Loose ends

Dec. 4th, 2003 03:43 pm
superdaintykate: (Default)
Just got back from my former place of employment...my accrued vacation hours were processed over the weekend and I got a payout in cash for them.

In tens.

I actually had a stack of money with a belly band on it. I felt like Scrooge McDuck.

In other news, Lee got the Visual position. He's not sure if he's happy about that or not. He's lucky, though, that English isn't his first language, so when management starts harping on him he can just nod and then go ahead and do whatever the hell he wants and blame it on the language barrier.

Everyone who stopped by to say hi while I was waiting at the office said I looked rested and relaxed.

The store was busy as all hell. I was glad to stroll out with my wad of cash into the seventy-five-degree afternoon and head home.
superdaintykate: (Default)
Well, I am now officially unemployed.

This evening was so weird...trying to get things done yet knowing I wouldn't be around to see them completed. Labelling EVERYTHING.

My friends Rachel and Corney brought a little dinner for me: a big casserole of enchiladas, arroz, and a strawberry cake for everyone to share.

I have a stack of Good Luck cards from people, and a big chocolate bar from my friend Jessica.

My boss invited me to have dinner with the leadership team (they were having pizza and wings in the conference room) and I was able to tell her, sorry, the team prepared a dinner for me.

At the end of the night (get this: she came in at seven this morning and didn't leave until after eleven), she got on the intercom and announced that tonight was my last night and reminded everyone to thank me for all my hard work.

A few minutes later one of the managers got on and said the same thing, basically, but thanked me personally, and got cheers and "we love you, Kate!"s from across the store. I was choked up hardcore.

From inside one of my cards: "You did the right thing."

Hey, everybody, in honor of my leaving the field, have a little pity on Black Friday and don't go shoppping...or if you must, don't be one of the maniacs who hit the stores at six a.m., okay? The retail machine begins and ends with you.

And...have a great Thanksgiving, everyone.
superdaintykate: (Default)
Now, in theory, I like my job. I like the job I would be able to do without bullshit. My position with the company is "Visual Merchandising Specialist". Theoretically this means I am responsible for the merchandising of the store. Theoretically I am supposed to be able to go from department to department and give them ideas on how to better present their merchandise. Theoretically I am supposed to be able to train team members to have a critical merchant's eye, to display their product appealingly.

This, of course, is the aspect of my job I don't have time for.
Read more... )
superdaintykate: (Default)
This morning a freak weather system left us blanketed in thick fog that stayed well into the day, not burning off until eleven-thirty.

As it was so strange and beautiful, I decided to take my break outside, and took a seat on the edge of a concrete planter with my cheese-and-peanut-butter sammich crackers and a Coke.

On opening the packet of crackers I promptly dropped one, and picked it up and set it in the planter for the birds to eat.

I ate my remaining crackers, and drank my Coke, and sat, feeling the chill breeze across my cheek. I heard a rustle in the planter next to me.

I looked over to find two tiny soft grey trembling mice, peeking out from under leaves, looking up at me with bright eyes, as if to say "you gonna eat that?" I cooed at them and they scampered away quickly, but I knew they'd be back. I picked up the cracker, broke it into smaller pieces, and tossed it closer to the brush.

Soon one of the mice came back. He picked up the largest piece in his little grey jaws and zig-zagged under the leaves back to his burrow, like a tiny retriever.

More momentous things happened at work, things I had been thinking about for a long time, but I'll wait to write about it until I can give it the attention it deserves. It's that big.
superdaintykate: (Default)
I am SOO SLEEPY right now but I know if I don't update about this weekend I will never get around to it, so here goes.

I worked a ten-hour day on Wednesday. We're undergoing a remodel at my store and the storage containers that held all or our new fixturing and whatnot had to be cleaned out completely by Friday so they could be hauled away, so I spent much of Wednesday afternoon opening and emptying crates of plexiglas props. And I mean BIG crates, like four feet square by three feet deep, filled with risers to hold shoes and platters, signholders of every size from 11x3 to 44x7, and so on. Do me a favor and next time you're in a department store, look at everything that's made of clear plastic. More than likely there's only one person in charge of storing and ordering all of that crap, and they have my job. Pity them.

The job was made extra difficult by the fact that Christmas sets up in the stores this week, and so my shop, which is normally packed to the gills with props and signs, was extra-full of all the new graphics that will install this week. I wanted to leave it all in the shipping cartons on the pallet on the dock, but I had to check all of it in so I could order replacements for missing and damaged items...so there I was, tiptoeing around these precious Xmas graphics with my arms full of heavy plexi.

