It seemed as if every volunteer for Greenpeace was out today and mulling around Chinatown. I couldn't take five steps without bumping into some gung-ho tree-hugger who wanted to convert me to The Gospel According to Albert Arnold Gore Junior.
I can usually give someone a few minutes of my time to listen to their spiel, but I was at lunch and a bit pressed for time.
It was plenty obvious enough that I was in a hurry. I had my hurry face on and wasn't making any eye contact with people. (No-eye-contact is universal body language for "leave me the !% alone".) Besides, I looked like I just stepped out of an RNC poster (or a goodfellas movie). What hippie in their right mind would think, just by looking at me, that I would care about saving the environment?
Still, volunteers ... especially ones who believe ... are a tenacious group. The first one asked for a second of my time and a second is what I gave her. I stopped, politely told her that I was running late returning from lunch, and that I didn't have time today. And then I walked on.
I stopped for the second person and told her the same thing I told the first person.
The third bloke still got the polite "!% off" but he didn't get me to stop. I repeated that for the next two volunteers.
By the time I passed the last one, I was beyond irritated. "Excuse me, sir. Can I have thirty seconds of your time?" she asked. "I can't today," I replied without stopping or looking up. "Well, maybe I can walk wi...," she started. At this newest tactic I turned and looked at her with smoldering eyes. "I'm sorry, but I just don't have the time right now," I interrupted. "You people are literally three feet apart from each other. How could you not see that I've said no to every other one of you on this block?!" is what I wanted to yell at her. But I guess I'm a nice guy at heart.
Serves me right.