself a Big Cart and right in front of the cashier, transferred the goods from the Blue Cart to the Big Cart, and then they accommodated me. How lame is their “At Your Service!”.

    Jun 23, 2011 | 9:23 am

  51. julie says:

    Sad, sir— i personally believe it goes back to how people are raised in the home on values like respect for other people, being unobtrusive and dignified in manner, being persuasive without encroaching on the other person’s space, etc. These are universal values that do not depend on one’s economic status. Also, i really hope that such important values are taught-if not demonstrated -in our schools.
    It could be said that these salespersons are just trying to make a living but that does not excuse ill manners anytime.
    I appreciate personnel at Shopwise Cubao, particularly at the area where they have personal wear and other accessories such as sunglasses. Salesmen/ladies keep a respectful distance and get busy fixing their wares, but are always ready to assist when you ask for help.
    Not so for SM– in the dept store or groceries. Some people would trail you to within a foot or two. Perhaps the company’s HR department could re-evaluate the training that these workers undergo.
    Anyway, sir, welcome home to you and your family!

    Jun 23, 2011 | 9:51 am

  52. Macky says:

    Valid rant. I think the problem with most of our sales people lies with a) lack of proper training (I doubt if they went through any at all) and b) commission-based income. Ask any of them how much they earn each month and you’d be surprised how many earn more than 8k per month.

    Jun 23, 2011 | 10:02 am

  53. christine says:

    I think thats basically how the companies train their ‘promidizers’ nowadays. It’s being practiced by credit card agents, groceries, mall personnel, and real estate agents everywhere. It makes their employees act like robots– spewing out memorized lines that they don’t probably understand. Do these marketing people even have studies to show that their aggressive tactics work?

    And don’t even get me started on those irritating massage chair people scattered around Trinoma!!! }p

    Jun 23, 2011 | 10:08 am

  54. Lannie says:

    Hello MM. What a perfectly timed post! I’m currently in Mla and went to Rustan’s in Makati w/ my mom to buy some bottles of perfume. W/in a few minutes we were surrounded by sharks, er, I mean sales people. At the start, they were still ‘decent’. But as more and more sales people came towards us shoving perfume bottles up our noses I said “STOP! We’re going to deal with [name of perfume brand] and go to you IF we need you so thank you but GO AWAY… NOW”.

    I said this while giving them THE LOOK… the same look my mom always gave us kids, which made as stop dead in our tracks. The annoying sales people went away… my mom was very pleased and amused with me ;)

    Jun 23, 2011 | 10:36 am

  55. isabel says:

    once bought chocolates with my brother at DFS near NAIA too… good thing the Cadbury’s guy was not so aggressive as the Hershey’s people because we prefer Cadbury’s.

    Jun 23, 2011 | 11:00 am

  56. Anne says:

    that’s one reason i never visit stores like sm and rustan’s unless unavoidable. when someone approaches me, even before they start their spiel, i just politely and firmly say i’m not interested but thank you in a so taray voice and a do-not-mess-with-me look, that they have second thoughts on a follow up. it almost always works and those foolhardy enough to do a follow up gets a small blast of my temper.

    Jun 23, 2011 | 11:13 am

  57. g says:

    Guilty! haha. I used to hire these types in my previous life and encouraged aggression. fact is, volumes in the same store more than triple when pushed by a promo girl, especially when you’re a small brand competing against an established market leader. you probably turn off 2 out of 5 shoppers but the math still works in your favor so ok lang -especially when you’re desparate to gain trial. remember those insurance reps at the major malls who got kicked out by pissed of landlords? they new it would happen and it was all part of their business model and they made a pile before closing the company on the day their leases were terminated. i suspect that most brand owners know they’re going to piss people off and are comfortable with the collateral damage. onus is on the owner of the shelves to balance cash register receipts with repeat visits to his store

    Jun 23, 2011 | 11:21 am

  58. tipat says:

    MM, you make me laugh! I can’t wait to try those lines you suggested on the next salesperson LOL

    Jun 23, 2011 | 11:30 am

  59. Robin says:

    i also hate it these people block my path — sales people, credit card people, condo/real estate sales people (especially in the bridgeway of Megamall), massage chair sales people offering free trials, Family First people

    I would introduce them to my forearm and elbow if the don’t get out of my way.

    Jun 23, 2011 | 11:43 am

  60. myra_ps says:

    Seems like I’m not the only one turned off by the WFF “recruiters”…. I hope someone from WWF reads this.

    Like Peach, I would probably become a contributor if I wasn’t so terrified of those people. Perhaps they were trained to be predatory? Pun intended (you know, wildlife and all…)

    Jun 23, 2011 | 11:45 am

  61. g says:

    oh and by the way, they know what they are doing. they know they’re pissing you off but statistics governing buying behaviour is on their side so they don’t care. there are days when I simply ignore them, but when they get particularly annoying, i hold their arm firmly and ask them “gusto mo bang masira ang araw mo?”

    Jun 23, 2011 | 11:49 am

  62. g says:

    there should be a universal bug off signal – one that’s less crass than flipping them the bird. one that says to the agent, i know what you’re doing and its a waste of your time. like knocking on your side of the car window when a beggar knocks for change. has anyone noticed that waving them off, shaking your head or even rolling down your window and saying “no!” doesn’t dent their persistence. but if you respond to their knock on the window with one of your own, they quickly go away.

    Jun 23, 2011 | 12:29 pm

  63. gaye says:

    I have this glare and it works for me haha. For shoes I tell them meron na ako nyan. Credit cards? I am jobless, period. They go away. real estate flyers? I take them and walk away fast. the flyers are handy for scooping up our toydog’s messes hahaha. Seriously! These people in below the line marketing is trained to push aggressively because there is a quota to fill. The trainers should consider brand image – its not like every product should be hawked Divisoria style

    Jun 23, 2011 | 12:33 pm

  64. Maria Isabel Rodrigo says:

    “….herded like moronic sheep through a path of all manner of imported goods before you get to the grocery”. Whew! That is sooooo true MM. My family were there at Duty Free last month and all we wanted was to get to the grocery and lo, we have to endure those ‘right-in your-face promo spiels’ just so we could find our way to The Grocery. Masakit sa ulo.

    Jun 23, 2011 | 1:08 pm

  65. ladystapler says:

    same thing with me, just because i am half-white, it doesn’t mean i am loaded with cash, i dont even own a credit card. i complained at the WWF facebook page and they made the same excuses. I told them that it put me off and other people as well.

    as to the sales people, i am way past being mad at them, i just set my mind to blank when i am at SM and smile and nod to everybody. when they come too close, i just say – just browsing, thank you.

    sometimes my partner and i walk around the mall and guess which salesperson is obviously ‘paminta’.

