My friend AlanÂ made me a white board sign â€“ it’s two small white boards screwed to a stick of wood. It’s basically a reusable protest-style sign. I love it. It’s a fun way to make a statement without saying a word.
(I’ve been saying for years that I need a shirt that creatively conveys the message â€œStay away from meâ€ for the days that I had hate everyone but have to leave the house but it’s so creative that people want to talk to me about my shirt. Now I have a customizable sign that I can use instead.)
Rosie needed a refill on her glaucoma eye drops and our doggie ophthalmologist said that Costco pharmacy had the cheapest price, so off I went with my sign to get her meds. I don’t need to buy anything by the vat or gross, so I’m not a member of Costco. It’s a warehouse of consumerism that I usually find overwhelming. (You can use their pharmacy even if you’re not a member.)
I walked in a 9:30am when they opened to drop off her prescription. The front of my sign said, â€œI bite. I really do.â€ My friends wrote that on my sign and I left it there â€“ but it’s true. I do bite. The back said, â€œBe Awesome to Everyone.â€ It’s always fun to watch the reactions when you violate social norms. I walked in, dropped off Rosie’s prescription, and walked out without incident.
Fast-forward three hours when I returned to pick up Rosie’s meds. It was high noon at Costco â€“ the peak of free sample time. By then I’d changed my sign to say, â€œStupid should hurtâ€ on one side (hat tip to Improv AZ’s Fake Protest Flash Mob) and â€œStop doing things you hateâ€ on the other (hat tip to Gary Vaynerchuk). Based on the parking lot, I should have written â€œCool kids return their carts.â€
As I walked through the door, I think someone said, â€œDo you have a membership card?â€ to me, but I was completely oblivious to the staff. I was on a mission to get Rosie’s meds. One of them caught up with me at the pharmacy where I’d lowed my sign and was politely waiting for the tech. I think she thought I was â€œspecial needs.â€ She was very deliberate with her words and explaining that the store was private property and when non-members use the pharmacy, they need to be escorted, but that I couldn’t bring my sign in the store again. (She had no clue that I’m the lawyer who literally wrote the book on flash mobs and pranks.)
I finished my transaction and she escorted me out of the store. She even carried my sign for me. She seemed to soften a bit when I said I was there to get my dog’s glaucoma medication.
So now we know â€“ when your awesome friend makes you an awesome white board sign, stores may not appreciate it as much as you, even if you’re quiet, polite, and legitimately there to make a purchase. And they might suspect you have a mental disorder.