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.