Then I left work and ran around a little, picking up those last few costume pieces (god bless you, Adventure Apparel, for having cuban-heel stockings in my size), and came home and packed. I was surprised that the packing process went so well. Usually I make out a list days in advance, and if I don't, I panic that I will forget things and as a result end up leaving my underwear home or something equally brilliant. But this time it went pretty smoothly, maybe because I was exhausted. I piled all the costume components on the couch first, and then all the regular clothes, and then I packed my makeup and toiletries, and then I loaded everything into my suitcase, and right hand to god, I still had room so I was able to put everything in my new, smaller, sexier suitcase. And I was still wired, and it was past eleven pee em, and I actually considered just staying up and checking my email and whatnot, and I'm glad I didn't, because once I went to bed I fell asleep right on the magazine I was reading.

Thursday )

Friday )

Saturday )

Sunday )
superdaintykate: (Default)
I came home from inventory at a quarter after three this morning, to find a note on our door. The note was an ordinary sheet of paper, folded in half and taped onto the door, with our apt. number written on the outside, so it looked like a note left by the apartment complex management. I took it down and read it before I came inside.

The typewritten note reads:

Attn resident in (our apt number, handwritten in an underlined blank)

This letter is to make you aware that you are one hot honey-bettie, and that you're kickin' on every level.

Beginning immediately, your apartment is being acknowledged as being the apartment with the finest dame in the complex living therein. It's true, you're goddamned gorgeous, and it's ridiculous for anyone to say otherwise. I mean, come on, take a good look at you, an angel must have stepped out of heaven.

Furthermore, your legs must be tired, because you've been running through my mind all night.

If you have any questions, please contact the front office.

Signed,
The OTHER resident of (our apt number)


And there were fresh chocolate-chunk cookies and bowls of chocolate pudding waiting for me inna fridge.
superdaintykate: (Default)
So today I was setting up displays in the FIne Jewelry department, and this woman came up and asked, "Can you help me?"

I replied, "I can try."

Then came a long pause. I knew this was trouble. If people are just looking for a bathroom or a certain department, they come out with the question right away. If they're looking for a certain item, the request follows a slight pause. But the Long Pause means nothing but grief: they have a Long Story to follow it, and they've probably been building up a good amount of bile about it, ta boot. I clasped my hands behind my back, and waited politely.

The woman took a deep breath. She was from out of town, and desparately needed a nail tech, of all things, and her daughter had told her to drive up the main drag in town, which happens to run past my store, to look for a salon. Apparently she hadn't given any more specific directions than that, so I imagine her daughter felt pretty much the same way I was beginning to about her mom. She came into my store to find another NailWhore, I guess. I told her I had no idea where she could go, I don't have my nails done, and this spurred her into a deeper tirade about what exactly she needed to have done on her nails. And just as I was zoning out, fascinated by the woman's fingers, featuring the ugliest nails I've ever seen -- those awful pink-and-white ones that are so thick and heavily shellacked they look like they were stolen off a corpse -- and her slightly morbid makeup -- all dark browns and muddy greys, on a pale, fat face, topped with a small auburn bouffant -- she broke my reverie with the kicker "And not L.A. Nails. I don't want one of those Orientals working on my nails." And she lifted her chin.

Had I had the power to speak, I'm sure something akin to "what the HOLY FUCK, you ignorant asshole?" would have come out of my mouth. As it was I could only stand there for a moment, my mouth open slightly, eyebrows shot clear up into my hairline. Luckily a co-worker had overheard and saw me turning a rather nasty shade of red -- the kind of color that comes up right before I'm at my rudest -- and swept into the conversation with a suggestion for an upscale (read: "not brown or yella") salon a few blocks away.

Man, I am still completely agog. "Orientals"? Man.
superdaintykate: (Default)
I thought I'd update a little since I haven't really written since Thanksgiving.

I got thrown a little bit of a curveball in the health department, almost immediately after my last post. Serves me right for attracting the Evil Eye, I suppose. A few weeks before Thanksgiving, I started to feel weird. A little nauseous, maybe. Lightheaded. Weird. I waited for a cold or something else to kick in, but that's all it was. Then it got more frequent. A little more intense. I didn't really notice it much, since I was so swamped at work; I figured I was just stressed and that's why I wasn't feeling quite right. Then I started feeling dizzy. I would lie down when I went to bed and the room would actually spin.

sorry, Washu. )
superdaintykate: (Default)
Today I worked for several hours in the Fine Jewelry department of my store. While I was showing a tray of toe rings to a guest, a young, gangly redhead rushed up and exclaimed in a drawly accent, "Oh! Are you interested in that ladybug toe ring?"