    Jun 23, 2011 | 1:12 pm

  66. Mary Kim says:

    most of the sales people here go after consumers who think twice or compare a lot of brands and calculate prices before buying. sometimes they help but most of the time they’re pretty annoying, too.

    maybe going to a wet market is much peaceful than a crowded mall though.

    Jun 23, 2011 | 1:50 pm

  67. Mary Kim says:

    if the taray look or a polite “no” doesn’t work–speak in a language they don’t know.=)

    Jun 23, 2011 | 1:52 pm

  68. Ana says:

    I was at SM Makati a month ago. And was stressed out by all the salespeople, even after repeatedly telling them I just wanted to look around first. It was a lot worse in the luggage section where every five steps, another salesperson accosts you and proceeds to open every lugagge you touch!

    Jun 23, 2011 | 1:55 pm

  69. Pam says:

    Such a relevant rant, MM! In addition to these “hawkers” are the salespersons who keep following you when you look around, but when you need them, they disappear.

    The weird thing is, these “hawkers” are encouraged because there are actually people who do listen and buy from them. I noticed this in one of the food markets we sell in. We offer our products only to people who approach our stall so as not to annoy potential customers. The stall in front of us tries to corner customers coming in by blocking their path and offering their own products in a loud voice. I noticed that a certain age group of women actually pay attention to them. Sad and infuriating, but true. : (

    Jun 23, 2011 | 3:37 pm

  70. millet says:

    sorry, MM, i know this is a rant, but i just found this too funny!

    Artisan Chocolatier, isa ka pa! ;-)

    Jun 23, 2011 | 3:51 pm

  71. TheProtector says:

    MM, why not file a case of unjust vexation. Our revised penal code itself does not define with 100% clarity what unjust vexation is but who knows, with some sales people’s annoying tactics, we can have a landmark case defining what is unjust vexation. Time to put our laws into practical tools to remedy the ordinary ( but already annoying and vexing ) insensitivity of others.

    It will be People of the Philippines Versus the Sales(e) Gang.

    Jun 23, 2011 | 4:45 pm

  72. sister says:

    Getter Dragon 1,
    Costco is the same every where, you can snack your way across the store and back but who wants to eat that crap? Costco is frightening in what they sell as food, best to avoid anything supposedly edible and load your cart with toilet paper, paper towels, detergent, and toothpaste. Maybe buy some raisens if necessary. Avoid the nuts, they are super stale. Who said walnuts have a 2 year shelf life?

    Jun 23, 2011 | 4:53 pm

  73. grace encarnacion says:

    Agree agree agree. If i’m in a good mood, i just ignore them and they soon get tired of “selling” to me. But if i’m in a foul mood, i don’t hesitate to tell them “miss/sir, lumayo layo ka kung gusto mong magkabenta ka, lumapit ka pa at lalabas na ako ng tindahan mo…”

    Jun 23, 2011 | 6:07 pm

  74. MP says:

    Oh MM, my husband will love this rant. He hates going to the DFS but I insist that we go there everytime we are home! Their Lacoste tees are much cheaper than the ones in Rustan’s, you see! We’ve devised ways to ward those pesky sales people off but can’t do anything much regarding the way it’s been laid-out, leaving no option but to go through hell before you can exit.

    Mayk, UNICEF and WWF are not NGOs, they are inter-governmental organizations, actually UN agencies. They hate it when they are called NGOs (I know, I used to work for one of their agencies for the longest time but based in missions abroad) so maybe what you said will get them to do something about their promoters :). I will forward this to a former colleague with the hope that they train their “representatives” to be less pushy and more informative.

    Sur, this is not a uniquely Pinoy thing. The Morrocans and Turkish are masters of aggressive selling and we pale in comparison (opinion formed based on my experiences). However, Pinoys have spread this unfortunate selling style. Try shopping in DFS Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi where 90% of the SPs are Pinoys and I bet no one will say they’re homesick. But hey, as you may have experienced Pinoys in Costco do the same thing – albeit in a more refined manner (just a bit)…

    So MM, did the Supervisor apologize? And as for the MB wooden risotto spoon, I can’t wait for someone to comment on THAT! We might have another fish pan bruhaha in the making…

    Jun 23, 2011 | 7:50 pm

  75. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    “you must be herded like moronic sheep through a path of all manner of imported goods before you can get to the grocery.”…wait….is this not the strategy of ikea too?

    Jun 23, 2011 | 8:13 pm

  76. maria says:

    I had such a big laugh over this, but seriously, am totally in your camp! We were in DFS last week to get baon snacks for school, but ended up racing through the snack section in a hurry to escape all the aggravation going on! To make matters worse, DFS was holding an employee contest awarding during shopping hours (presumably for the most aggressive accosters!?!) so there was a lot of clapping, howling, cheering going on. It wasn’t just a palengke, it was Eat Bulaga situated in a palengke!!

    But nothing will beat the massage chair hawkers at the malls – not only do they block the way and shove their free trial offer at you, they will chase you halfway through the mall,”ma’am, relax muna kayo! Sige na, libre naman! Please!” Please din! Sitting on a chair full of germs in a mall having my tendons kneaded by a machine is not my idea of relaxation, nor did I go to the mall to get a free chair massage! If I want a massage, I will go to HIlands Spa where the view is indeed relaxing. But come to think of it, I have friends who actually bought massage chairs off this strategy, one even bought two!

    LOL :-D

    Jun 23, 2011 | 8:56 pm

  77. Footloose says:

    Cosco’s expiration on the packaging of walnuts, pecans, filberts and almonds actually becomes your guide on grabbing them early in their shelf life. Their California walnuts are plump and fresh looking compared to the ones imported from China that look immature and desiccated (and for all we know, painstakingly painted with lead).

    Management always sets the tone in any workplace and I think the lowest common denominator of any customer service training must be the inculcation of courtesy and it should be peremptorily instilled particularly among the lowliest functionaries that are, after all, the point of first (and oftentimes only) contact with clientele.

    Of course it’s cultural. What do you think slicing the air with your hand when walking through people in conversation instead of just intoning excuse me is? I had a shop assistant once who was hardworking and a perpetual motion machine after only one day of training on the job but who tended to be combative when dealing with customers due unfortunately to his raw market-place background. It was tough but it took me a long time of deliberate effort and supervision to make him lighten up and not argue and resist temptation to be smart-alecky with customers.

    Jun 23, 2011 | 8:58 pm

  78. SUR says:

    @#70 the Turkish (Kurds within istanbuls bazaar)! dont I know it; I ended up schlepping thru the rest of my mid-east trip a Turkish rug (well, Kurdish) without ever intending to add yet another Turkish rug in the house. (but I’d ‘pinoyed’ the price down to some ridiculously improbable level– well at least that is MY illusion…)

    @#71 sans the sales hawks; and there are shortcuts if you’re keen

    Jun 23, 2011 | 9:13 pm

  79. MP says:

    Oh SUR, so it was you I saw haggling with the Kurds for a Turkish rug at the Istanbul bazaar (in front of the Mosque) with a big grin LOL! Good on you for “Pinoying” the price down, even if you weren’t intending to get one more. Hey, there has to be some payback for their aggressiveness, elevated to dizzying heights!

