#609: Movember

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…

A moustache.

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.


    1. Actually that was a safety issue! In case your tie got caught on something like the conveyor belts they have at the cash registers. Also we had a mechanised shopping cart trolley system, you wouldn’t want to get tangled in that!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What a bizarre policy, moustaches allowed – though for the younger employees, maybe not encouraged!
    Interesting ‘sliding doors’ moment too, if her reaction had been positive, the space time continuum might have been disrupted and you’d end up on that camaro/april wine timeline, nice post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I could see people in the bakery or deli needing stricter hair rules (and hair nets), but for a kid bagging groceries? Meh. Tidy, yes. But if you wanted a well-kept beard? I’d say it’s not an issue. Maybe it was a cover-all policy, so no noses got out of joint between departments.

    As for the girl, the past is past. Can’t wonder too long what might have happened. Things worked out great anyway! You could still have a Camaro, if you wanted. It’s just a car.


    1. Honestly after 12 years together and 9 happily married, you don’t really think I am pining over some girl I liked in highschool and haven’t seen 1990, do you? Please say no.

      This story is a work of comedy.


      1. Thanks

        That picture’s from June 2016 so it’s a bit old and the lighting isn’t right. I should really get a more up to date replacement.


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