She sounded like it was something that should be in the Vatican. She also sounded like if she had any designs on said toe ring, the lady had better change her mind or there was going to be a throwdown. The woman I was helping was nonplused at best, but recovered enough to tell her, no, the ladybug was not her style.

The redhead's hand shot out toward the tray of rings, to be blocked by mine. "I'm sorry," I explained, "I can only help one guest at a time with a jewelry purchase. I'll be right with you."

She was taken aback, and once she shut her mouth, she stood directly behind the woman, frowning slightly, with her arms folded across her chest.

The woman decided to come back later, and I turned to the redhead and told her, "Okay, now I can give you my full attention. You wanted to see the ladybug toe ring, right?" And I took it out for her.

Her demeanor had changed completely. She took the ring from me, coolly, and turned it over.

"Oh, I don't know?" she drawled, with that upward intonation that drives me nuts. "I mean, it's going to be how much?"

Fifty bucks, on sale at sixty percent off. Twenty bucks.

"Uh huh, see look at that, that's shoddy workmanship? I mean, for that kind of money?"

She's dissing the ladybug toe ring?

"Yeah, uh huh, for that kind of money, see that little piece of gold? The one I saw at another store was made, was made weller than this? Thanks."

She handed the ring back with a little knowing smile.

Lordy, it's Faberge egg season again.
superdaintykate: (Default)
Now I am officially six hours into my vacation.

Predictably work was hell, of cuss. I was all organized and efficient and setting everything up neatly for my backup person (yay, Lee!), and then I went to lunch.

I came back to discover that the manager of the Kids' Department had decided to tear down a wall. Without telling me.

Now, had I not noticed this, they would have gone two weeks with a lovely blue lenticular wavy "Swim" graphic over a wall full of Dragonball Backpacks. It may not seem like a big deal, but hey, that's my jarb...keeping company bigwigs from freaking over graphic discrepancies.

I got back from lunch at 12:30. I was due to leave the store at four, and I still had to type up two weeks' worth of directions, walk Lee through them, and set the hardware for the next two-three weeks of ads. And these assholes were thinking I was going to anticipate their needs AND take care of their wall. Thanks, guys.

For the record the departments are supposed to contact me in advance of any changes and schedule stuff like this. Har.

I waited and kept doing my thing. The call finally came at two. "You're going to hate me, but...." Nice one, guys. Don't think I wasn't mean to them, because I was. Dorks.

Luckily I finished my walkthrough with Lee early and was able to squeeze out a wall for them before I left. But the extra ladder work made my feets extra-hurty. SO to celebrate the first evening of my vacation I think I will indulge in some painkillers, some Sun Peak Peach, and an ice pack.

Eff you, retail.

But now I am on VACATION! HOORAY!

And, in other news...I know they won't read this because they are on their honeymoon and NO WAY they're going to read back this far when they get back, but congrats to Scrow and Ka-tie, the lugs.
superdaintykate: (Default)
When I was leaving work yesterday I noticed the vanity plate on the car parked closest to the door. Gold sparkly background, with the Superman "S" in raised red, to the left side of the plate. In raised red letters to the right of the plate read:
Super Lunch Lady
and Sloppy Joe

And around the vanity plate was a vanity plate frame that read:
"Bam! Wham! Pow!"
across the top, and
"Take THAT, Mystery Meat!"
on the bottom.

Weird people shop at my store, is what I'm saying.
superdaintykate: (Default)
For the next month and a half I'm working on a large project at the store that requires me to have a helper. I couldn't think of who to pick for the job so my boss picked him for me: his name is Lee and he moved here from China twenty years ago. I had my reservations about him, and told my boss.

"I can't understand a thing he says."
"Neither can the rest of us," she replied. We'll go ahead and use him and celebrate our diversity."

Turns out not only was he the perfect person for the job, he's also a real hoot. To wit:

The first day on the project we were working together and listening to the news on the radio. The topic of the War on Terror came up. Lee looked thoughtful.

"We haven't found Osama yet?"

I told him no, we hadn't.

"I wonder where he hiding?"

I said that was, indeed, the question of the hour.

