Some errands during Wifey’s recent dentist appointment on the other side of the bay provided an interesting reminder that simply a pair of shorts, blouse and ballet flats, along with smooth hairless legs, long hair, long nails (shiny & pink) and a purse, can result in being interpreted as female…or “possibly even involve trouble?” Really?
After dropping Wifey off at the dentist’s office, I set out to have a portable stadium chair with carrying case repaired at a shoe shop (if they could physically handle it. ) “Yes, Ma’am, we can fix it – but only if you wait for it. This item is so big that we don’t have space to hold it for your return at a later time.” “Go for it, Sir, I’ll wait.” They took care of it promptly, and I was on my way in about 10 minutes. Good news – that folding chair with built-in “roof”, case and carrying strap (which had been expensive to buy a number of years ago), has now been saved, and no follow-up trip across the bridge to retrieve it, will be necessary.
Then it was off to visit a coin shop…I had earlier discovered a few old USA coins under a file cabinet drawer at the house, and wanted to see if they were worth turning into cash. Having dealt with a reputable coin shop previously, while sorting out some of Mom’s coins on her behalf a few years ago, I returned to that shop.
“Good morning, Ma’am.” Having not met this particular clerk before, I showed him (who was a 40-something male) all the coins, making sure my shiny light pink fingernails were in plain sight. Just then, another customer – a 40something rather scruffy male – walked in. He waited quietly– till he noticed us discussing some of the coins, and started to interrupt. “Miss, I’ll give you more for them.”
While being flattered at being identified as female without even trying, I ignored the interrupter’s comments. But soon the clerk had heard enough. After nicely requesting quiet, he directed a comment at the interrupter: “I’m not going to tolerate such interruptions in my own shop”. The interrupter continued – making a lot of fuss for such a few coins.
The clerk gave me an opportunity to cancel his review and deal directly with the interrupter, at some location away from his parking lot if I so desired, or continue with what we were doing. I had serious concerns that if I did leave the shop with the coins, the interrupter might ‘buy them” and pay for them by check (which would subsequently bounce) or more likely, do harmful things to me in order to steal them. So I told the dealer to go ahead.
Due to the small number of coins, and tiny dollar amount involved (I had already checked prices from the internet and coin price books – the shop clerk was not trying to rip me off) I told the clerk to continue, and he proceeded to tell the intruder to leave “in no uncertain terms.” The interrupter kept on arguing, so the clerk picked up the phone to call police, which finally convinced the interrupter to give up and go away. His car was in plain view, so I noted the license number as he left, just in case. But his car disappeared completely…it was not seen again.
Before you inquire – initially, I wondered whether it might have been a set-up. Had we been dealing with a big stash of coins and big bucks, that would have been a much more likely scenario. Any sane person (and even most insane ones) would deem it not worth the risk of jail time/other punishment, or even any police involvement at all, for such a paltry sum – just enough to pay for four or five gallons of gas, a couple of bridge tolls and a hamburger. My clerk apologized for the intrusion and inconvenience as he concluded the coin review. In the end, I left with a check from the store, in case the intruder might try anything stupid off-property! (He didn’t!)
Thankfully, I’m not in the “old coin business’ – or operating any retail establishment! Dealing with people like that is not fun…