I had planned to do something funny and interesting today on the blog. However, today is not that day.
Today I did my day job as PR executive extraordinaire and repped at a health fair for senior citizens. I … I have no words for the carnage that ensued. They came through in wrinkled ones and twos, smiling and chattering — but those smiles never reached their eyes. They were like a flock of crows, scavenging for anything they could get.
I’d laid some freebies out on my table, along with a tablecloth and a kind of cool little sign my buddy JT had designed for these types of events. The freebies were gone in less time than it took to tell it, and I had to pull out more stock. There were 300-500 people expected for this event, and I’d brought enough chotchkes for everyone.
I was wrong.
It was like a plague of wrinkly locusts descended upon a field of unharvested wheat. Everywhere there were vendors looking cow-eyed with fear, certain that somewhere another round of these decrepit dreadnaughts were coming. At one point, I was talking with one of the seniors when a motion near me caught my eye. A woman was shamelessly pawing through the box of goodies I’d put under the table to be my reserve stock once I saw how this whole thing was going to play out!
“Ma’am,” I said. She paid me no attention.
“Ma’am–” I said, more forcefully. The pawing continued, her head bent as she searched through the box. Okay, I know I’m a PR professional, and you’re supposed to be nice to people, but barring a hearing problem, this lady was pushing it. I had all of those items laid out on the table, not a foot away from where she stood.
“Ma’am!” I finally yellled, and forcibly took the box out of her hands. The cardboard ripped, and logo pens scattered along the floor. I cleaned up the mess and looked around. The woman was several feet away, laughing with her blue-haired posse. The logo merchandise from my table — all of it — was gone. The pack of superannuated jackals slunk away in triumph, pockets dripping with stuff that bore my company’s logo.
As I replenished my giveaway stuff, I got to watch the predators do the same thing — steal items that we were giving away for free. They didn’t seem like they could help it. Rheumy eyes would turn shifty, and fingers curled with arthritis would turn into claws plucking at anything that wasn’t nailed down.
I got out of there with our tablecloth, sign, and my clothes. Anything else — everything else — was gone.
Moral of the story: Health fairs for senior citizens are like being in a real-life zombie movie. You might be able to take one of them out, but when wave upon wave of them come for you, you’re screwed.