He considered. "Maybe China."

Possible...lots of space in China.

"I go to China and find him. I kung-fu on him."

Hear that, you lousy terrorist bastards? Lee's coming for you. You better run.
superdaintykate: (Default)
The alarms at the front door of my store were going off today when I was in the area, so I wandered over to check it out.

The sensors were being triggered by a mother trying to angle a store stroller out the door. Apparently she was ignoring the large (three inch diameter), obvious (bright white on dark blue) security tag on said stroller.

"It's most likely the stroller," I said, as I approached.

She looked up, flustered. "You mean, I can't take the stroller out of the store?"

"Well, no."

Her frustration was complete. "Well, how am I supposed to get outside? Do you have a carry-out service?" At this point she gestured to her baggage, which included one small bag of merchandise (i.e., a shirt), a four-year-old boy, a two-to-three-year-old girl, and a toddler in the stroller.

My first response, of course, is the one I can never volunteer at work, which was something along the lines of "Well, how did you get in?"

Second response, which I can never say at work either, was similar to "This is a quandary you might have considered before bursting forth quite so much fruit from your loins."

Third response? "Did you buy the kids here?" Also vetoed.

Fourth response (I always have to go through at least two before I can open my mouth, when I'm on the clock), was "I can help you, if you like."

She sighed deeply, shook her head, and began herding the midgets. She made sure to encourage the crying toddler by telling him, "I'm sorry, but we can't take the stroller outside. You're going to have to get out," and looking back at me in order to focus his wailing rage.

Nice try, lady. I don't mind being the bad guy. That's why I wear black to work.

I offered, "I'm very sorry, but if we allow the strollers outside they tend not to come back."

"That's all right," she replied. "I forgot you're in the bad part of town anyway."

I've lived in this particular part of town, or nearby, for over twenty years. So has my mom.

I suppose I have been zinged by the Breeder. But, thinking about her situation, I think I had the last laugh. Don't you?
superdaintykate: (Default)
I saw the most amazingly bad hair today at work. Not only was it Bad Hair, it was Retro Bad Hair.

This woman had the hair that all the metal-slut girls wore at my high school, or, more correctly, at the high school that also hosted my high school (we started out as some sort of Gifted and Talented program gone awry. Anyway. It seemed like they went to my high school because they were all in the Girls' Chorale with me sophmore year..because it was either choir or detention.) These are the girls that wore the HUGE sneakers, untied, with the laces knotted at the ends to keep them from slipping out of the shoes. With the tight-ass zip-around jeans, and they would zip jeans of two different colors together, so each leg would be a different color. Black concert tee, sometimes slashed into fringe. Huge hobo bag purse, which could hold an entire six-pack of beer and a super-size can of Aqua Net. Multiple thin gold chains, all with various pendants. Eyeliner, black, applied inside the rim of the eye, with a pencil whose tip they had melted with a bic lighter beforehand, to get it extra dark, and with little tips that extended past the outside of the eye in tiny wings. Almost Mi Vida Loca, but white trash and stoned. Got it? So, if these girls didn't have the super-lank feathered hair with the bleached ends, they had this hair, which I guess is technically a FeMullet: short on top, layered and long in the back, the bangs super-short and tightly curled under, separated by the fingers and blasted into points with Aqua Net purple. The top is tall and poufy. Feathered, laminated sides. And super-curly, crispy-permed back, shiny with hairspray.

I saw this hair on a forty-plus-year-old woman today. AND she was not a natural blonde. SO the back was blonde but the top and bangs were shit-brown. She looked like she was wearing some sort of hair-beanie.

I honestly triple-took. I couldn't believe she left the house voluntarily, or that she spent any amount of time getting it to look like that on purpose. Rodeo was last week, so no excuses there. Are the fuckin' Allman Brothers touring?
superdaintykate: (Default)
The other day at work, I heard the women in the office paging me while I was on lunch. One of the ladies in question came into the breakroom to take her lunch break, saw me, and told me what the problem was: they needed to change a sign in a signholder and couldn't figure out how to take it apart. So after lunch, I went right back to the office and changed the sign for them.

One of the office gals happened upon me as I was finishing up. She is, how you say, slightly ditzy, and started going on and on about how she was so glad I took care of it, because she couldn't figure out how to do it, and neither could the other woman working with her, and they couldn't do it together, either, and finished with "You know, it's like, how many Polacks does it take...?"

