Reason #617 why I like Austin:
Tonight, I accompanied my fellah on a fairly dull errand to buy some padded envelopes. We went to the nearby HEB, which is the large supermarket de rigeur for Texans on a budget.
Sitting inside the front door was an employee on a stool, playing an accoustic guitar and smiling at people as they came and went. He was playing fairly well -- just finger-picking some blues and enjoying himself. He was wearing the red polo shirt with the nametag, just like everybody else.
How beautiful! As a marketing strategy, it worked. It put me in a good mood (when's the last time you were put in a good mood when you entered a supermarket?) and I'll happily revisit that branch*. All they had to do was give an employee the chance to enjoy himself with a guitar and smile at people, who all seemed to appreciate and enjoy the humanizing touch.
Lessons to be learned, people.
(My good mood lasted until we went back to my fellah's place and watched the Stephen Colbert Report, which was hilarious but contained some upsetting news about cashmere. I'll delay that for as long as I can, people, but the truth must out.)
* Southbound Research Blvd, near the Arboretum.