This post was prompted by Timothy Power‘s comment on Facebook yesterday, when he said he’d been asked the location of the snoring strips at a pharmacy.
When you are out in public, do people ever assume you are an expert or staffperson in a consistent setting?
The ToolMaster is the default go-to guy in the Home Depot or hardware department of any store I’ve ever visited. Sometimes that’s because he’s wearing coveralls. Sometimes it’s because people sense a nascent authority when it comes to all things related to home repair or renovation. I’m convinced it’s bred into every pore of his skin. He could wear a bag over his head and pink flowered pants, and people would still come up to him and ask how to install a toilet.
I myself have two speshul skills:
1. A face that invites confidences: I first noticed it in high school on a day when I washed my hands in a public restroom. My gaze connected with another woman’s in the mirror over the sink and without so much as a grunt of encouragement on my part, she spilled all about her boyfriend problems and parent issues. That experience — or one similar — has been repeated time and again. I’m inclined to believe I could clean up as a medium.
2. Grocery store clerk: I can be dressed at my frumpiest and be pushing a card laden with groceries, or stopping for a quick item on the way to a wedding reception and accordingly glammed up, but a customer almost always stops me to ask if I’ll:
- read or interpret the ingredients label for a food item
- point out the aisle which holds a certain product, or
- advise them how to cook a specialty item.
So what’s your secret identity? If your life depended on you being able to impersonate a particular type of professional, which one would be your best bet?
And why do you suppose Timothy Power is the go-to guy for sleep aids? I find him naturally funny, but what do I know?