    Artisan Chocolatier, at least there are “short cuts” in Ikea and even if there are none, their showrooms are at the very least, artfully laid-out. Can’t say much about our DFS’ lay out without increasing my stress level.. And hey, my husband laughed his head-off with your “Miss, are you still a virgin” technique (along with MM’s “tensile strength”). I just hope he won’t use it, the virgin thingy, I mean hahaha.

    Ah Footloose, yet another wonderful word from you: combative. I think that best describes the SPs’ demeanor when you don’t show interest in their wares.

    Jun 23, 2011 | 10:23 pm

  80. Karen Ang says:

    It’s disappointing but what you did to that saleslady is boorish. True, you were cranky due to jetlag but that doesn’t excuse the behavior you displayed. She was trying her best to earn a living and she lives off commissions.

    Jun 23, 2011 | 10:47 pm

  81. scramoodles says:

    I don’t like sales people or promodisers hanging around when I don’t need their help. As for that incident in Duty Free, it has been that way since I grew up. People are hawking their stuff as though each and every person has the need to buy a bag of chocolates. They are more than persistent and will hover you like pigeons to bread crumbs. I must say, they do this just to pressure any individual to make such purchase. As such, I can only manage to browse the aisles quietly if I split up from my folks. If any gets too annoying, I step in and say no. And no one is going to bully my parents into buying something.

    Jun 23, 2011 | 11:52 pm

  82. lee says:

    a promo lady offered me a cup of free milk. All 5’9″ and 260++ pounds of me.

    Jun 24, 2011 | 12:33 am

  83. Joni says:

    +1 Marketman.

    I hate it when they do that, and yes, I also ask them questions that I know they won’t be able to answer. I must admit that sometimes I get a little snarky.

    I usually tell the credit card hawkers that “I’m very poor, I don’t have a job and I’m already in debt because of their damn credit cards. Oh, and I hate their customer service.” which is not the truth, but shuts them up nicely.

    Have you guys ever noticed the “Hello Ma’am/Sir!” syndrome?

    Ugh, this is what irks me! I actually only noticed this after a foreigner friend pointed it out. Maybe before, I was just tuning them out, but now it irks me whenever I hear it. My friend, though, finds it amusing. I find it stupid and it makes them look really lazy.

    I mean, ano ba naman yung tingnan mo yung customer mo, to determine if they’re male or female. It’s a lazy way to welcome your customers. It’s like they’re not making any kind of effort to welcome you. “Hello Ma’am/Sir!” “What, do I look gay now?! Am I with a male companion? Why can’t you just say Hello Ma’am?!?”

    What are they, parrots?!?! “Hello Ma’am/Sir! Hello Ma’am/Sir! Polly wants a cracker!” Yeah, I know it’s not easy saying hello to people the whole day, when 99.9% of them will probably ignore you. But come on, have a little pride naman, and do your job well.

    I usually say “Hi” back, but when they say “Hello Ma’am/Sir!” I feel like they don’t deserve my hello/hi in return. Haha! Mini-rant in your comments section, MM. :D

    Jun 24, 2011 | 1:13 am

  84. Effy says:

    Friend, I also share the same sentiments with you. I really hate these aggresive marketing tactics that borders between rude and insensitive manner.. Examples of this are stalls inside Rustan’s Gateway and SM.. Yes they can offer, but not at the point that they will follow you that makes you look like a suspected shoplifter.. They should be sensitive enough to know this and understood that if we need help, that would be the time that they have to assist us.. Attendants in Rustan’s Gateway..fragrance booth section, They will bring everything infront to sell you their products..

    Jun 24, 2011 | 2:23 am

  85. Elodie Jane Amora says:

    I’m so glad that so many people feel the same way as I do. It’s funny but when I was growing up I found it weird that my French dad was always so mean at sales people that would approach us at the mall. Fast forward a couple of years and I am now married and a mother, I finally get it. Sometimes I just feel so annoyed that I feel so turned off and end up not buying anything. I usually shop with my 2 year old daughter and I really really don’t want to act like my dad used to when I was shopping for him in front of her so I just end up giving dirty looks at the sales people and thankfully they usually back off.

    Based on my experience, the most aggressive sales person I’ve had the misfortune of encountering was from Toy Kingdom in SM Cebu. They were so pushy to the point of offering to carry my then 1-year old daughter while I look at their product!!!

    And on another note, I once caught 2 sales person doing “the deed” in a store in Ayala Cebu. This was really awkward. LOL.

    Jun 24, 2011 | 4:02 am

  86. una says:

    This thread is entertaining, thanks everyone for reminding me. Sir/Ma’am Syndrome is classic! It’s perfunctory, obviously they‘re mouthing it. At least in a bazaar /souk, there’s romance/art in haggling; after all, that part of the world has mercantile traditions older than ours. Someday I’d like to be able to purchase a Kilim rug and I intend to have it packaged with an annecdote like how I haggled with the chess playing seller etc… Of course these annecdotes that involves chewing off some persistent SP’s head while buying feminine napkins can become our tradition. As ‘g’ said, they know they are pissing you off, then they should be prepared to face your wrath –and hopefully aspire to do better other than promodize. These are entry level positions are they not? One would hope.

    Jun 24, 2011 | 5:56 am

  87. Marketman says:

    76 Karen Ang, you are certainly entitled to your opinion, and I am sure a few would take that side, but sorry, not in the MM realm. It’s okay for the salesperson to be inane and boorish, but not for an equal retort from a client in response? If the saleslady were just standing around, waiting for me to ask something, and I launched into her, then THAT would be boorish. The logic of your sentiment just doesn’t hold water with me. And as for 80+ commenters above seem to agree in varying degrees, the sales tactics of the saleslady in wines (and salesmen at Hershey’s I might add, as I find it odd you would only “feel” for the female salesperson) are just not acceptable behavior in the “cause” of employment. If your employer told you to do something ridiculous and offensive just so you could keep a job, I don’t think everyone would voluntarily choose to keep that particular job.

    If I were with a two year child who was cute as a button and the salespeople kept squeezing her cheeks fawning over her (as they might do in an Indonesian grocery) I would also ask them to stop and step away and be firm about it. That is an equally offensive invasion of personal space by a stranger. And I would let them know it. As for the Moroccan experience mentioned by other commenters, I agree they can be obnoxious as well, but when done in a marketplace or bazaar, somewhat more acceptable and expected market behavior. But while I have definitely walked away from such people, I can also be aggressive in return as well — if they dish it, should be able to take it.

