A Hair-Curling Mystery

, , , | Right | December 18, 2017

(I am working the cosmetics department on a very slow Sunday morning. Every aisle has been straightened, the counters have been wiped, the paperwork is finished, and I am desperate for something to do. I resort to the aisle that shares both feminine hygiene and hair accessories, double-checking that every hair curler and straightener is on the correct peg, when I notice something on the bottom shelf. It’s a cell phone. It’s small, and a cheaper model than what most people carry, but it is still someone’s phone. The whole department is empty, so I shrug and turn it on. I’m greeted with a rather gross cartoon background, and an obnoxious set of alert sounds. It wails when it receives a text, and it whooshes when I scroll. If I had to guess, it is probably the phone of a 10- to 14-year-old boy. I get an alert that says only five-percent battery remains, in addition to the awful singing and wailing it will not stop making because of the incoming texts. I turn the volume off and eventually am able to scribble out the phone number listed under the contact name “Dad.”)

Me: *takes the phone and the contact number back to the girl working customer service* “Hey, I don’t know how or why, but I think some 12-year-old boy left his phone by the hair curlers in fem-hy.”

Coworker #1: “In feminine hygiene? And it’s a boy’s phone?”

Me: “Judging from the background and the sounds it makes, yeah. No older than 14, I’m guessing.”

Coworker #2: “Who forgets their phone at [Store]? Where was it?”

Me: “It was just sitting on the bottom shelf by the hair curlers, turned off. It has no battery left; maybe it’s been there all night.”

(Meanwhile, [Coworker #1] has dialed the contact number and speaks up.)

Coworker #1: “Hi, this is [Coworker #1] calling from [Store]. We recently found a cell phone in our feminine hygiene aisle, and this was the contact listed under ‘Dad.'”

(It starts off normally, and then she starts making faces, having to repeat herself several times. The person on the other end makes her slowly spell out her own name, the department she is in, and the phone number for the store multiple times. Eventually, gratefully, she hangs up.)

Coworker #1: “Oh, my God, that guy was not with it. He’s like, ‘What’s your name?’ ‘[Coworker #1].’ ‘[Slightly Similar Name]?’ ‘[Coworker #1]!’ ‘What store are you at?’ ‘[Store].’ ‘[Incorrect Store Name]?’ ‘[Store]!’ And then, to top it all off, I go to hang up and he’s like, ‘All right, I’ll send him up there! By the way, he’s single!'”

Me: “The dude’s trying to get you with his 14-year-old kid? How old does he think you are?!”

(I figure “sending his kid” means the boy will have to ride his bike back to the store. I eventually end up at a different department, talking to the cashier who will be doing my break soon. A tall, skinny man in his late 20s or early 30s walks in and approaches the counter. He has short hair, a scraggly beard, teeth that jut out at all different angles, and is not particularly clean. He definitely doesn’t look like he’s totally with it.)

Customer: “Do you have my phone?”

Coworker #3: “Did you lose it?”

Me: *putting it together* “It’s back at customer service.”

Customer: “Oh, oh, thank you.”

(He walks off and I make it back to customer service to see how it went.)

Me: “How many times did you tell the dad to come to customer service? He ended up asking the front registers for his phone.”

Coworker #1: “That wasn’t the dad.”

Me: “WHAT!?”

Coworker #1: “Yup. He went on about how happy he was I had found his phone, how he couldn’t believe he lost it, and bless my heart, and whatnot.”

Me: “I swear to God, I thought that was a child’s phone. You should have heard the sounds it made.”

Coworker #1: “I’m still trying to get over the fact that his dad wanted to hook me up with him.”

(We never did discover why this short-haired man in his 30s came to lose his very childish cell phone by the hair curlers in the feminine hygiene aisle. We’re pretty sure why he’s still single, though.)

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