Thursday, January 28, 2010

Street Theatre

I was standing in line at the post office the other day and every single person in line was either talking on the phone, texting or checking their messages. The woman in front of me was actually holding her phone in such a way that I could see the text argument that she was having with her boyfriend. After I looked politely away I realized right then and there that maybe I was in the wrong business.

Instead of being a writer I should be a spy. One who works for some big industrial conglomerate that goes around initiating hostile takeovers of vulnerable companies.

If I were an industrial spy all I'd have to do to gather information would be to follow folks around as they went through their daily lives.

Case in point?

That day in the post office there was this guy on his Bluetooth broadcasting sensitive information. He had a nice strong voice and wasn't even trying to speak quietly. He did however keep telling the person on the other end that he was standing in line at the post office. But the funny thing is even though he seemed to be aware of that fact, he felt free to provide everyone in the post office with names, phone numbers, contact information, costing information, order information and other miscellaneous information that his client needed. And the information all involved big big bucks.

During the course of our wait in line, three things that this guy said and did really intrigued me.

The first thing was when he said that he didn't know if the client had heard that he would be leaving his current company and then not only listed his new salary, he listed the first and last names of the people he would be taking with him. And then said to the customer, "But the company doesn't know it yet, so keep it under your hat."

The second thing was when he said "Yeah, I'll be flying down to San Francisco on the 30th to pick up my badge and gun."

But my all time favorite thing was when he finally hung up. He was at the head of the line by then and he suddenly put his packages on the counter and walked over to the copy machine. He bent down and scooped two dimes out of the change return, tossed them a couple of times in the air and then happily put them in his pocket.

He looked up at the rest of the people in line and smiled like he'd just won the lottery.

I stood there grinning like a fool while he mailed his packages.

I really wanted to follow him out to his car and ask about the gun and the seeming inconsistency of his huge new salary and the glee over twenty cents.

But then I figured, nah, he was probably just a charming guy lying through his teeth while standing in a government facility.

And since that's never happened before, I just felt happy that I was there to witness it.

I do love a good piece of street theatre.

24 comments:

Pablo Gully said...

Probably got one of those lucrative positions acting as a bodyguard to an important badge.

Laurita said...

Or maybe there wasn't anyone on the phone (or in the ear) with him.

Good street theatre indeed. But please don't stop writing to become a spy.

Michelle said...

Oh hillarious! It happens way too often - major (or theatre) conversations while waiting in line. :P

estrella05azul said...

Well at least he didn't say how long it was since he hasn't washed his underwear (like a guy next to me once said to his friend on the bus...)

You could be a great spy! But don't leave us... :)

Karen from Mentor said...

hee hee hee Estrella, no he didn't discuss his laundry habits thank heaven for small mercies....

Karen from Mentor said...

I like the sound of Major Conversations Michelle, especially if he was talking to General Consensus and Private Liaisons....

Karen from Mentor said...

OH Laurita, I didn't even think about the whole thing being a set up. Maybe he was working someone in line. Just hoping that they'd follow him out to his car..... sheesh, I guess I dodged THAT bullet.....

I'm still going to work the change thing into a story though one day.... oh hey, wait, I guess I already did.....

Karen from Mentor said...

Anton...lol...I am not going to call you Pablo. Are you having some sort of identity crisis?

I will say that I did like the new eye patch you drew with marker on your avatar. Verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry distinguished matey.

Alan W. Davidson said...

He, He, He...Karen, you have to visit my most recent post to understand the 'birth' of Pablo.

I'm glad you were there, too, to witness the theatre. And at a great price! I had the impression that Bluetooth Guy was feeling pretty important with an audience. You see these folks shopping all of the time. How important are you that you can't unplug to go about your personal business?

Karen from Mentor said...

And the best thing is, he didn't come in on the call...he MADE the call while standing in line. Sheesh!

I went over and saw the awful thing that you did to Anton. hee hee hee...

He may never recover.

judy said...

So funny what people are willing to talk about in public. Me, I'm forever shshing my husband when we talk in public because I'm afraid everyone is listening. (Yet another example of the delusion I have that I am, in fact, the center of the universe.)

Karen from Mentor said...

So..... just checking Judy...would showing you the weekly transcripts I [allegedly] get of you and Chad talking in public make you feel better or worse?

judy said...

Better. A lack of privacy is a small price to pay for real estate at the center of the universe.

~Tim said...

Why is it that when people speak into a phone [that is no more than a couple inches away from their mouth] they speak more loudly than when they speak to a person in the same room with them? It appears to me to be a fundamental failure to understand what the technology does. But I'm weird like that.

Karen from Mentor said...

Wow Tim, what a set up line. "weird like that" as opposed to weird in myriad other ways?

Wait, we'll go with eclectic, yeah, that sounds waaaaaaay better.

:0)

Karen from Mentor said...

Well then Judy be assured at your permanent place at the center of the universe. Cause I also [allegedly] have film and audio.

:0)

Marisa Birns said...

See, that's why it's SO important for all of us to practice telepathic communication!

We can stand in line and even have an ARGUMENT and no one would be the wiser. Um. Except if we're contorting our faces while we're spitting at each other in our minds.

You were lucky. Whenever I'm in line, people start talking....TO ME! They start telling me the story of their lives. They tell me how horrible the boss is, how the wife/husband doesn't understand them, blah, blah, blah.

Even crazed drunken people lying prone on manhole covers manage to become lucid enough to tell me a story when I walk by.

Ok, back to you...This had me laughing, laughing, laughing.

Linda said...

Fun, fun, fun, and so annoyingly true. People love to talk loud on their phones to feel important. Loved this story, read it through twice for the laughs. Peace, Linda

Carrie said...

This was great. There's a story in every step I always say. Cheers!

Lauren C said...

Hee! Loved it. You seem to attract the most amusing people and situations.
And oh, how I despise the Bluetooth. I still make the usual mistakes: thinking the Btooth'd person is addressing me, or thinking they're just a crazy nut. My boss (the head honcho Belgian) used to talk on his all the time... but in French. That was even worse, because, hell - if I can't eavesdrop, I don't want to hear it at all!

Karen from Mentor said...

Lol Lauren, yeah, where does he get off being rude in French....wait...I may have just said something redundant....

Karen from Mentor said...

Carrie,
I believe in making my own fun. I like to go through life spreading a sparkly trail of joy. And if I'm stuck somewhere boring, I'll just watch the circus that swirls around me.

Then when I get home I get to write about it. win/win

:0)

Karen from Mentor said...

Marisa,
I always LOVE your comments...this part made me laugh and laugh...

"Even crazed drunken people lying prone on manhole covers manage to become lucid enough to tell me a story when I walk by."

Can I go walking with you? Pleeeeeeeeeeezzzzz?

Karen from Mentor said...

@ Linda,

Read it through twice for the laughs? [yay!]

.. Head swells to embarrasing proportions....



PS
If this was your first "Things I've seen Thursdays" you might want to click on the link and read the rest of them. There are 11 in all. I've seen some pretty weird stuff.

:0)