    So, different strokes for different folks. If you have read this blog for some time, you would almost certainly know what strokes I am partial to. :)

    Jun 24, 2011 | 6:34 am

  88. Maria Isabel Rodrigo says:

    Well, am once a salesperson too but you are right MM, you won’t get a sale if you keep on pushing your wares, not all people would be interested on the product you are selling but it is a courtesy to just let them have a look on their own and do their own browsing, clients will approach you if they are interested and it would even make them feel at ease if you let them choose on their own. And if they do approach you, give them an ear and give suggestions if and only they ask for it. Not all buyers are ignorant of what we salespeople are selling. Now, you’ll have a sale. And also you earn a happy customer.

    Jun 24, 2011 | 9:13 am

  89. Marketman says:

    Maria et al, yes, I too have worked as a salesperson, fast food clerk behind a counter, childsitter, executive assistant, etc. so I have indeed, been in “those shoes” if only for a while.

    For the general readership, I would like to point out that this is not a us vs. them discussion. Client vs. employee. Rich vs. poor. Lord vs. serf. People who assume that have a truly narrow view of the world in my opinion. So narrow, the stereotype backfires on them. I have “told off” Presidential candidates, business moguls, wealthy people, dinner guests just as I would a salesperson if the situation called for it. It has little to do with the person, but the issue under discussion. The few times I have truly bitten my lip is is the opposing party has a power to cause inordinate trouble — hence I never tell an immigration officer he is asking idiotic questions, or a passport officer that he is dopey for letting a celebrity cut line, or a police officer that he is trumping up traffic violations for a gift… as those situations could end in a much more serious result. And further, I haven’t had a go at a priest yet when they discuss birth control, even though I have come dangerously close. :)

    Jun 24, 2011 | 9:26 am

  90. g says:

    these guys get more training than anyone thinks. even newbies are told to be aggressive and are told to expect irate customers so they don’t mind it a bit when someone bites their heads off. experienced ones on the other hand have faced tough cleints many times before (a quick survey of this comments section bears that out). the skill is in correctly identifying who they can pester in order to save themselves the aggravation of customers like you and me – but they know they can’t always get it right. no one should believe or feel guilty that they are the only ones to give these guys a dose of their own medicine; its all part of the game and believe me, they’re ready and prepared to play it

    Jun 24, 2011 | 9:28 am

  91. Elaine says:

    Funny rant and a good one too! I usually plug in to my pod when browsing around, just focusing on the music and ignoring away these annoying sales staff, it always shuts them up!

    Jun 24, 2011 | 10:50 am

  92. rhea says:

    hi! i was recently in this toy store in rockwell with my nephews and niece. they were all like that. my sister does not live here and so she has to consider every toy that we buy for her kids since she has to bring it back home. anyway, she has a set of twins who are three years old and they were in their stroller. suddenly, all these people came and started showing off toys. to the point that we cant even get near the kids. then on to the toys, my sister said she didnt like this certain toy since it was bulky and hard to bring back home. but of course thats what the child wanted. but kids right? so we were trying to let my niece choose a toy, we took her out of her stroller then went around the store. all these people started following us. so my niece was saying no i dont like that one, etc. then as we were trying to show her other toys, this salesperson said, oh you like this one right? and thats the very toy that my sister said she didnt want to bring home. they knew and yet they were pushy. at this point i told her to just leave us alone. but they didnt. they still came each holding a toy. i looked at all of them, told them to just leave us alone and that i will ask for their help if i needed it. aargh!!! i dont know if they earn by commission or whatever but please give us room to breathe.
    looking back, i should have just looked for the manager just like what you did.

    Jun 24, 2011 | 11:20 am

  93. Gej says:

    The complete greeting I think is “Sir-Mam, Mam Sir” just to make sure not to offend anyone.

    Jun 24, 2011 | 11:31 am

  94. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    @ Sister – Actually Costco is known for regionalization where you might find products and services not offered by another Costco. I do use Costco for dry goods as those mentioned. Though I think the Kirkland brand TP could use a few more sheets in the roll and the storebrand hotdogs they have in the food court suck compared to the national brand they sold before.

    Other than that, I do my some snacks, but tend to stay away from the frozen foods. On the flipside (no pun), I did mention the sales reps and their free samples. Though they are not the ones who are rude, don’t get me started on the customers. Geez Louise, some of these clowns can’t even wait until the product is off the frying pan. All of them standing like seagulls and pidgeons waiting for a handout. No manners and reaching accross, cutting each other off and no ‘thank you’.

    @ Joni – Yes, ‘ma’am/sir’ is spoken here too. I knew of the greeting being heard in the Philippines, but to hear it here in the US…Yikes.

    About personal space, I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with telemarketers from the Philippines. Around the usual dinnertime, I received a phonecall from a woman with a distinct Filipina accent, “Goood ibening seher…blah, blah, blah”. I could also make out simillar conversations in the background. Knowing that it was a TM, I handled it in the usual fashion. I hung up. A moment later the phone rings again and upon greeting, hearing this:
    “Hellooo…pahlease seher, don’t haang up”. I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT. Sure I could have said ‘no thank you’ earlier, but TM is rampant and it comes to the point of not even wasting my breath in speaking with them. This was the one and only time that someone had the nerve to call back. Its a pretty universal sign that when someone hangs up on you and if you are a TMketer, that someone is not interested in hearing on what you have to say. At that point I made it clear that I was not interested and that it was rude for her to tell others what to do in their own home. Afterall , she called me, not the other way around.

    Jun 24, 2011 | 11:45 am

  95. betty q. says:

    Is this just a recent sales tactic? I am missing something here! I do remember taking my sister and my niece back home to a Duty Free Shop last time I visited them. I don’t recall being accosted by aggressive sales people. But then again, it was ages ago! At any rate, , we were able to shop to my sister’s satisfaction filling at least 3 carts. On second thought, maybe because I was just wearing t-shirt, shorts and tsinelas! Hindi nila alam that the financer was the one wearing the tsinelas!….mwahahahaa!

    Jun 24, 2011 | 11:53 am

  96. Lex says:

    Aggressive tactics are the best way to turn me off to a product. Instead of buying, I end up leaving the store. I also snap back, “yes I can read”, or “if I have a question, I will ask you”. They treat you like you are a total idiot!!!! I also hate establishments where by the salespeople follow you closely wherever you go as if you are a thief. I tell them off that I know they are doing their job but I find it very annoying to be hounded. I say that if they have to watch me to just keep distance. I also love turning around and follow them where ever they go until they eventually get the hint.
    My favorite line often is “what about the word NO don’t you understand”?
    The salespeople in China are pretty hard to beat in terms of hard sell…..

