Sunday, January 6, 2008

Any Idea?

Several times over the past few months I've been approached while in stores (Circuit City and some department stores) by guys who strike up a conversation and it's always a similar experience. They'll be near me in the store and turn and ask me a question. The first few times I thought it was just regular conversation: if I'm wearing a Virginia Tech sweatshirt back in May, it's not unreasonable that someone might ask if I went there. Other times, though, it became clear that this was just a way to get their foot in the door, as when questions were along the lines of "That's a nice shirt, is it a large?"

The guys all seemed to fit a mold of 20-30 years old, self-employed (or in one case, a college student majoring in business), and non-threatening-but-personable. At least two were married and shopping with their wives. After a few minutes of conversation, they'd invariable ask if I needed a part-time job. I always told them that as a first-year law student I wasn't allowed to have an outside job, and the conversation would end politely with them wishing me luck in my studies.

I have no idea what this was about. It had never happened to me before yet over the summer it happened maybe every two weeks or so. Has some get-rich-quick program recently come out? Is this some recruitment scheme for a religion? They weren't super-nice like Mormons, slightly-angry like Jehovah's Witnesses, or creepy like Scientologists, and none of them tried to give me anything to read, or even a business card.

It's possible that this was just a series of random occurrences or that something in the way I dress or act has changed recently (I got asked if I needed a job at Jos. A Banks and a local bar, too), although I've been dressed in different ways and have always been minding my own business, looking at neckties or albums when approached. As it is, I'm baffled.

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