GETTING MORE TALE #609: Movember
My first real job at age 17 was packing groceries. I worked at Zehrs, the big grocery store in town. It was hard work, but a good job to have. They paid well and you could make a career there if you wanted to. Several people had been there 10 years or more, had security, and were making decent money. The neat thing for me was the Zehrs store was in the same mall that I later worked in at the first Record Store! My dad worked there at the bank. Best friend Bob worked in the Zehrs bakery. The mall was like a second home.
The grocery store had a dress code. No running shoes, just plain black shoes. No jeans, just brown pants and white shirts. A brown clip-on tie and apron with box cutter in the pocket was issued to us upon hiring.
Facial hair grooming was strict. I was there when one guy showed up looking unsatisfactory, was written up and sent home to shave. No stubble allowed. No beards, no sideburns.
The only facial hair we were allowed to have was…
So many guys there had moustaches. The guy who trained me had one. One of the managers, and even a few of the guys my age had moustaches. I am not a fan of moustaches, but given the lack of options, one day I showed up with a stupid little blonde growth on my upper lip.
“Is that…are you…growing a moustache?” asked the girl I liked. Her name was Kathleen. Kathleen Fitzpatrick. She was really nice, but every guy there liked her. Guys with higher seniority would work on her lane, kicking me off. They’d stick me with one of the older ladies. Everybody preferred to pack for Kathleen and I was low man on the totem pole.
I wore that moustache once. One day. Truth be told, I never felt comfortable in a moustache, but imagine this scenario: what would have happened if Kathleen liked my moustache? How history could have turned out differently. I could have been a moustache guy all this time! I’d probably drive a Camero and listen to a lot of April Wine.
I’m glad it didn’t go that way. Wherever you are Kathleen, I think I owe you a debt of gratitude. Maybe.