If someone tried to sell you something from the back of their trunk in the middle of a parking lot, would you buy it ?
No. Never. Absolutely not. Are you kidding ? What do you think I am ? An idiot !
YES. I’m an idiot.
This past Thursday afternoon, around 1PM, I was driving toward my afternoon appointment. I was actually enjoying the day. I had about 1 hour to kill and figured I would stop for a quick lunch at Lick’s at the corner of York Mills and Leslie. As I pulled into the parking spot there was a large black Lincoln Town Car that pulled up next to my car to park. At this point I was on the phone, but I noticed that the man in the car was trying to wave me down – he was trying to ask me a question.
I excused the person I was on the phone with. Told them I would call them back shortly. I rolled down my window, and the man explained in a very deep Italian accent that he was from Italy and needed directions to Woodbridge. I actually thought it somewhat strange that someone was asking me how to get to Woodbridge. Woodbridge is a big place, but, I provided directions nonetheless.
After I finished explaining how to get to Woodbridge he proceeded to get out of his car, walked over to my car, and handed me a business card. He explained that he was in Toronto – flew in on Monday and was flying back tomorrow. He needed to take some business people out to dinner that night and asked if I knew of any good restaurants.
Good restaurants. Of course I knew of some good restaurants. You’ve come to the right place mister.
After I finished writing down a few good restaurants he then explained that today was my lucky day. Lucky day ? I was intrigued. Why would today be my lucky day ?
He explained that he was a sales rep for an Italian fashion design company in Toronto for a few days for a trade show. His company had shipped a lot of clothes directly from Italy to Toronto, and now that the show was over he was stuck with a trunk full of high end designer male fashion clothes. He was flying back to Italy the next day and couldn’t take all of those clothes with him.
Are you kidding I thought to myself ? Of course this sounds like my lucky day. How often does this happen ? Like never !
So I go to the back of his car. He asks my suit and shirt size. I tell him. He just so happens to have a whole lot of clothes in just my size. Now as I’m trying on the suit jacket I’m thinking to myself – come on Jeff, what on earth are you doing here. You know there’s something wrong with this scene. But, I proceed anyway.
The suit jacket fits perfectly. It actually feels great. Nice high end jacket. And he happens to have 2 suits in just my size. And 2 leather bomber jackets. And a wool overcoat. 4 dress shirts. 2 belts. 4 ties. Ladies ¾ leather jacket.
Wow. That’s a lot of clothes. And I’m thinking – he’s giving this to me ? Today really is my lucky day. Yipee.
Not so fast. He’s not giving this to me. He’s explaining that the clothes he’s just showed me have a value of many many thousands of dollars. And because it’s my lucky day, he’ll let me have all of these clothes for $1,400.
I look at him dumbfounded. I’m not paying him $1,400 for these clothes. They might be high end, but, I certainly don’t need everything he’s just showed me for $1,400.
He asks what I feel it might be worth.
Well, not wanting to insult this fine gentleman I suggest that it might very well be worth $1,400, but I’m not interested in his clothes for $1,400.
“What’s it worth to you ?” he asks.
“$500 I suggest.”
We settle on $700. Hmm … I’ve just negotiated to pay $700 for clothes I don’t really, maybe, kind of (?) want or need, but, I got a great deal. Right ?
He follows me to the nearest TD Bank and waits in his car as I go to get some money. I come take the clothes, pay him his $700, and drive off to my next appointment thinking that today really was my lucky day.
I call my wife. She’s cautiously optimistic.
I arrive home a few hours later and proudly show my family what it means to be at the right place at the right time. I then stand up straight, and proudly exclaim – “see, your Dad is a great negotiator”. And yes, I am proud of myself. And the best part was, today was my lucky day.
Yes, it doesn’t get any luckier then this. Right ?
Wrong. I’m intrigued though. And curious. I want to know more about the clothes I just got.
So, I Google the names: SARTORIA ITALIANA GF, NARDINI, A Collezioni.
Figuring I would find the web site for the suit company Sartoria Italiana GF I was SHOCKED when I found this web site – RIPOFF REPORT. First hit. Same story. They’re all fake. And then a whole page of them.
I’m an idiot. Now I know it. But, I’m of course too proud to tell my family. My kids. They look up to their Dad. I even overheard my daughter telling my son – ‘we should go celebrate tonight”. My wife. Oh no. What’s she going to say ? And my kids want to celebrate !
Yeah. Celebrate because their Dad is an idiot.
I’m the same victim I always shake my head at when I watch these kinds of stories on 60 minutes or 20 / 20. Poor sucker I think to myself. Well, I’m the poor sucker.
Victims come in all shapes and sizes. And so do criminals.
And why am I writing about this ? In a Telecom blog ?
Well, this obviously has noting to do about Telecom. I could try and make some connection between this story and Telecom. But I’m not going to bother.
There are a lot of nefarious individuals ready to steal, cheat, and scam either by phone, in person, by mail … the innocent. I’m no different from all of the other suckers.
I haven’t told my wife or kids. YET. I’m going to send a link of this post to my wife. My kids. There’s a message in there as well, of course. Anyone can get suckered. Even your Dad.
But, today IS my lucky day. I still have my health, a beautiful family, personal happiness, peace of mind, and a big smile on my face because today is a brand new day. I will continue doing what I am doing, and will continue to have faith in mankind.
Back to regular programming tomorrow.