I advertise on Craig’s List and we’ve all heard the horror stories, because its free advertising, you get some sketchy things going on there!
(For a good laugh read the “best of” on there sometime!)
Since 2008, I have been using Craig’s List very successfully and have never had a problem. I’ve found some great roommates, places to live and a lot of sewing projects including the one that led me to becoming an A list Seamstress! (Other than the guy wanting the man sized baby clothes and diapers he can poop in, its all been normal stuff!)
I do however, proceed with caution!
The other day I received an ad reply from a man asking for sewing lessons and project assistance, which is exactly what I offer. The project seemed innocent enough. He said he has a toddler related project he has a patent on and needs help learning how to sew more prototypes, getting the right equipment, making a pattern and possibly filling orders himself until he needs to outsource them, needing help with that as well. I can do all of the above and I regularly meet clients in their home to help them. Up until now, it has been all women.
As I started to ponder this, the communication continues, I offer to meet the client at the fabric store, so I can look at his project, we can look at equipment, fabric and so on. Then we figure out we only live a few miles from each other. I learn he works from home and has two small kids, so I offer to come to him. Again, same as I always do with female clients.
As he sends me his address, he says that GPS’s are usually off, so call him if I get lost. Ok fine, no biggie. I have a friend whose house is the same way on GPS, completely off!
So the day of the appointment comes and I start playing “worst case scenario” in my head. What if this is a trap? What if this guy is a serial killer? LOL and it goes on!
I decide to ask my friend Nate to be my fake boyfriend and text me when I get there, to make sure everything is cool. He agrees. I send him the guys name, address and telephone number.
So off I go and sure enough the GPS of where this guys house should be, is in fact wrong. No house by that number on the street it sent me to. So I call the guy, He knows right where I am and tells me there are 3 streets with similar names and I already passed his, which I did in fact, remember doing. I leave the remote street I am on and head toward a neighborhood. Ok. That makes me feel better. He asks me what color my car is and says he can see me coming down the street, its the next house on the left.
I get to the house, pull down the long driveway and park where my car is visible from the road. I have my sewing scissors around my neck (as usual) only this time I’m thinking how I might use these tiny things to cut my way out of trouble. LOL. I grab a tiny flashlight out of my console and stick it in my back pocket. Take my car keys and put them in my front pocket. Get my bigger scissors, notepad and razor blade seam ripper, cell phone and head for the front door.
The house looks brand new, looking through the front door, looks like they’ve just moved in. I ring the bell and a jolly looking guy answers. I’m thinking, OK if shit goes down, I think I can take this guy out. LOL To my relief, I can hear the kids playing in the other room. Ok. I think I’m good. We go upstairs, which is wide open to the floor below and there is the project he described, sitting on the table. Whew!
Shortly after I arrive, my phone goes off… it’s Nate’s AKA47 ringtone. “Oh that’s my boyfriend Nate, ha ha ha, he’s in law enforcement, he always checks up on me…” Nate sends me a very inappropriate text message, to which I reply with the code we arranged. I carry on with my client. Nate texts me again, posing as my boyfriend, about an hour later, just to be sure I’m still good. I reply with the code.
All’s well that ends well I suppose. Someday I will tell my client this story. I’ve always said its better to be safe than sorry! Do you think I went to far? I think in this day and age you have to!