I keep falling for this
Retail real estate is what I call that precious square of space in front of a shelf or rack of goods, the spot where you stand so you can get the best view of whatever it is you're thinking about buying.
No one ever wants to give up that space 'cause then you can't sift through what you need as easily. You have to strain your neck or wait for other folks to get out of your way.
Anyway, I have gotten into the bad habit lately of giving up that territory way too easily.
It started innocently enough. Someone walks up and stands conspicuously close to you, so you assume they want to pass you in a narrow aisle. So you step aside to make room, and in the good old days they'd walk by. Or - also in the good old days - they'd approach, see you were looking at something they wanted, and they'd walk back the way they came and browse something else on another aisle until you were done.
Well, lately I've noticed that when I step out of the way to let people pass, they're not passing. Instead they're stepping into the prime spot that I only vacated 'cause I thought they wanted to pass by.
The first time it happened, my jaw dropped, but I let it slide 'cause I figured the person just misinterpreted my gesture to mean I was getting out of their way.
But then it happened over and over and over. There is only one common denominator: the people I'm moving for are senior citizens.
It could be coincidence. But I think subconsciously I'm intimidated by their age. Who wants to stand in the way of someone who looks like their grandmother or -father? So I move, hoping that they'll walk on by and won't take advantage of my kindness. But lately they do...take advantage.
It happened again over the weekend. I was at a store, browsing. An old guy came up and crowded me like we were old friends or more. I took the hint stepped to one side, away from the item I was studying and he jumped right into my space without so much as a blink.
When I grow another set - since I apparently lost my first set in a department store some months back - I'm gonna either start ignoring the prime retail real estate thieves and just deal with them crowding me, or I'm gonna acknowledge them but tell them they're too close, or if I move and they jump in I'm gonna call 'em out and politely explain that I wasn't done browsing. I only moved 'cause I thought they wanted to get by.
We'll see how that works out.