    Jun 24, 2011 | 11:59 am

  97. sophie says:

    Artisan Chocolatier, I am laughing at my heart’s content reading your post… now i know one of what to answer if will be barrage again by people in the mall…MM even in malls or other department stores with that kind of attitude the sales people been doing is really really rude..

    Jun 24, 2011 | 12:10 pm

  98. foodpornjunkies says:

    Don’t worry about being a pain in the ass; remember, the customer is always right-handed. Or something like that.

    Jun 24, 2011 | 1:42 pm

  99. benny says:

    my oh my…with forbes latest listing that H. Sy is PI’s richest guy, surely wouldnt matter to him what us “indios” vent…

    Jun 24, 2011 | 3:08 pm

  100. cumin says:

    My goodness, MM, you certainly touched a raw nerve here, your readers can’t wait to unload our own horror stories!

    @Lex, sounds like you’ve been to Beijing’s Silk Market :-)

    Jun 24, 2011 | 3:16 pm

  101. Mart says:

    Hi MM,
    Don’t “blow your top” at people telling you off for your behavior. You also did mention that you don’t stop to tell other people off no matter their position (Presidential candidate, business people, etc), so why would it be any different for the commenters telling you off?
    Oh, right. This is your blog. :-)

    Sales people like the one you encountered can indeed be very trying. And I do acknowledge the “different strokes for different folks”. At I can imagine that it was satisfying to tell off the sales person like that and blow off your top to let out your frustration.

    But I think the problem is you can’t get around to imagining that there may have been other options for getting around the situation you found yourself in.

    I could be wrong about this but, imho, getting angry means you can’t imagine how the other person’s though process is working and you are expecting that they can tell if you’re peeved enough to stop pestering you. If they did have to capacity to read your body language and stop their aggressive selling in-your-face tactics because it would cause you to blow your top off, I imagine that they would save themselves the shame by continuing to pester you.
    And analogy can also be drawn with how you can keep your cool by not blowing your top off to a police officer or an immigration officer because you can imagine the consequences of doing so.

    Looking at it from another angle, do you get angry at a child who keeps pestering you? I would get angry eventually but I would have more patience with a child than with an adult because in the back of my head I know that the child is not mature enough to understand or be observant enough or learned enough to not pester me.
    Same goes with a clueless sales person who’s only training is the same aggressive tactics taught to them during their employee orientation. Or their desperation to make a sale since they live on commissions.

    There _are_ other ways of dealing with the situation you were in. Just don’t be smug and fool yourself into thinking that what you did was the only way the situation could have been handled.
    But I’ll cut you some slack for being tired and prefacing the post as a rant.
    A lot of the comments agreed with you but there were also a lot of comments that recounted how they usually deal with similar sales tactics (without shouting) with a good degree of success.

    In my experience, it is easier to lose my patience when I’m tired. But when I do go over the day’s events and reflect on them, I always find myself regretting my outburst of anger, even if the other party seemed to deserve my wrath at the time. And I usually replay the scene in my head and think of how I could have handled it better.

    But then different strokes for different folks. I did read an article about a study that grumpy people lived longer lives… :-)

    Jun 24, 2011 | 3:25 pm

  102. Marketman says:

    Mart, I completely agree that there are alternative options for responding to the situation. Absolutely. I respond the way I choose to respond. It isn’t for everyone, nor do I expect everyone to do the same. And I do admire folks with a far better capacity of patience. But there is criticism and justified or constructive criticism. There is opinion and opinion I personally can agree with. No group of 100, 1,000 or 10,000 people will always think the same way about a particular situation. But since I am writing the post from my point of view, and narrating my reaction, that is the way I do things. Others may choose to do things other ways, and I like variety, but I don’t have to necessarily agree with them.

    I rarely regret an outburst of anger. Rarely. :) And on this blog, in dozens of rant situations, never have I had to recant on the basis of being factually inaccurate, or because companies/individuals/institutions/etc. have felt unjustifiably wronged. Nor have I ever had to take a post down. Ever.

    But it is utterly amusing that you mention that grumpy folks live longer, I actually have no desire to go on for too long beyond say 80, so maybe I better get an attitude adjustment for less potential longevity. :)

    Jun 24, 2011 | 4:36 pm

  103. kalayo says:

    ahh, comments galore. written out thoughts that run the gamut from the sympathetic to the righteously indignant. quite convenient to show aggression against sales people and bite their heads off while your at it. but consider for a moment that these guys are not as highly educated, cultured, moneyed and refined as you are. consider for a moment that unlike you, being hired as sales people would probably be the only chance these people will ever have walking casually into store premises mulling on the solomonic question of whether to buy or not to buy. i bet yer ass these people you’ve adamantly classified as the dregs of the earth are mere contractuals, earning a pittance, doomed to a dead end job and an economic life defined by their companies as only viable until the ripe old age of 30 or so (or until their contracts end, whichever comes first).

    simply put, the behavior of local sales people reflect their desperation. retail companies / groceries who hired them in the first place only care about the sales they bring in. they don’t really care how lowly sales people interact with customers. absolutely no investment whatsoever in human capital. it’s a forlorn hope that things will change soon. when one’s contract is up, adios!, plenty more waiting in the wings…

    but you really don’t give a rat’s ass ‘bout that, do you? just here to contribute your mite at the great rant about the indignity of being inconvenienced.

    Jun 24, 2011 | 5:30 pm

  104. cumin says:

    kalayo, please don’t bite off my head if I reply?

    I am lucky in lots of ways, rich in friends and relationships, but very far from being rich in material resources. Countless times I have been desperate to get a contract (freelance); if I could get fat from eating humble pie I’d be obese. And so I do empathise with others who are desperate to earn a living. But I cannot condone earning money (commission) at the cost of irritating people. I value my space and do not like being harassed.

    Please don’t assume that all of us who complain about aggressive sales tactics are spoiled, insensitive brats. I would like my feelings to be respected, in as much as I respect others, too.


    Jun 24, 2011 | 6:08 pm

  105. Grace says:

    Just the other day, I was “cornered” by the WWF people in the Ayala Greenbelt walkway. I cut him short before he started rattling off by saying “Donor na ako”. I thought he’d let me go but then he had to ask since when and how much was I donating. I still patiently answered him since I wasn’t in a hurry then. Then he asked me “I’m sure you’d like to donate some more.” and I said “Why not?”. He then answered that I should simply enroll my other credit card. When I told him that I only have one card, he had the nerve to ask me “Baket isa lang?”. And he asked me this question repeatedly. I wanted to answer back, “Anong pakialam mo?” but I just thought of our baby in my tummy and that I should think happy thoughts instead of letting this pesky salesperson ruin my day.

    @k. ramos and HD: I’ve tried those tactics – piercing glances to the salesperson hovering around to give the “Leave me alone” vibes and dressing down para magmukhang di bibili. Hehehe.

