Did You Really Say What I Think You Said?

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People say the craziest things, especially if you’re working in a thrift store. Actually they say the craziest things anyway, whether they’re trolling the internet, talking about politics or discussing the quality of the fried chicken at your family reunion.

But those are different stories for a different day. This is a story about thrift stores. So I offer you the following glimpses of a day in the life of a thrift store employee because truth, as they say, is stranger than fiction.

Everybody loves a bargain. The customer approached with an item priced at $5 and said I’ll give you eight dollars for this.

Me: How about $5?

Customer: No, I don’t think so. Maybe I’ll do $7.

A customer, after listening to me explain that our charity gave financial assistance, free food and clothing, said, I really believe in your mission and would like to make a donation.

Me: Wonderful! We appreciate it so much!

The customer handed me a box of coffee filters.

A woman handed me a sack of laundry and said, Here are my son’s clothes and I’m donating them. He brought them home from college expecting me to do his laundry and I’m going to teach him a lesson.

Me: I suppose you want a tax deductible receipt for this?

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A customer handed me a receipt and said, You owe me a store credit for a wicker cabinet. I couldn’t fit it in my car so I left it on the sidewalk and when I came back today it was gone.

Me: This receipt is from two years ago.

Customer: That’s right. I couldn’t get back to the store right away.

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I walked past a woman trying on a pair of blue shoes. “I like these. Could you look in the back and see if you have them in a maroon shade, to match my maroon dress, size 7?” she asked.

“I’ll check with inventory control to see if we’ve gotten any more shipments,” I replied.

“Thanks!” She nodded enthusiastically while I headed to the thrift store’s version of inventory control; a sorting room piled high with black trash bags stuffed full of donations, along with several hundred pairs of mismatched, unsorted, used shoes. I waited a decent amount of time, then strolled back out and said, “Sorry, I didn’t see any maroon ones today.”

Writer, editor, publisher, journalist, author, columnist, believer in enjoying my journey and helping other people enjoy theirs. bknicholson@att.net

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