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It was nice outside and I decided to walk home from a very successful Barnes & Noble trip. On the way, I was approached by a man who asked me for directions to the local grocery store. He proceeded to tell me he was from California and asked if I recognized him from his acting days on a hit TV show in the 80s. I had no clue who he was.

He began to walk with me down the street. Now, I felt very safe because it was the middle of the day in a populated area with police in eyeball range and the grocery store was before I got to my apartment. But that’s not to say I wasn’t a little wary.

The man said he loved my voice and that he now worked for a major media company in voice acting. He pulled out his wallet to flash business cards with the logo of the company on it. He kept saying he was legitimate (RED FLAG) and that he would make a call to prove it (RED FLAG). He also mentioned that I would have to pay for voice tapes and that would be an upfront cost (GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE FLAG). He was in a hurry and needed a yes or no immediately. I said I would love to take his business card and get back to him at a later date; I didn’t have the money right now. The man looked slightly upset and said it was a no go then.

We parted and I looked over my shoulder to make sure he wasn’t following me. I also got on my cell phone to call my dad.

Take away lesson: It really goes against my upbringing and nature to just ignore or be brisk with people, but I need to learn. I need to learn to say a firm ‘No’ or ‘I’m sorry I don’t have the time.’ If you’re visiting New York and get a brisk brush off from someone when asking for directions, don’t get upset. It’s only because we’ve all been approached one too many times.