    MM, my hubby usually makes joking/ sarcastic remarks to pushy salespeople in the dept store/ supermarket. There was one time that he was browsing for underwear and though eager to make a sale, the salesman shut up and left us alone when hubby asked, “Meron ba kayo niyan na pink? Gusto ko ng pink e.” :)

    Jun 24, 2011 | 8:12 pm

  106. Footloose says:

    Let me get this straight, we are to accommodate doubtfully effective invasive sales tactics because the poor guys employing them are badly trained, under tenuous contracts and earn their measly livelihood through commissions. In what viable planet in this infinite universe does that make sense?

    Jun 24, 2011 | 8:47 pm

  107. lee says:

    Tomorrow is Saturday

    Jun 24, 2011 | 9:00 pm

  108. EbbaBlue says:

    We owned 2-stalls length in a meat market in Makati 20 years ago. Ang sister ko ang nasa-loob ng stall, at ako naman naka-assign sa outside hallway, so pag-may dumaraan, I asked them or invite them to purchase meat from us (parang promo-girl na nga). I know some folks in this blog will say, eh palengke naman yan (just like Divisoria), mostly sumisigaw ang mga tindera. But to follow the customers na lalampas ka sa kabilang stall, hindi pwede dahil ibang territory na yon. Eh sa SM, iisang store, so kaya siguro kahit nasa ibang aisle ka na, naruon pa rin sila, or medio malayo man, naka-tanghod sila na parang konting galaw mo – tatakbo na sila sa iyo. In these mall-stores, I do believe sales clerk goes through training, eh sa palengke wala, so bakit parang mas-ok pa ang palengke, dahil nga ba stay ka lang sa pwesto mo? So – sa training management talaga ang dipirensiya?

    I have to admit, in some appliance/ stores here in Houston, (where the sales rep) gets extra money with commission), they have numerous guys & gals ready to show you their ware. Once you are approached and you told them you are just looking, they’ll say ok, that they will just be there just in case you have a question, then they walk away and do some re-stacking or arranging their ware and they keep a distance. Sa ibang section, most of the time, you’ve got to look for somebody to get assistance. Dito ang mga sales rep flat rate lang ang salary nila.

    So yeah, many factors, pero bottom line, they have been trained for these tactics; they are aware they are irritating people; and they are allowed by the management to do so. At napakarami talaga nila sa isang department.

    So I think sa susunod kong pag-uwi and go shopping, management agad ang hahanapin ko.

    Jun 24, 2011 | 9:10 pm

  109. Junb says:

    I don’t agree that we should be forgiving to those agressive sales person because they might be poor or lowly educated who are trying to make a living. If we keep that mentality then you are not doing them nor the society a favor.

    Jun 24, 2011 | 9:13 pm

  110. Footloose says:

    Hoh Lee, you make me greener than the Jolly Green Giant. http://lovecarrots.wordpress.com/2007/10/03/whatever-happened-to-the-jolly-green-giant/

    Jun 24, 2011 | 9:18 pm

  111. tenbreedmountaindog says:

    Just a quick view through some of MM’s previous posts indicate that this, so far, has had the most number of comments, a non-food posting in a food blog at that.

    At any rate, i think we all agree that there are no absolutes in this case, both sides of the transaction are human after all – for every occasion where we have been misjudged or mistreated, there are probably two, or two and a half, where we have done the same, or worse. Those pesky public utility drivers; those inconsiderate smokers, those irresponsible casuals, those chatterbox teens with various gadgets coming out their orifices. The list goes on. Perhaps if we do not demand too much or ourselves, we will demand too much of others. What’s a 5 minute delay in arriving at my destination, if it means not having a 5 point increase in my blood pressure. Having said that, my experience has been that the best deterrent after the initial salvo is a pursed smile and a slight shake of the head, repeated until they go away, with both sides’ dignity intact.

    Jun 24, 2011 | 9:21 pm

  112. kim e says:

    i have tanned skin and i can say that i love my color. it annoys me that saleswomen always ‘attack’ me and insist that i try the latest whitening product (soap,lotion,make-up, etc.) are they trained to approach every brown-colored person in the store and pester until the customer says yes? and it has happened several times in the past that when I decline politely, they will shove the product to my face and say i SHOULD try the product (“dapat niyo ho subukan ito, puputi kayo after 1 week). as if i care? i understand that they want to make a sale but most of them are just rude and very intrusive. (me: no, thank you. wala akong balak magpaputi; sales personnel: bakit naman po?) i fight the urge to say “kasi maganda na ako. ikaw bakit di mo gamitin yang binebenta mo?!

    Jun 24, 2011 | 10:07 pm

  113. dhay says:

    on a lighter note here, and please forgive me and i hope you do not take any kind of offense or whatsoever, i did not know that Artisan Chololatier is a male, all along i thought that he is a female :) And i’ve been visiting this site on a regular basis for a few years now, although i dont leave comments as often as the others do..but after reading your comments up top, i discovered something new! hehehehe :)

    Jun 25, 2011 | 12:21 am

  114. EbbaBlue says:

    tenbreedmountaindog: I agree with you in some ways, pero hindi lang isinu-supalpal ang product nila sa iyo, they are also digging for answers why you wouldn’t want to try their product. And their line of questioning is very, very private or offending. Just like to your children, I can say I am a very patient mom, pero pag makulit naman ng sobra you raise, I sometimes raise my voice, countour my face and say NO! And at times, you just leave kasi nga ayaw mong magwala ka sa sarii – baka mas lalong ma-out of control ako. Same with these reps – I am afraid to get out of hand – so hindi na lang ako pumupunta duon – meaning no sale sila, or wala rin akong kagamitan na nabili. .

    Tanong ko sa iyo – how if I you got asked – mam, paano nyo nabingwit yang si Kano? Ang liit-liit nyo ang laki-laki nya. (This does not have anything to do with product selling?)

    Jun 25, 2011 | 12:58 am

  115. Marketman says:

    Nothing like a bit of controversy to get comments going… it’s a few hours before the lunch and dinner eyeballs and I can tell you we are crazed. But at least the sun is out and the clouds have miraculously departed for now. I hope the weather stays nice for the next 18 hours. Will take some photos and do a post after the events.

    Jun 25, 2011 | 6:54 am

  116. the teej says:

    Omg! Hilarious.. I’m so sorry you had to endure that level of stress and high blood pressure but I am sure the sales managers at Hersheys Phils are shaking in their boots.. heads will roll.

    I’ve just come across your blog after being referred by my uncle and wow -how fab is it? I absolutely love your writing style and understated sarchasm, cutting yet with an air of diplomacy. Totally inspiring..

    Jun 25, 2011 | 8:47 am

  117. betty q. says:


    OK….everybody….click on to Footloose’s link….pangbaba ng high blood!

    Jun 25, 2011 | 10:24 am

  118. betty q. says:

    Footloose…do you think duct taping a sayote while growing would work? Oh…I am inclined to do it as my experiment in the garden …if not this year, next year!

