So I have been thinking about Joe lately. I usually do this time of the year. I wanted to share a story that always make me laugh.
It must have been in ’97 or ’98. Joe and I were working at Ironage (in the old upstairs location). Joe was awesome at handling customers and because of this every front guy I’ve had ever since was measured by the ‘Joe’ scale. Most didn’t measure up.
This kid walked in one afternoon and I was banging out something and Joe was organizing the Jewelry case by the front door. There was no good place to put this case and since it was tall and skinny, when people bumped into it, it usually got disorganized. This kid walks passed Joe while he’s reorganizing the case again and I hear him tell the kid he had a cool jacket. Joe had a way of being a smart ass and people replying with a thank you.
So I look up and see this kid decked out head-to-toe in greaser gear. It kinda looked like he was trying too hard, and to top it off he had this logo hand painted on the back that said “The Riders” or “The Cruisers” or something. Joe being the nice guy that he was says, “Hey man, you in a car club?” This kid tells him in a really smooth way that he was in a car club and Joe replies ,”Awe cool! You got a Hotrod??” acting all excited. The kid says he is in the middle of building one and tells us how cool it was gonna be. We didn’t understand much about cars but Joe played along with the kids story.
After a bit, Joe cuts him off mid-story and asks if there was another rival car club that he rumbled with. Like in the Outsiders or something. The kid kinda shook his head confused and for the first time kinda wondered if Joe was fucking with him. Without missing a beat, Joe yells over to me and said, “Hey Matt! Let’s start up our own car club, beat this kid up and take his jacket!”
Another time I was fucking with Joe by hiding the jewelry order. He was never good at mult-tasking. I remember he had to finish what he started before he moved on to something else or things would be kinda half done every where. I used to get on him about leaving the jewelry order laying out because a customer could swipe the bag and easily make off with a couple hundred bucks. The lobby would get really busy and there would be twenty people in this cramped space. Anyway, he had left the bag out and was halfway through inventorying the order and got distracted with all the other stuff he took care of. So I swiped a few of the high-end pieces and stuck them in a draw. An hour or two later, Joe finishes with the jewelry, but you can tell he’s confused. For the rest of the day he’s looking all around the shop but not saying what for. Acting like nothing is wrong. I let him do that till we closed. He was sweating because he could find the missing jewelry and he figured they had gotten stolen. “Hey Joe, did these go with order today? I found them on the floor…..”
Good Ole Joe!