They Know “Who” You Are

, , , , , | Working | April 10, 2018

(I have anxiety and, in an effort to help myself be more sociable, I have sewn myself a purse using a nerdy fabric print, knowing it will probably catch another nerd’s eye. A new fabric store has opened in the area a month ago, and my husband has taken me to grab a few things I need for projects. As I’m browsing, one of the employees who is putting back bolts of fabric nearby suddenly gasps loudly. I give her a startled look and she claps one hand over her mouth. She takes her hand away from her mouth and smiles.)

Employee #1: “I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to scare you like that.” *she pauses before continuing excitedly* “Your Doctor Who purse is really cool! We have that exact same print over there!” *points to the other end of the shelf*

(I stand there like a deer in the headlights for a moment, then take a deep breath and smile at her.)

Me: *timidly* “Th-thanks.” *clears throat and speaks louder* “I made it myself using a free pattern I found online.”

Employee #1: *wide-eyed stare* “You made that?!” *she reaches for my purse but stops herself short* “Can I get a closer look?”

Me: “Sure.”

(I hand her my purse and she turns it over in her hands, admiring my craftsmanship, then promptly gives it back.)

Employee #1: *smiling brightly* “That’s a really nice purse! And it’s so much cooler because you made it yourself.”

Me: *smiling and blushing* “Do you want to see the lining fabric? It’s Doctor Who, too, but a different print.”

Employee #1: *excitedly* “Yes, please!”

(I unzip my purse and show her the interior fabric, and she squeals with delight.)

Employee #1: “That’s a really cool fabric!” *her face falls* “We don’t have that one, though.”

Me: “Yeah, my husband bought it for me on clearance when [Other Fabric Chain] went out of business. I think you guys sell it online, but you can get it cheaper from [Online Fabric Retailer].”

Employee #1: “That’s really cool!”

(Another employee comes over, obviously drawn by her coworker’s exuberance.)

Employee #2: *smiling at me* “Is something wrong?”

Employee #1: *grabbing her coworker’s arm and shaking it excitedly* “She made her purse! I know people come here to buy things to make stuff, but I’ve never seen one of them with a handmade purse as cool as hers.”

Employee #2: *noticing my purse* “Oh, that is pretty cool. It’s Doctor Who, right? I don’t really watch the show, but that is a really great purse.”

Me: *blushing* “Thanks.”

Employee #2: *to her coworker* “Don’t forget that you’re working.”

(That employee’s reaction made my day. I go into the store at least once a month now and every time she sees me, she asks what new project I’m working on. And she’s made sure to point me out to her coworkers with an exclamation of, “See her? She’s the one who made the ‘Doctor Who’ purse!”)

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