    Jun 25, 2011 | 10:30 am

  119. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    @ Kalayo – I can sympathize with your reply and see where you are coming from. But this isn’t an issue of being mighty, monied or cultured. What MM experienced along with others along this thread is a symptom of institutionalized ignorance that is within our culture. Throughout the generations, we Filipinos have conditioned ourselves to accept these examples as accepted behavior. Sure some of us have the benefit of traveling, working and living abroad. That puts us in a position from the outside looking in. It gives us a perspective to compare and contrast on social norms outside the Philippines. Its a bit of gallows humor on our part and reflects a deep seated disappointment in not what the Philippines is, but rather what it has become and what it could have been. I believe the Philippines can one day again become the ‘Pearl of the Orient’ or ‘Asian Tiger’. Pinoys have a great sense of humor and this is what we have here.

    Jun 25, 2011 | 11:21 am

  120. Jan says:

    I don’t usually comment on your posts MM, i just read them, but this one hit a nerve. It’s true what one girl said at the top that salespersons in toystores are just as bad, if not worse. Everytime we buy toys there during Christmas seasons, we get accosted and harrassed by salespersons to no end! Literally, they would not stop pushing different products to our faces and doing their sales pitches altogether until we get to the counter. They actually put their products one on top of the other before us, until some are just under our noses. There also seems to be a contest among of who can do their sales pitch the loudest to drown out everyone else’s voices. I’ve been in sales, too, so for Karen Ang, working for a commission should not be justification for untoward behavior. When I was in sales, I was never aggressively eager to make a sale precisely because I know it turns off clients. As a salesperson, it’s their job also to psychoanalyze their clients. Sila, gusto ba nilang kinukulit sila at hinaharangan? You just need to use a little common sense. I’m like you MM, I also tell them off bluntly, and I feel that I have every right to do this because I have also been in their shoes and I know for a fact that they know what they are doing is not right. It’s ok to compete with your peers, but please, not at the expense of the client’s comfort! I tell them straight off, “Pwede tumigil kayo? Kung hindi kayo tumigil, lalo kaming hindi bibili.” To tell you the truth, sometimes that’s even not enough to make them stop! So stop trying to make MM feel bad about what he did. You guys are doing a double standard, that it’s okay for the salespersons to be aggressive, but not MM.

    Jun 25, 2011 | 11:25 am

  121. uniok says:

    Minsan nakakaawa minsan nakakaasar, para makabawi, Sabi ng officemate ko sa pinoy na salesperson sa isang High end Eyewear. Pagpasok pa lang sa entrance sabi nya ” Pakitaan mo ng pera mga yan , Laki agad mata ni kabayan.” makikita mo talaga pagbabago ng aura nila.

    Jun 25, 2011 | 1:28 pm

  122. kit says:

    Hi Marketman,

    I usually observed, not only when shopping but also when dining in restaurants, the treatment the sales staff gives the client is according to how much your worth based on your appearance. If you look rich, they will flock on you asserting themselves plus extra effort if the competition is nearby. It is very annoying and will surely make you explode when you hear the side comments after you ignore or turn them down. But if you seem to be too “simple” for them to think you can afford their products or services, they won’t even glance at you.

    On the other spectrum, I understand their “perseverance” . If I have time, I sometimes interview the sales person. I asked them questions about their work like how much is their salary and what are their benefits. I can’t forget the sales person for a children’s clothing brand. He is working for 2 months without salary. He and the other employees believe it is better to continue working so they’ll be able to collect their back wages when they make a sale, rather than not collecting at all. After our talk, the sales person usually offer their services to my company, to which I decline, and tell them I can only offer an advice I give to my employees, Maintain your dignity and pride in what you do.

    PS…. everytime I buy something really expensive, I deliberately make myself look I can’t afford to buy it. really fun experiment!

    Jun 25, 2011 | 8:18 pm

  123. tina vitas says:

    I couldn’t help but chime into this lively and spirited exchange. I do understand the potential client’s irritation at the insensitive pushy-ness of the salespeople. I own stand- alone stores in malls that sell dips, dressings and marinades; I train my salespeople to always “make kilatis” the clients. If they look like they want to be engaged in a conversation go ahead, engage them! If they look like they need to cajoled into buying, cajole them. If they look like the type who want to be left alone while browsing, just offer your “presence” if they need you for anything. Otherwise, the client will feel that the salesperson is too bruska/brusko and will be turned off (I would!). On the other hand, I guess these salespeople, especially if they are contractual, do not receive proper training on the skill of gauging their potential clients. This is where the chicken & egg of to train or not to train comes in. The company doesn’t want to invest in the training of the contractual salespeople because they will be gone in a few months’ time anyway. And I’m sure that companies who used to invest heavily in their employees, contractual or otherwise, have also had some negative experiences (like I have) when the employees they invested in left on a whim. Therefore, their investment in employee development was never recouped. In business, I do expect a return for whatever it is that I spend on in my company. It’s not charity! Anyway, to avoid getting hassled by pesky salespeople, I walk faster or very politely but firmly tell them, sometimes accompanied by a glare, “NO, THANK YOU!!!”….. It has worked wonderfully for me.

    Jun 25, 2011 | 9:45 pm

  124. MP says:

    Footloose, after showing my husband the link you shared, I’ve been asked to alert him everytime you comment on MM’s blog! He took a page from 2 friends who have requested that I alert them everytime MM posts something new and when Bettyq comments (they have limited internet connections, you see)! Soon, I’ll be the “MM alerter” (for lack of a better term) of the Pinoy community this side of the world..

    Jun 25, 2011 | 10:17 pm

  125. Marketman says:

    Footloose, I burst out laughing like you cannot imagine. And I have just come home after the eyeballs exhausted, so this was just a needed dose of amusement! And oddly, I had a photo of something I was just along the same vein but far less explicit… :)

    Jun 26, 2011 | 12:21 am

  126. Footloose says:

    Betty Q, it looks as though it is a natural (mal)formation. If you really feel like experimenting, however, I’d suggest you do your fruit tampering on say, an upo. If you succeed in coaxing the developing fruit to end up looking like an anatomy model, why I think it would be truly spectacular and inspiring. Keep your experiments well concealed from the neighbors though, you don’t want them shaking their heads, clucking their tongues and lamenting the decline of the neighborhood.

    Jun 26, 2011 | 9:47 am

  127. nina says:

    equally annoying to aggressive salespeople would be tailing salespeople. They just follow you around, not saying a word, as you browse. It’s just so uncomfortable.

    Jun 27, 2011 | 12:16 pm

  128. ihid says:

    Local scene, toy store with my 8yr old son. I put my finger across my lips signaling “quiet” to the salesgirls/boys followed by fingers to both left & right ear = “noisy”. This is how I do it to keep my blood pressure down.

