Be Willing to Talk

– Author –


Last week, a couple of friends and I went to a department store in St. Cloud around 8pm. The store was mostly empty of customers at this time so it was easy to notice a woman following us around. I didn’t notice it at first, until one of my friends said, 

“Dude, check this – that lady has been following us around for the past ten minutes now.” 

We decided to see if she was actually following us around, so we started walking to random aisle sections every three minutes. No matter where we went, she always seemed to be behind us, pretending to casually shift through racked clothes that obviously did not need any fixing. 

We usually ignore these kinds of things, but then, I remembered our discussion when Unite cloud came to my college class  – they talked about communicating and just being willing to talk. So, we went up to the woman following us and I asked her why she was following us around. 

At first, she denied it and acted like she didn’t even notice we were there. Knowing this was going to get us nowhere, I took a different approach. Instead of talking about why she was following us around, I asked her if she could help me find shoes that fit me. She agreed and as we went through different types of shoes, I asked her where she got hers because they looked good on her and complimented her jeans. From there on we started talking about other stuff and in the end, she finally started smiling at us and thanked us for coming by even though I did not buy the shoes. 

As we were about to leave, she called after us and apologized for following us around. 

That was the first time I have confronted someone about following me around in a store, and the first time someone has apologized for it. It gave me a good feeling. A sense of accomplishment.

Abdirizak is a student at St. Cloud State University.