Someone stopped me in the street the other day, asking for directions to Ponsonby Road. I pointed out the general direction, showed him the way on my smartphone, and he thanked me. So far so good.
"Oh, by the way", he then said, "I have a restaurant - have you heard of <insert restaurant name>?"
"Umm", I replied, humouring him, "well, I know there's one in Mission Bay."
He pulled out a little card, labelled "VIP card", with a 25% discount offer printed on the back, and proceeded to write my name and the date on it, then signed it. Well, that's nice, I thought. What a clever way of making me take his advertising, which I never would have done otherwise.
Then it got a bit weird. "Can I have your number for our restaurant records?", he asked. Not wanting to risk offence, I gave it to him, though I secretly thought it was intruding on my privacy. Perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised when I later received two text messages, one letting me know he found the place he was looking for, the next inviting me again to his restaurant.
He might have had a clever marketing tactic to begin with, but his forwardness has all but ensured I will not be visiting.