I looked up at her, slowly, from where I was tightening the last screw on the signholder, looked her in the eye as she was chattering away, and then stood up, slowly, to my full height, a good eight inches taller than she, and said, "Good thing this "polack" came back from lunch to straighten your sorry asses out, then, isn't it?" And walked back to my office.

She's been apologizing for days.
superdaintykate: (Default)
The other day I was making up a bed display when a little old lady tottered up to me and asked me for help. Now, I'm not being prejudicial when I say she was a little old lady. She had the support hose and the tan orthopedic shoes and the housedress with a cardigan over it and the walker and everything. She so could have been my busia, my mom's mom, except she wasn't rocking back and forth and hoarding laxatives. Anyway, she wanted my opinion on whether the sheets she'd selected went well with a particular comforter. After I told her I thought they looked fine, she said, "Good. One last question?"
"Yes, ma'am?"
"Where are your doilies and table scarves?"

Wha?

Aisle three, with the antimacassars, credenzas, and hottentots.

Holy cow.

And damn, was she pissed when she found out we didn't have them, too. I thought she was gonna rampage.
superdaintykate: (Default)
So, holy cow, a good coupla days happened right there.

I had to work XMas Eve, but that was okay, because then I got to come home and spend quality time with my honey.

(As an aside, my second-best Customer O'the Day story happened Xmas Eve, and I'm sorry it didn't happen to me, as the comeback opportunities are endless, really. A friend of mine, the manager of the Men's Department in my store, was out folding shirts when a customer came up and asked why we were out of a certain style of shirt. And when my friend opened his mouth to respond, the customer promptly followed up with, "And don't tell me it's because it's Christmas, because I'm a Jew and don't believe in that crap." Good for you, sir!)

So, yes, Christmas. Our tree turned out fucking awesome in major ways and I'm looking forward to trying to get pics of it. The Zero topper that Jon made really completes the whole deal. So I get a little zing of pride and joy whenever I turn the lights on. Or maybe it's bad wiring. Anyway.

Andandand, I have a whole new batch of tamales from SaraB, so there is tasty tamale goodness just waiting to be had in my freezer. B also gave me the awesomest DVD in existence right now...the Disney Classic edition about Disneyland. There's two disks, with two shows on each, and it covers the planning of Disneyland, the opening day broadcast, the tenth anniversary broadcast, and the Disneyland at Night featurette. Had B not bought it for herself I would have given it to her as well, as we are two of the biggest Disneyland marks I know. Now when I start pining for the park I can pop in my DVD and be a little bit closer to the Happiest Place on Earth. B rawks.

Xmas eve, we had some hooch and watched my copy of "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown", and then we opened our presents. I was really worried that Jon would be disappointed because I didn't have time to make him his hat, and so I bought him a bunch of clothes, which I still see as somewhat sucker gifts, even though I knew he wanted them and needed them. But it was all good as he loved everything and promptly wore all of it, so, yay us.

Jon gave me great gifts, which is no surprise as he always does :) He gave me a box of miniature glass Snoopy ornaments that are truly cute, as well as a box of kirsch chocolates, on which I plan to get tanked very soon. Also a truly luxe-looking milk bath from Origins, and he told me all about the recommendations of the sales clerk. I love bubble baths but my body doesn't, and so I often mourn my loss of tubby goodies. Jon went and made damn sure to get me tubby stuff that won't freak out my skin or whatnot, and so I look forward to a nice steamy bath soon. Perhaps kirsch chocolates will be consumed in said bath. Ex-cellent.

He also gave me the Egyptian pop cd I wanted (Yalla...Hitlist Egypt), which is beyond awesome...though I must be careful not to dance to the songs with the bummer lyrics. Here's one of the times I wish I remembered more of my Arabic and didn't have to depend on liner notes.

Also, a copy of Latcho Drom, with subtitles so I can read the lyrics to the songs. The Egyptian segment to this film kicks izass and features the Musicians of the Nile, who Jon and I actually got to see in concert a few years ago. Killer.

And...a kicken sweater that I didn't think would fit by any means but it does, and Jon's eyes lit up when I put it on, so I guess it looks good to boot. I like it when my hubby acts like I'm a sweater-girl bettie. He also gave me a cute toque with a pom on top. And a gorgeous iridescent silky scarf with sequin embroidery that he saw me swooning over at Cost Plus, so good for him for picking up the signs :)

Then I dozed on the floor wrapped up in my furry leopard throw, while he watched wrestling, and then we toddled off to bed.

