Department store asks employees to give sales pitch in class

Department store asks employees to give sales pitch in class

A constant and recurring stressor in my life is figuring out where to spend all of my money. Sure, the Internet offers a plethora of advertisements that can guide me to places to enter my debit card number.

But what about when I’m not surfing the web? What about when I’m in class?

If only there were some way that corporations could reach out to me when I’m trying to learn about intercultural communications.

That would be so convenient.

What I want more than anything is to be besieged by department store flyers when I walk into the classroom. Then I want a salesperson operating under the guise of a student to request a few minutes of the class’s time, give a spiel on the department store they work for, and then take a picture of the class holding up their flyers to prove to their bosses that they successfully educated the class on which stellar sales to look forward to next week.

I understand that students don’t always have a wide variety of choices when it comes to jobs, but I really don’t appreciate lecture time that I paid for to be taken up — even for a few minutes — so that someone can inform me of the steep discounts I should be taking advantage of. Really, I wasn’t short of shopping options in the first place.

I’m forced to listen to sales pitches everywhere else in my life. We all are. I don’t want it in the classroom.

Quite frankly, Macy’s, I know you exist. I know you appreciate student business. If I need a pair of open-toed disasters from last season, I’ll pay you a visit. Don’t beg for business while I’m trying to focus on my education.

Even if that flyer has some sort of value attached to it, like a discount card or an offer for a free membership, I am not interested.

It may not seem like a big deal to have five minutes of class time taken up to give a student the platform to pitch a sale, but it is.

It is not right that students who pay to be in class and who are already exposed to literally thousands of advertisements every single day to be cornered in the one place we should be able to escape corporate persuasion. It’s exhausting enough to never get a break from these things. Class time is not the time or place to throw coupons at us.

Even worse, don’t try to get your classmates involved in your classroom campaign. Don’t try to sign us up for a mailing list and don’t ask to take a picture of the class holding discount cards because its part of your mall job. It’s a totally inappropriate use of class time.

When I’m walking to class, I am usually planning out the rest of my day. When I walk out of the union and into the quad, I already get enough random people shoving newsletters and coupons in my face.

They promote their causes to me as I try to walk through them. They give me little booklets of animal pictures above lists of reasons why I shouldn’t eat them. It throws me off track. So please, when I finally arrive to the classroom, let me learn in peace.

The frustration that comes from being unable to escape salespeople even in class impairs my ability to focus.

That’s not to say that fellow students are the only force of consumerism in the classroom. Lectures need to be reserved for their academic purpose. Many professors use video content from Internet sources during class. Most of the time, those videos require the viewing of full commercials. This is not the fault of the instructors, but do we have to make the problem worse?

Students shouldn’t be force-fed commercial content everywhere we go.

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Twitter: @andrewmanzella