A few years ago I was working late and I left my shop door unlocked. It was winter and it had been a slow week and I thought that since it was Friday that maybe I could catch a few late customers.
About 8:00, just as I was going to lock up and give up, a rather goofy looking middle aged man and a sweet young woman came into the shop.
I told them to come on in, I would hang around and work a little more while they shopped. She pranced around adoring everything and being cute. I couldn’t figure them out at first, and decided they were a father and daughter, she was most likely a student at the university and he was visiting her. Then she started trying on clothes and modeling them for her ‘daddy’ in a very teasing manner.
When she called him sweetie, I decided that perhaps that wasn’t her real ‘daddy’.
He proceeded to bring me everything she tried on, placing the items on the counter and saying he wanted them, to go ahead and start bagging them up. After an hour and a half they had accumulated 7 shopping bags of boots,
clothing, and jewelry they were finished, I could ring them up. Now, to ring people up I write everything down and record the item manually. I don’t have any automated system, and after recording the items I carefully fold and pack them into the bags. Seven bags took a lot of energy, and I was exhausted and ready to go home after my long day. I totaled him up and then he wrote me a check and told me it was good. I don’t take checks, but it was late and I was tired and I believed him. Bad. Big mistake. Stupid me. What a fool I was. The Tams ‘what kind of fool’ plays in mind here…..http://youtu.be/hTWM7WgxIVE
Five days later it showed up….online……yep you guessed it the check had bounced. Lesson learned the hard way. I knew I would never get those 46 items back. Suddenly I felt like Clint Eastwood.
I grabbed my teenage son and said “hop in the car, we’re going for a ride”. The address on the check just happened to be an address on the outskirts of my old hometown. We were going on a little road trip.
As I drove down hwy 220 madder than a wet hen, my son kept asking “but what are you gonna do when you get there?” “I don’t exactly know son, I guess I’ll find out when I get there, but I’m not leaving til I have some money”.
The further I drove the madder I got. They had used me, lied, stolen, how could they!
I got to the rural road and took two trips up and down before I was certain I was pulling into the correct driveway. I jumped out of my car, heart racing, ran up to the door and started banging on it. I could see through the glass a little old man, he had a walker and was slowly making his way to the door. Durnnit, little old men are a weakness of mine.
When he finally got the door open I blurted out “is this where Jerry lives? That sweet little old man started crying and said that yes ma’am, he did live there, til the sheriff picked him up 3 days earlier. He apologized for whatever wrongs his son Jerry might have committed and I realized that Dad was a whole lot more disappointed in Jerry than I was.
Later on, I spoke with a detective who told me that Jerry would probably be in jail for a very long time.
Seems he and the young lady had scammed quite a few businesses for quite a few months, and mine was at the bottom of the list. I think that the detective I worked with had a crush on the young lady. He kept defending her every time I told him that if the police didn’t go to her address and recover my goods then I was gonna go there myself, and would haul my big teenage son with me for protection….I had found out who she was and where her apartment was. The detective claimed that she was a victim. I tried to convince him that she knew full well what game she was playing.
Of course she skipped town, she didn’t stick around for long after Jerry was arrested, just long enough to sell some of my stolen inventory at a yardsale before she fled. I know this because someone bought some of my inventory and then she came to me at the shop to try to sell it to me. Ha! When I recognized the goods, I realized I didn’t want them again.
Everyone got used, and no one won, and once around with me is enough.