Yesterday I went to Trader Joes in the middle of the day to grab some food for the week. I was wearing a blue polo shirt with no logo, khaki pants and brown shoes. I had on my Pebble Time and Bose QuietComfort 25 headphones. All of these facts will be relevant to the rest of the story.
When I went up to the cashier he said, “Oh, cool. A spider.”
Without thinking, I replied, “Yeah.” Maybe he was referring to something in my basket. Maybe he thought my watch was a model called “spider”? Either way, I didn’t feel like going into it so I just went with it.
“It’s cool that you’re here,” he said.
Okay, now I was sure he thought I was someone else. But who? Nothing I had on me was distinctive. My outfit reminded me of a retail manager’s, so maybe he thought that I worked at another Trader Joes. I found this hard to believe since TJ employees wear Hawaiian shirts, but I went with my hunch.
“How are things around here?” I ask in my most managerial tone. I expected him to say something that an employee might say to a manager like “We had a 3 bell situation with those cookies again.”
Instead he replied, “Pretty busy this morning,” like he would to any other customer.
“What are you doing while you’re in town?” he then asked me.
Not having any clue who he thought I was, I gave him the most mundane answer I could, “I’m meeting with a bunch of people.” I couldn’t just leave it at that though. It sounds way too vague. “I just hope I’m able to get everyone in. You know how the summers are with people’s crazy schedules.”
“So you’re like a consultant?” he asked.
“Basically,” I replied. “Something like that.” I wanted to leave myself enough of an out in case I had to bail on this story.
“I’d love to get into that world,” he said. “I’ve been studying a lot of coding. I have a lot of app ideas.”
“That’s great!” I encouraged him. “What are you thinking?”
“Well, there isn’t a great Pomodoro app for Android. A lot of them don’t have many options for users. Either that or they are really expensive”
“And they tend to take up way too many system resources for what they are,” I added. Lucky for me, in a Slumdog Millionaire-like coincidence, months ago I downloaded a bunch of Pomodoro timers for my iPhone and found myself frustrated by how hot they made my phone and how much they drained my battery.
“I wish you the best of luck,” I said.
“Thanks!” he replied.
I still don’t have a clue who he thought I was. I wrote a post a while ago about how I struggle with bullshitting. Let’s call this me falling of the wagon momentarily. While I find my way back to truthfulness (not truthiness), I’ll embrace this consultant alter ego I seem to be projecting in the world.