Major shopping centres are torture, writes Scott Sawyer.
Major shopping centres are torture, writes Scott Sawyer. Brett Wortman

No 'VIP' retail offers please, just get me out of here

HERE'S a little tip to retailers out there.

No. I do not want to be a member of your club.

Being in a major shopping centre is about as close to torture as I'll get without being in Guantanamo Bay, so the delight with which retail workers extend my visible unease is nothing short of cruel.

I can't make it any clearer.

I don't want to be there.

The hunched shoulders, gruff voice, closed-off body language.

What I'm trying to say is 'take my money, give me said item, give me my change, and do it as fast as humanly possible with as limited interaction as possible'.


I don't know you.

You don't know me.

You don't really care about my day. It's clearly not been that interesting if I'm stuck in your shop anyway, so I don't have much to wax lyrical about.

I'm highly uncomfortable doing anything that involves me reaching into my already light wallet and I speak to people, many people, every single day for a living.

I like to give the vocal chords a little rest.

I'm sure you understand all that. In fact, you wouldn't, as you have no idea what I do, but regardless.

You're not fools, you read my body language, you probably think I'm the arrogant, rude bloke.

Sorry if that's the case, but all I'm trying to do is kill off any exploration on your behalf of whether I'd like to repeat this agonising experience over and over again as a member of your hugely non-exclusive VIP club.

I would rather sip a schooner of battery acid than fork out my personal details and trigger an avalanche of spam emails urging me to burn my cash.

No doubt the 5% discount makes it all worthwhile, but I have no inclination to go through the experience.

So why do you persist with the FBI-like interrogation as to my level of eagerness to join said club?

I'm even handing you cash to reduce my time spent in-store with the whole punching in of numbers on an EFTPOS machine.

Have mercy on me!


I made this mistake once, and never again.

Idealistically I thought sure, let's get the membership card, we'll be repeat customers, it's probably worth it.

And then the baby sale bargain bonanza emails began.

I didn't even realise that many items existed, let alone existed while also being slashed to 10, 15, hell, even 20% below their market value.

Absolute madness.

Whatever happened to the days of simply walking in, grabbing your item and getting the heck out of there again?

Why can't a transaction just be that simple? Do we need to go through the circus of VIP membership just to buy a pair of jocks?

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