September 21, 2004

I'm irritated with the "flyer people". They stand by the road, stick out their hands as if in an attempt to hand you something actually worthwhile and sometimes, try to use the flyer so they can garner your attention for those few minutes. Today in school there was some campaigning for Student Body Elections where people in green, red and purple would clog up the entire entrance of the campus centre in a desperate attempt to give their sales pitch to you. This is not limited to Australia though, it happens all over the world I gather. Back home in Singapore, too often have I come face to face with "flyer people". They stick the paper into your face and expect you to actually be interested. Sheesh. As such, I have come up with four ways in which to avoid these pests.

1. Try to have something stuck in your ear.

When you seem preoccupied with your music and look like you can barely spare the time to listen to their nonsense, it's quite unlikely that they'll walk over to bother you. That's definitely the case for Singaporean "flyer people" since they're so timid and easily frightened. In Australia, however, having something in your ear does not hinder them as they will attempt to catch your attention anyhow.

2. Plot your path and tread carefully.

Do not allow yourself to be caught out by the "flyer people". Often, they have a strategy where they clog up choke points and attempt to position themselves tactically where they can continue to bug you even after you get past the first person. When you approach a "flyer-infested place", do remember that the back door and the road less travelled is often the better one. Try to plot your path so you will meet with either none or the minimal number of these pests.

3. Do NOT smile at them.

Often, we feel like life is good and we just want to go out there and smile at everyone. Well, wrong choice buster. To these "flyer pests", a smile is inviting. A smile means "I want to know more". A smile can mean 10 minutes of your time wasted on nonsense. Do NOT smile at these people. Preferably, offer them a scowl and walk on your way. The scowl will often inform them of your intention not to stop for any gibberish on your way.

4. Most importantly, DO NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT.

I cannot stress this enough. Making eye contact with "flyer people" is fatal. It signals intent and draws them to you like bees to honey. Look straight ahead and focus on the road ahead, or pretend you are heavily involved in some other activity. Pretend that their existence is marginalised and you will find that you will walk on rather undisturbed.

Somehow, I've managed to combine all these four steps into a magic formula for staving off these pests. Now, for those of you who've worked as a "flyer pest" before, please do not be offended. I'm sure there have been times when you have been irritated by these individuals and just wish there was some way to ward them off. Well, here it is. Enjoy.

Traveller fell apart at 4:32 PM

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