Monday, June 11, 2007

An Ominous Warning

I just got quite the wake-up call!
For those of you familiar with my after-work habits, you will know that I tend to hang out at the Chapters bookstore and read and drink coffee in the Starbucks area!
I don’t do this ALWAYS per se, like I mean….
OK, who am I kidding?
I practically live here.
I’m here right now, writing this.
At a Chapters store. I can’t help it. I love books and I love Starbucks.
Plus, my apartment [don’t tell Jack I said this]…. but it’s sort of a bit boring if I sit there for too long.
So I’m here at Chapters for an average of seven days a week, and sometimes more!
And because I am here so much I get comfortable. Begin to think that everyone else, all these anonymous people walking around are just part of the family! To be trusted.
Decent. We’re all brothers and sisters.

Often I walk around, and leave my Mac laptop sitting at the table in Starbucks.
How stupid is this? Like seriously, from one to ten, how stupid?
I know. Eleven! Right?
But I do it, because I am convinced that everyone out there is as decent as I am.

So this evening I am reading a fabulous book by Jim Crace, his new one, The Pesthouse. And I thought I would walk over to the “C” aisle, about half a mile away, and browse some of his other works.
Hmmm…. his stuff looks interesting.
I returned to my table and sat down.
In one of the sofa-type chairs, a vivacious woman turns around and looks at me.
[Hmmm… her stuff looks interesting, too!]
“Excuse me,” she says, “I just wanted to say something.”

I'm all ears.

She goes on, “Just last week, my brother got his laptop computer stolen from this very spot.”
“No,” I gasped, my eyes like saucers.
“Yeah, he did. Right over there,” she points. “And he only had gotten up to walk away for a minute or two, not nearly as long as you just did.”

“Oh my GOD, I would DIE if someone took this computer here…”
I said.
“Well, I just thought I’d let you know. Really, you should not leave it there at the table like you just did.”

“Well, thank you for the advice. I am in here so often that I guess I just get a bit too trusting. It’s so easy to lose sight of the fact that not everyone is as nice and totally decent of a person as I am, myself. I forget that not everyone is an educated, intellectually stimulating single, bachelor guy with tons of money….. [she started to gather her stuff up, around her] ….. that has a penthouse apartment overlooking the city, where he tirelessly cares for his alcoholic cat and… and….”

She was gone.

Actually I am just kidding about that last part, [like I didn’t mention anything about Jack’s drinking problem]…. but the rest is totally true!
So, thank you for reminding me, Mystery Woman.
I must be more vigilant about leaving the Mac unattended!
Haven’t I blogged about this kind of topic, before?

And, if you don’t believe me, about Jack, check this out.



Merisi said...

In Kiev I had my camera stolen while I was sitting there having lunch with two other people, and none of us realized it until we got up and my ugly worn canvas shopping bag (I thought I was so clever hiding the camera in there! they must have watched me earlier) was not next ot my handbag anymore. Needless to say, I left Kiev without a single photo because I had my films in there too.
I had my handbag dangling on the side of my barstool at Demel's one day, when one of the Demelinerinnen warned me to hang it in front of me under the counter (the have hooks there, like in church, for the ladies' handbags *g*). Then one fine day I wanted to leave, and my handbag was gone. I looked everywhere, under my stool, beside it, nada! Too make it short: I had actually left my place (do make a couple of photos, of course), and a Demel's employee' had spotted the abandoned purse, asked if it belonged to anybody (and since the careless owner was not there) taken it for safekeeping to the register). You cannot believe how relieved I was when my trusted Demelinerin said to me, "I can't believe you did this!"
So,yes, watch your goodies. There are occasional thiefs out there, and then there are the organized professional ones, who begin watching you and your habits long before the zero in on your treasures.
Thank you for the warning!

Anonymous said...

you certainly are lucky not to have lost that thing already cip. I mean, a laptop is essentially the most expensive item a person can have on them in most common situations (assuming you don't wear jewelery direct from tiffanys. Needless to say, it doesn't take much for someone to recognize an opportunity when they see one. always stay vigilent!

Merisi said...

I can't believe I made that many mistakes, sorry: thieves, and then I actually know the difference between "they" and "the" and "do" and "to". Actually? Well, sometimes. :-)

stefanie said...

Nice lady, and a good reminder. I've got a mac laptop but it never leaves my house because I am so darn paranoid I think everyone will want to take it. It is a mac afterall, who wouldn't want it? Be careful Cip, you don't want yours to walk away. And you really should get Jack to some AA meetings. His drinking is getting out of hand!

Sam Houston said...

I had a laptop, in case, yanked from between my feet while sitting inside a car of the London Underground back in 1999, Cip. It only took a moment of me becoming too comfortable with my was part of my daily commute. It took me a while to get over the shock of having lost it, especially when I realized how much data was on the hard drive and how many useful files that I lost. Never got it back, but learned my lesson.

Beth said...

For " educated, intellectually stimulating bachelor..." you are way too trusting/innocent.

(You called yourself "stupid." I won't go that far.)

And maybe Jack drinks because you spend too much time at Starbucks?

cipriano said...

Thank you for all of the advice and harrowing tales of theft. I know... I have seriously got to be more careful.
I have been so tired from the heat & humidity, and from work, that I am somewhat blogless as of late. Please forgive me, ye beloved readers.
-- Cip