Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Yes, I'm A Chicken

I had a call yesterday. A woman wanted help with her computer.

That's not unusual. I had three other calls from women I don't know who wanted help with their computers. It's what I do, when I'm not sitting at a desk or... you know.

(Actually, one wanted help with her phone; I told her what to do. Another was from outside my area. The third I helped over the phone.)

This woman (CC) said she ran a non-profit in the area. From her description, I knew the exactly what organisation she meant. They have a thrift shop that I often go past on my way home. I've seen it many times; I stopped by once to look around (alas, they were closed). Kim, who runs the local clothing swap has brought the leftovers there. I mentioned these things to CC who was pleasantly surprised that I knew about her group.

She said she had "lots of viruses". I was skeptical.

I had one after-work customer. The thrift shop, oddly enough, was directly on my way home from that customer so I told her I'd stop by and gave her a time.

I walked in and was surprised at both the number of customers and the amount of goods. I thought it was like most of the other private thrift shops I'd wandered into ~ small, crowded, eclectic, bare of customers, organised but only because the shopkeepers had little else to do.

Clothes on the left, furniture on the floor, books on the right-hand wall, tchotchkes everywhere. I'm sure they had things I didn't notice. Mostly I was noticing the clothes.

The racks of clothes were organised like the Goodwill stores I'd been in: by colour rather than size. The closest rack was tops or suits (I couldn't tell which from where I was standing), with whites, creams, browns, reds, trailing off on a long long rack. The rack was double-sided and another rack was behind it. All seemed to have tops or suits on them. I later noticed that there were more pairs of double-racks behind them holding skirts and pants. Smaller multi-level tables had shoes on them. Probably not a lot of 11s, but a lot of pretty nice, and nice pretty, shoes.

CC was tall, blonde, slim, in her late 20s I'd say. She led me into her little office near the front of the store. The room had a large one-way mirror just to the left of the computer so while I was working I could spy on the customers.

It was mostly one bit of scareware but I had to yank it manually since it broke most of the tools I use. I was done, including starting some scans, in about an hour.

I found CC and told her everything seemed to be good, but sometimes they reappear and please let me know if that happens. She asked what the charge was, and I told her to consider it a donation to the shop.

What I really wanted to say was "let me go home and get some stuff. Point me to the changing room, lock me in tonight and tomorrow morning we'll call it even."

What I did say was "you have a lot of stuff here. Maybe I'll look at some dresses before I go."
CC said "Wednesday we collect furniture so we'll have a better selection then. If you want to come back then you can probably find what you want."

I think I wrote about those points where you can take two paths and have to decide. This was one. Smart move: say thanks and walk out. My move: "OK, but I said 'dresses' not 'dressers'."

She didn't miss a beat. She laughed and said "sure. They're in the back."

Another decision moment. Here's where the chicken Meg took hold and wouldn't let go. There were at least a dozen women in the shop, both workers and customers. Brave Meg would have said "thanks. I'll see what I can find." Mildly-brave Meg would have said "I'm thinking of going to a Halloween party as Christine O'Donnell ~ maybe I can find something inexpensive here."

Chicken Meg smiled and said "I can never find my size at places like this." She just said "I'm sure you can. What size are you?"

I need to be more ready for people like her. I really do. I'm not.

I said "I don't know. I'd have to try it on." She said "Eight? Nine? Look around."

Chicken Meg: "I'm just joking." She said "you wouldn't be the first."

She had asked if I wanted to leave some business cards or flyers for her customers. I only had one card with me, but I said I might come back to drop off cards, and maybe offer a discount to her customers. I really shouldn't ~ this is not the clientele I'm targeting. People who shop in thrift shops often can't afford my rates for repair.

But later today I'll be at that same customer picking up a computer. I'll stop by the thrift shop again on my way home, cards in hand.

The question is, will I say something like "remember when I was joking about getting a dress for me? I was joking about joking. How's your selection of 12s?"

Or I may just cluck a couple of times and lay another egg.


  1. Be one with the swoosh, Meg. Just do it. :)

  2. I can't believe you chickened out...march right back in there with your head held high and at least go for the halloween angle!

  3. Go for the halloween angle now! later you can alway mention that you like to buy clothing and lingerie for your wife. who's going care? I often buy thrift store clothing etc. because you "cann't buy this fabric for the price and I'm working on a project!" of course I've also used the "I'm buying these wedding dresses because I know I can double my money on Ebay!" (and I have!)

  4. Wow, Meg... I love it...


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