    Jun 27, 2011 | 1:15 pm

  129. loneykitchen says:

    Thank you for a lovely experience. It was an excellent evening of fantastic food, great guests and exciting conversations. To the Mrs, the Teen and the Staff, thanks. We had a wonderful time!

    Jun 28, 2011 | 1:45 pm

  130. wilby says:

    OMG. . . Marketman. . . you won’t believe what happened to me this afternoon. . . My cousin was driving, we were on our way back home from the market, our car broke down, some loose nuts and bolts that gave the car weird noises. So we stopped in the middle of the road, I was a traffic enforcer for a good 20 minutes while my cousin got some car mechanic to fix our ride. . . A traffic enforcer went to see and asked why our car stopped so I explained then he just went after that, 3 police cars passed by just looking, without offering any help or assistance. Then a couple of guys from the streets helped us push the car to the nearest mechanic shop, and they helped us get it fixed. . . Suddenly, the traffic enforcer (with his motorcyle) stopped, and dropped by talked to my cousin and me and was asking for money for his assistance. . pang merienda lang daw. . . !!!!!! I wouldn’t mind if he even helped me assist to signal the other cars to shift lanes cause our car was there in the middle of the street, but he never did anything, he did nothing at all. . . so thick faced!!! OMG

    Jun 29, 2011 | 12:06 am

  131. Mayj Tolentino says:

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    Individual Donor Program Manager

    Jun 29, 2011 | 4:00 pm

  132. MLS says:

    Not to be contrary here, I am sure these people are as annoying as they get, but aren’t we overreacting? These people are hired to do just that, bug the crap out of customers. At least someone’s doing their jobs. It can all be traced to a social/economic issue of joblessness, etc., but I’m not going there… At least they have jobs and not nagtatamaran.

    Jun 29, 2011 | 9:12 pm

  133. corianderie says:

    Such a timely post! I hope those Isukoshi people change their selling tactics as well. So irritating. Makes me avoid them (and their massage chair products) at all costs!

    Jun 29, 2011 | 9:41 pm

  134. sunshine says:

    the level of aggression by these sales reps deter me from purchasing perfumes and luggage in most stores unless absolutely necessary.,

    when i went around to look for a new luggage, i directly went for a brand i wanted but the sales reps for the other bag cos, harangued me with demonstration on how much better their products were to the point of sitting and even standing on top of their wares…sa inis ko i raised my voice and said” pag hindi kayo umalis sa harap ko hindi ako bibili kahit ano” and to the sales rep i originally approached ” paalisin mo mga kasamahan mo, naiingayan ako”

    at wilcon builders, they have hoards of sales reps waiting at the center aisles like vultures ready to swipe at customers…” ma’am ano hanap nyo? “yes ma’am ano pa yun? BUT when you actually ask them for assistance for items that i need puro out of stock at puro hindi nila alam sagutin ang mga product queries”…we were looking for aluminum screen hindi nila alam ang presyo…when they found the price in meters hindi nila alam how to measure cos ang measuring stick nila was in foot. they dont know what product to use to remove lime scale in bathroom tiles “ma’am ano po limescale”…what the F! talaga

    and dont get me started on WWF and Unicef promo persons…i pass by the ayala flyover daily and they are a regular source of irritation…whoever their trainors are missed the seminar on Soft Sell vs Hard Sell.. kaya ako, i donate na lang sa World Vision…swabe lang ang approcah

    oh , and lastly, our building is right beside a callcenter company along ayala ave, ..just this morning, one of their staff was stationed outside their door shouting ” apply na kayo! one-day processing lang! apply na kayo! one day processing lang!..the career was being peddled like a piece of meat!!!

    Jun 30, 2011 | 1:38 pm

  135. donmarin says:

    has anyone been annoyed by those foreign sales rep selling “dead sea salt scrubs”? i was constantly “harassed & annoyed” by one at ATC. (the one below the escalator) he would block my way, follow me everywhere (even up to meters away from his stall!), & worse~ would hold my arm. i gave him “the Look” & told him of my non-interest. but instead of leaving me alone, he would say things like: “you badly need a facial (modesty aside,i dont have bad facial skin, thanks to my chinese genes), your skin is not smooth enough! etc etc..)
    i’m going back to –(forgot their country of origin), my girls will not give you the same offer i did…”– URGH!
    i feel so harassed more than embarrassed by it..to a point i wish to report them to Ayala’s Admin offices! THEY ARE PLAIN CREEPY & RUDE!

    i can tolerate all the SM salesgirls, supermarket promos, WWF/UNICEF ladies…but nothing beats the crap out of me, with those “dead sea salt” guys!

    i totally agree with the tactics of: dressing poorly, giving the “look”, or if im feeling nice…i just politely say: “im not interested..just looking around”…in fairness to them, they usually leave me alone. sometimes its hard to be rude, especially if you frequent that certain mall.

    lastly, i was given a black shirt with bold white writings on the chest that says: “MASUNGIT”..yes i have a temper…i found it useful. they leave me alone. to check if this black shirt really does wonder, i bought my husband with a one that says” “BARAT”~ SUCCESS!! nobody offers him anything! (bec. my husband is really barat)

    Jul 1, 2011 | 4:27 pm

  136. donmarin says:

    another thing— how about text messages coming from a certain (name of girl) from Hydra…offering free vacuum cleaning of your mattresses? they would constantly annoy you over your cellphones..even if you tell them you’re not interested. that you’ve been referred by so & so…blah~blah~blah~~ …SUPER ANNOYING.

    i replied over one of their many textes…saying: im really not interested. she could save up on her load, by not bothering me anymore…and guess what~ SHE BOTHERED ME MORE! by saying, i let her try it, i will be satisfied…etc…and that she’s just doing a good thing by offering me free services..(made me think: “doing what good thing”?, by constantly bothering?) why did i have to be rude to her…. i think she deserves rudeness with all the annoyances she’s been doing.

    Jul 1, 2011 | 4:35 pm

  137. Mimi says:

    To my great dismay, our kababayans are making themselves heard here as well. I get calls on our landline (which I already terminated) and handphone from salespersons selling insurance, credit cards and memberships. When I hear their voice I just know they are Pinoy from the accent, so I ask, “Pinoy ka ba?” to which they do say, “Yes, ma’am.” My dialogue is “wala akong budget.” And they seem to understand my meaning and say good-bye.

    Jul 3, 2011 | 9:57 am

  138. Cai says:

    I hate sales attendants that follow you like your own shadow so I don’t go to The Body Shop and Beauty Bar unless I really have to!!

    Jul 15, 2011 | 8:36 pm

  139. Cai says:

    Oh, and I agree that our Duty Free is like a public market..pangit na bakya pa!

    Jul 15, 2011 | 8:39 pm


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