20 February, 2010

Random Retail Conversations

Working in retail is a study in human nature.
Last Thursday, we were counting tills and my co-worker's till had a whole handful of this new state quarter. When did we get a new state?, where is this new state?, and why did he get an entire roll of Northern Mariana Island quarters?  But then, I had to buy a roll of quarters to make change and I opened an entire roll of Northern Mariana Island quarters. Amazing? Two whole rolls of quarters containing just Mariana's?
No one seemed to know where this 'new state' was. Sometimes I have trouble with names, but I was thinking south - somewhere near Imelda Markos and all of her million shoes.
Other customers were intrigued.
Side conversations  on how geography is not in the school curriculum anymore.
Concern on how we were pretty sure our state quarter books did not contain this island place.
The entire day passed this way with various add-ons to this puzzle.

About 11:30 am on Friday, an older gentleman said he has been stationed nearby during WWII.
Located in the south seas north of Guam and south of the Philippines (AHA!! Imelda was from the Philippines). He thought Iwo Jima was nearby as well. He thought he had been in Saipan.
Now - I could have looked this up on the computer but this conversation starter yielded the most fascinating tidbits into people. Their  views on geography, on schools, on taxes, on protectorates or is that a territory?, how when we get older, our minds all start to go...., the serious need of many for bifocals to squint at the tiny lettering.
And finally - wait for this - we'd been conversing about this strange new quarter for a day and a half and one gal speaks up, "I know where it is, I was born there."
In the tiny town where I work, probably a million to one shot = an actual person who intimately knows where this Northern Mariana Island is.

Did you know there is a First Spouse Coin?
Here's all the other weird territories.

And here's a coin for the Boy Scouts!

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