Putting together the fun packs for the yearly parties may seem trivial, but I really do put some though and a little money into what goes into those. Some of the stuff gets purchased at the dollar store.
Except this year.
I actually visited the dollar store to buy candies and toys for the fun packs, but that was on May 29 at about 7PM. That was an important meteorological moment in the capital region. At that time, two tornados touched down locally. Although I was not anywhere near the epicenters, the storm that was left was fairly widespread and vigorous.
My story is the opposite of the unfortunate situation encountered by a disabled person in Troy and is being told here in the spirit of levity.
The sky turned a weird color, and an emergency alert popped up on my cell phone as I entered the store. We don’t usually get totally crazy weather, so I made little of the alert. I went around the store and filled up a hand basket with some goodies. As I was walking up to the counter to pay, I saw a manager fighting some pretty harsh winds and rains to get back inside and close the door. It took him what looked like significant physical effort to get the door shut. He sealed it shut with the key once it was closed, and said, “we are losing so much merchandise right now.”
I peeked out the window, and all I could see was walls of rain hitting the front of the store. That and 3 foot long plastic sunflowers literally flying around everywhere.
The manager gathered the four people (1 other staff member and 1 other customer) in the store in the center of the store and explained that he locked the door for our safety, and that he couldn’t open the door until the weather subsided. The power flickered a few times, and it went out for about 10 seconds. The other staff member, all of a sudden, said, “I love this weather; I’ll go try to get the merchandise.”
The manager pleaded with the staff member in a panicked voice. “Please don’t go out there; please don’t go out there,” and, as the person went toward the door, the manager threw his hands up and said sarcastically, “I’m glad I’m the manager in this situation.” I think he forgot he had the key, and the door couldn’t be opened by anyone else.
The manager had us all go to the back of the store and calmed down a bit. He apologized for keeping us in the store against our will. I explained to him that I would have willingly stayed in the store because it looked bad and that I understood why he had to lock the door. We got to talking about how we’ve had mild winters and I made the comment that I’d rather be stuck in a dollar store for 20 minutes than drive for 20 minutes in snow (in retrospect, that may not have been a great choice of words, but I liked it).
The weather cleared up after about 15 minutes. The registers were screwed, so I couldn’t purchase the stuff that I had in my basket, which sucks, but I made a few other stops to get a few things.
So, never fret. There will be fun packs tomorrow! First 20 people there get them!