Unless you enjoy having 20 different fliers simultaneously thrust into your unenthusiastic but polite hands, avoid Upper Sproul Plaza.
OK, OK. We know you can’t actually avoid Sproul. Hence the flier-avoiding tactics. On any given day, there are the avid eye-contact-avoiders, the earbud “I can’t hear you therefore I can’t see you” enthusiasts, the apologizers and the outright refusers who don’t want to give false hope.
But everyone on campus can sympathize with these flier-avoiders. What about the people who are handing them out in the first place? Anyone involved in a club on campus is required to hand out fliers or table at some point in time, and let’s face it — it’s not an easy job. People duck, dodge and magnificently cha-cha their way out of your line of vision like you’ve got the plague.
Yes, 99 percent of the time we really don’t want your fliers. But we’re going to help you anyway, so here’s a step-by-step guide to help you successfully flier on Sproul:
Step 1: Mark your territory.
Think real estate: Location matters. Where you stand dictates traffic and how many people you are able to reach. Prime spots include anywhere near Sather Gate and the entrance to Sproul because most students have to go through them to get to class.
Step 2: Know thy enemy.
All those other people near you handing out fliers? They’re not your comrades. They’re your competition. Make sure to put them in their place by occasionally growling at them whenever they get too close to your territory. There are no friends in flier-ing.
Step 3: Target your prey.
You must master the art of making split decisions. Who is the most likely to take a flier? If they’re walking alone and accidentally make eye contact, they become the chosen ones. Big groups of people (distracted by conversation) and that guy who’s practically running to class? Let ’em go.
Step 4: Get their attention.
The hardest part of the job is to get people interested enough to stop and take a flier, so big gestures and sympathy forcers are musts. Favorites include: complimenting people, doing the worm, performing magic tricks that end with a flier coming from behind unsuspecting ears, dancing really poorly so people feel sorry for you, bringing out your inner Eliza Doolittle by adopting a Cockney accent, keeping seeds/food in your pockets so numerous squirrels come to you and make you look like a squirrel whisperer and/or forcing people to duet “Love is an Open Door” from “Frozen” with you.
Step 5: Try to get their attention again.
OK, so maybe your go-to tactics didn’t work. But you’ve got more up tricks up your creative little sleeves. Try an attention-grabber like saying, “Hey, you dropped something.” Then follow up with “this flier” while smoothly slipping the flier into their unaware yet mind-blown hands. People looking down to the ground to avoid your gaze? Keep staring intently at them until they are uncomfortable and feel that taking your flier is their only escape.
Step 6: Befriend them if you must.
Is someone listening to music and can’t hear you despite your desperate pleas? Bob your head up and down as if you can hear his music, and tell him how much you love this song. He will feel an unbreakable connection with you and will most likely take your flier because you two are now best friends.
Step 7: Know when to back off.
Someone apologetically saying, “No, thank you?” Let her go because she is polite, and you understand that she is uninterested at the moment. Don’t feel defeated, and remember, there’s always the next person.