I went out today and got a haircut.
I don’t usually leave work for personal appointments, but we have a big donor dinner on Thursday and this was the only time I could fit in a haircut before the event.
It’s important that your hair looks nice when you’re talking to people with money.
I don’t know why I always schedule my appointments before or after normal work hours. After all, I’m in charge and I’m not chained to my desk.
I could leave anytime I liked and no one would say boo.
My predecessor used to leave in the middle of the day for two or three hours at a time. He’d go to the gym, out to lunch. God knows what he was doing.
And he didn’t own a cell phone.
But I feel like I need to be around. It’s not in my work ethic to take off for multi-hour breaks in the middle of the day.
So it felt strange being out when I should have been in the office, like I was playing hooky from school.
Apart from guilt, I also discovered another good reason to stay at work: People who are out running errands in the middle of the workday are weird.
It started with my haircut.
Normally I go at 5 pm or later, and the salon is practically deserted other than my hairdresser and maybe one other stylist.
In fact, it’s so quiet that I’ve often wondered how they stayed in business.
At noon the place was hopping. And the other stylists are kind of crazy.
One was wearing skin tight black leggings that ended halfway up (down?) her calf, ankle high hot pink suede boots and a hot pink sweater covered in sparkly things.
At least her pink’s matched.
Another had so many tattoos that you couldn’t tell where her shirt sleeve ended and her arm began.
The customer’s were strange too. They’d come in and sneak upstairs looking guilty. Then they’d come back down ten minutes later, all flushed.
I was starting to think that the salon is called “Fetish” for a reason, until my hairdresser told me that there were tanning beds upstairs.
But still, the fact that people still use tanning beds is weird.
Since I was out, I decided that I’d pick up a few things for the donor celebration after getting my haircut.
My first stop was Home Depot and the people there were the sanest of any I experienced all day.
I think it’s because they were mostly contractors, so being at Home Depot was kind of like being in the office for them.
While I was searching for L brackets, an announcement came over the PA asking all employees that were not busy to go out to the parking lot and retrieve shopping carts.
When I left, there were eight or ten orange shirted associates walking carts back to the store. It looked like a cart parade.
I wonder if the response would have been as good if it had been raining.
Next I went to the Dollar Store for picture frames. That’s when I started noticing the crazies.
One woman and her pre-school age daughter stood in an aisle and debated the pros and cons of each $1 puzzle. One had 100 pieces and another only had fifty. Who was the better Disney princess, Ariel or Belle?
Once they selected their puzzle (I say “their” puzzle because the mother seemed more excited by fitting one hundred pieces together to reveal a picture of Jasmine from Aladdin than the daughter did) they moved on to a long deliberation on chalk vs. crayons.
They were ahead of me in the line. They picked the chalk. Personally, I would have gone with the crayons.
Then I ran over to Walmart to pick up the pictures I had ordered.
Our local Walmart always has a few nuts hanging around. Usually they work there.
There’s one old guy who is either greeting people when they enter or sits by the door saying good bye when people leave.
No matter which job he has, he always yells so loud that you can hear him practically all over the store.
But he wasn’t working today.
Today’s greeter was young girl. She was wearing boots, wool pants, a fur jacket and a hat. She was only just inside the doors which might have explained all the clothes, but it was over seventy degrees outside today.
I was hot just looking at her.
And the good bye person (What’s the opposite of a greeter?) stood so far back against the wall that I didn’t see her until she kind of jumped out and said in a rush “ThankyouforshoppingatWalmart.”
She almost gave me a heart attack.
Most of the people out shopping in the middle of a week day are old, really old. Surprising them like that probably isn’t a good idea.
When I first walked into the store, there was a display of wind chimes.
I don’t have anything against wind chimes. They can be quite pretty.
These were not. They were pink and lavender and had unicorns and rainbows on them. They looked like they belonged in the bedroom of a thirteen year old girl in 1984.
A woman stood beside the display, gazing at it like those wind chimes were the most beautiful things she had ever seen.
She’d touch one than another.
She had a little girl in her cart who was trying to point out the giant Easter basket display right next to the wind chimes.
She’s say “Look at that one, mommy. It’s got a stuffed bunny in it. And that one’s got a toy car.”
The mother wasn’t listening at all. She just stared at those wind chimes like they were the gateway to some magical place she wanted to visit.
Or she was high.
After Walmart I gave up and went back to work.
YI’ll stick to running errands on the weekends from now on. Like the normal people.