Xmas day began with some serious quality time together, my goodness. And then we went over to his folks' house and ate ourselves silly and had a good time...and his dad dragged out the foto albums so I got to see nudie baby pics of Jon, so yay on that as well. His dad gave me a abso-effing-lutely beautiful heavy silver openwork filigree bangle bracelet that will go perfectly with my dance costumes. Dang.

I had to be at work the day after XMas at four in the morning, but I got to concentrate on taking down Xmas, rather than dealing with cranky customers making returns, so that wasn't bad. Then I had a nap and we went to my mom's for dinner and ate entirely too much again. We gave mom a copy of the cd Jon made me of my dad and his cronies singing in their tavern, and she seemed to like it very much. I imagine it will make her cry, as it made me cry, but I'd rather her have it than not.

Plus I got a great Xmas message from my best friend in Austin, which I got to listen to as I drifted off to sleep, which was so fab. And we got a card from PetitChou in the mail today, which features Edward Gorey art and thus fits in with our XMas theme beautifully! And then I got online today to see that all my LiveJournal friends also had awesome Xmasses. And tomorrow Jon and I will walk around and look at Xmas lights before they get taken down, and perhaps go out to dinner, and perhaps buy a PlayStation2, and then I have four whole days off inna row. Holy cow.

Really, I'm overwhelmed by all the awesomeness. I was ready to settle for just a quiet evening at home with my honey, being thankful that we hadn't been nuked off the planet. And I got that, and chocolate to boot! Rawk!
superdaintykate: (Default)
So, I'm sure you can appreciate that, working in a retail environment, I hear some pretty motherfucking stupid shit. People are just generally not at their best in an overstimulating environment like a department store, and Xmas gets everyone a little hinky. Oh, and a lot of people are straight-out, balls-to-the-wall dumb, and even they must buy socks and frying pans, so I get to experience them too. Most of this brilliance falls under the Disney header of "What Time Is the Three O'clock Parade", but every so often, a customer comes up with a real corker.

Today may have been the Mother.

A customer came up to me and asked if we carried...
*drumroll*
Faberge eggs.

I just looked at her with an incredulous half-smile. "Excuse me?"

"You know, those what do you call it," and she held her hands out about yea far from one another. "Faberge eggs."

"You mean, the ones made by the house of Faberge? Those?"

"Yeah."

"The ones handcrafted specifically for the Russian aristocracy, about a hundred years ago?"

She started to look like I was insulting her. I really wasn't, honest. I was just wondering what the hell her Auntie did to deserve such a gift.

"Well," she said, defensively, "that's what she wants."

Now, I know there are eggs still in production by the family Faberge. I also know these tend to run in the price range of several thousand dollars. I don't want to make my store sound ghetto, but just as an example, we presently have t-shirts on sale for five bucks.

I should have told her to check Macy's.
superdaintykate: (Default)
Some times, customer service is more apeshit than others.

Friday, I was on extra-super good behavior at work, as the prez of the whole freaking company was coming to visit my store, AND I was in charge of a small group of new hires out on the sales floor. Now, usually I stay as far from the sales floor as I can, as I find it very difficult to be pleasant to idiots for any length of time, but due to the special circumstances, I had to suck it up.

So there I am, wearing my best DizneyGrin, lots of eye contact, perky perky, and this guy comes up to me. He has dishwater-blonde stubble and a matching mullet. He's pretty stringy, and is wearing a white T-shirt and shorts that are so covered in ambient dust they have a terra-cotta tinge to them.

Hi, can I help you?

He sidles up to me and says yes, though he hasn't made eye contact with me yet. In fact, for a moment I'm almost sure he's gazing intently at my left tit, which is new for me at work, so I'm on the defensive.

Yes, he says...how long did it take you to get your hair that long?

I realize at this point he's looking lower than I thought, at my hair, which is caught in the waistband of the apron I wear at work to hold my tools. I tell him I haven't cut my hair in two years. He asks how long it was before that, and I show him, turning and touching a point on my back.

Wow, he says. I want to grow my hair really long and cut it off and donate it to kids with cancer.

Oh really, I say.

Yeah, he says, I used to cut it every month, you know, for the new moon magic, but I stopped.

New moon magic, you betcha.

I saw him again later as I was leaving. He yelled Get a Haircut at me across the parking lot, and then told me to have a good night with a cheery unfocused wave.

You got it, freaky dust mullet man. The child that receives the gift of your locks will truly possess New Moon Magic.

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