Having Fun at Work

playI’m a little over half way thru Play by Stuart Brown and Chris Vaughan. In it, they make the case for continuing to play into adulthood like we did as children. It takes so little to get me interested in playing around so this book was written for me to justify my behavior. One of the things that always brings out the child in me is to sit with a pile of crayons — they must be authentic Crayola — and draw. I don’t draw very well, but the act zooms me back to preschool and kindergarten when nobody cared if they could draw or not. We just did it.

So, on a whim, I hauled my wife off to the store to buy a box of crayons for each of my staff members. I’ll present them at next week’s staff meeting and we’ll all have some fun. First we drove to Office Depot. No Crayola crayons there. Next we travelled to the local party supply store. Strike two. By now, Susie is getting into the excitement of the hunt. So much so that she suggests WalMart, a store she utterly refuses to enter. Don’t ask me why.

We go in. She mumbles about the Greeter not greeting us. We find the boxes of eight Crayola crayons in the toy section and pick up enough for everybody, along with some of that paper that looks like unused newsprint. Got to have something made for crayons. Standard printer paper won’t do. As we’re headed to checkout, Suz sidetracks into the office supply aisle because that’s where she would have expected to find crayons. And she did! The same selection as the toy section PLUS an enormous telescoping tray with 150 colors and a built-in sharpener. Had to get that too.

Now we go to checkout and are surprised to find a bunch of self-check lanes. I loathe the self-check lane so we walk up to a live cashier who is doing nothing while people are queued up for the self-checks. Joy (I checked her nametag) listens as I complain that I don’t want to use the sticking self-check. She quickly picks up on the festive mood we’ve created on our crayon hunt and joins in. After helping me with the credit card thingy — She didn’t want me to be stressed about having to do it myself — Joy  looked at me and said, “Since you have been such a good customer, I want to give you a little something to remind you of your visit to WalMart.”

I’m getting ready to put one of those Smiley face stickers on my chest and wear it for the rest of the day when she says, “We like to call it… a receipt!” Susie and I laughed all the way home. Joy didn’t do anything unusual except to make some fun where she saw the chance to do it. I’ll bet Susie even forgot about the negilgent Greeter.


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