I was in the bookstore when a young lady approached me and introduced herself. I thought she was from the bookstore and was conducting a survey.
Nope, she was from UNICEF. Was I familiar with the organization, she asks? Yes, I replied. What was left unsaid was that I was not a fan of UNICEF’s methods. Why would I help people in Africa when people in my backyard also need helping?
Anyway, she went on for about 2 minutes about UNICEF. At that instant I was still willing to give her my time, and listen to what she had to say. At that instant I was still open to entertaining her. And then she asked for my name.
I don’t know why I reacted the way I did. But a door immediately closed in my brain. I value my privacy and I am still from a culture that does not encourage too much familiarity with strangers. I am very stingy with my personal information.
She repeated her question; May I know your name ma’am? all the time extending her hand. No you may not, I told her. Then added – I would rather not have this conversation with you. While smiling of course.
She was obviously not prepared for my reply. She was flustered for a bit, a few seconds and then… and then she continued on with her spiel as if I she hadn’t heard me. I interrupted her. I told her, I’m sorry I am not interested in what you have to say. And turned my back. That stopped her.
That’s one reply they should put in their response manual for the other agents to familiarize with. They never know when they’ll encounter an ornery person like me.
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