You know us: those annoying students blocking the door of your faculty and almost forcing an Observant into your hands. Sorry about that, but most people just don´t seem to know the Observant well enough to let the matter go around on its own.
If you don´t want a newspaper, then don´t take it; it´s as simple as that. We can recognise the look on your face that says you´re too reluctant to not accept the newspaper, but then again we also see you throwing it away ten meters further. Don´t worry, it´s not rude to say no. As long as you know the Observant exists, and that it´s there for you if you want it, we are not offended or sad if you say no.
But we are the happiest when you smile, even if you say no, or, “got it already.” Please don´t ignore us by looking at the ground and quickly passing us as if we aren´t there at all. We might get paid to do the job, but we still try to make the best out of it – passing around compliments, having the biggest smile ever, doing little jumps – we have to find ways to get your attention exactly because you try so hard to look uninterested. If you would all be nice and smiley, we would probably be a lot less pushy in asking you to want that newspaper. Whatever you do, you would just get a smile back and a “have a nice day” – which we try to do anyways.
When the shift is over and my feet hurt from standing in the same position without moving much, I can´t even say the words ´university newspaper´ anymore. After having said the same sentence for probably over a hundred times in two hours, I feel like it has become a tongue breaker. It really is quite hard to always have an answer ready, in Dutch or in English, on all kinds of reactions. Whatever you say needs to prompt a quick reply. You see, I sometimes get confused and you get a “Thank you” for a “Thank you” instead of the “You´re welcome.” But you know, we all have to practise this. Not every one´s a natural in instant witty responses.
A fun bonus task is the dealing with tourists, lost students, hopeless students, and funny professors. After all, you are just a bunch of strangers I try to make a connection with in a matter of seconds. A look in the eye, a friendly gesture. Whether you accept our precious gift – the Observant – or not, that´s not even the main point. It´s about how you approach us.