Will The Real "Carie Shapiro" Please Stand Up

Real Estate Broker/Owner with North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate

Dry CleaningNot long ago, I attempted to pick up some clothes I had dropped off at a new dry cleaners.  After presenting my ticket stub to the clerk behind the counter, the owner reappeared several minutes later – sans my clothes.  With a puzzled look on his face, the owner said, “You were here yesterday!  We gave you your clothes yesterday!”  Feeling like I was in the middle of a Twilight Zone episode, it took 15 stressful minutes to determine that my clothes were handed over to another customer.  Wait … what!?!  Yes, the dry cleaners gave all of my clothes to a female customer named “Carrie Shapiro” not “Carie Shapiro.”  How does that even happen?  I mean … what are the chances of two customers named “Carie Shapiro” dropping their clothes off at the very same dry cleaners at the same time?  I don't exactly have a common name -- and I definitely have an uncommon way of spelling my first name.

That isn’t the worst part of the story either.   When the dry cleaners attempted to contact the customer in question, my "alter ego" explained that she was leaving town for two weeks, but would be happy to drop off MY CLOTHES after she returned.  OMG!  Well, I eventually got all of my clothes back.  And, I never did use that dry cleaners again.  I realize it was just a dumb, honest mistake.  However, what if the situation involved more than just dry cleaning?  Think about it.  We’ve all mistakenly received other people’s mail from time to time.  Yet, I've experienced the following in recent months:

  • Somebody else’s credit card returned to me at a restaurant (which means some other patron got mine)
  • Package meant for me was delivered and left at somebody else’s front door
  • Prescription bottle meant for another patient placed in my mom’s pharmacy bag
  • Text messages meant for others have been sent to my cell phone (which happened again yesterday and apparently, I’m invited to a huge party tonight at 10:00 pm)

The Moral Of The Story:  You Can’t Be Too Careful These Days.  It just goes to show how important it is to check, double-check, and notice everything.  Sensitive information (and more) can inadvertently get into the wrong hands anywhere.  And, interestingly enough, none of these instances even involved a computer hacker.  Not exactly identity theft, but errors which could potentially turn into much bigger problems.  And, let me see a show of hands if you need more problems!

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Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker

The upside: The other Carie paid for your dry cleaning!!!

Apr 17, 2012 09:27 AM #24
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Scary stuff Carie.

Apr 17, 2012 10:47 AM #25
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Adrian:  Yes, it happens too often.  Make sure you count all the bottles :)

Dawn:  You're right ... that could have been dangerous!  But luckily, it sounds like your lawn got a nice, new, healthy treatment ... courtesy of your neighbor's lawn service :)

Kristi:  That is a crazy and scary story all rolled into one!  First, that there would be two patients of the same dental practice with the exact same not-too-common name.  And, the fact that the dentist's office didn't double check the mouth guard.  As you said, you always have to remain aware of everything!

Margie:  It's one of those things you never think about ... until it happens!

Joanna:  As a matter of fact, I just recently wrote a blog about being told that I look like Patricia Clarkson!  Here it is!

Tammy:  That's what I thought ... didn't she notice she had way more clothes than before!

Kathy:  Yes, you always have to check everything you get from the pharmacy!

Evelyn:  You're right.  And, after these instances, I've started checking everything!

Judy:  LOL!  You are too funny :)

Tim:  So, the other Tim Bradley in your town knows how I feel :)

Apr 17, 2012 11:36 AM #26
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Ron:  I'm so glad Carrie and I weren't the same size :)  Also, never thought about the credit card "mistake on purpose" in the restaurant or bar before.  Hmmm ....

Margaret:  You're absolutely right.  You have to watch everything ... all the time!

Kathryn:  That's HUGE when medical records get mixed up ... how horrible.  I'm sure the office staff turned ashen!

Erica:  I thought so too!

Hella:  What a positive way of looking at the situation!  I love it :)

Sheila:  Yes, sometimes these mistakes are quite scary!

Apr 17, 2012 11:48 AM #27
John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

Congrats on the Feature... Told you ... you rocked this post!  Good for you and hey I got another suggest right :)  FYI>> I saw your Peacock and thought it was beautiful.  They are amazing birds when strutting their stuff.

Apr 17, 2012 12:52 PM #28
Lorraine or Loretta Kratz
Crescent Moon Realty, Inc. & Land N Sea Auctions. - San Marcos, CA
Certified Negotiation Consultants

Simply said thing happen, and thankful that you had a semi happy ending. Do you think that the law of attraction was at work here?

Apr 17, 2012 01:45 PM #29
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

That's insane....what is the point of the ticket? My cleaners uses my phone number, but still...it's a unique number, not used by anyone else. 

Apr 18, 2012 12:31 AM #30
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

YES...to your post..Being aware and not doubting what we see and hear is step one....Good awareness post

Apr 18, 2012 12:56 AM #31
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

John:  Yes, they are amazing to see when 'strutting their stuff' :)

Lorraine/Loretta:  Being a fairly upbeat kind of gal, I don't think the 'Law of Attraction' was at work in these situations.  As you said, things happen!

Karen:  It was insane.  The clerk probably saw sets of clothes with both our 'similar' names stapled to the bags and grabbed them all to give to her.  Whatever :)

Richie:  Thanks!  Awareness is so important!

Apr 18, 2012 01:17 AM #32
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


I wonder why identity theft isn't taken more seriously than it is. Bank robbers go to prison but someone that steals your life is rarely prosecuted.

Apr 18, 2012 02:37 AM #33
Karen Hawkins, MBA - Langley & Surrey, BC
Royal Pro Real Estate Network - Langley, BC

Yikes, Carie, these are definitely cautionary tales!  That would kinda tick me off to think someone else picked up my drycleaning...did the other Ms Shapiro not remember what her clothes looked like...?  And what's the point of having to present a ticket for your laundry - clearly that woman's ticket wouldn't have matched?  Ah, I feel for you - but know that you are ONE in a million, even tho it might not feel like that in these situations!  :-)

Apr 18, 2012 03:08 AM #34
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Richard:  I've wondered the same thing!  And then, the burden is placed upon the victim -- who is left to deal with the devastating consequences.  Not right.

Karen:  I know ... didn't she even realize she had more clothes than she originally came in with?  Plus, I want to tell you that the last sentence in your comment really made my day :)  Thank you!

Apr 18, 2012 05:27 AM #35
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Frightening!  I am happy to report that none of those things has happened to me yet.  And you have had all of them!  Seems like you have some sort of black identity cloud over your head!

Apr 18, 2012 09:19 AM #36
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Sharon:  Not sure what it is ... but I'm definitely ready to pass the baton :)

Apr 18, 2012 12:40 PM #37
Nancy Laswick
United Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ
Your REALTOR® For The Valley Of The Sun

Did you ask if the other "Carie" wore the same size as you, since dry cleaning is typically found and retrieved alphabetically maybe the other "Carie" thought your wardrobe looked good and since she was traveling...

Just kidding, but you know the old saying, just because you're paranoid doens't mean they're not out to get you! :-)

Apr 19, 2012 11:34 AM #38
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Nancy:  We must not have been the same size because I did get them back ... eventually :)

Apr 19, 2012 12:12 PM #39
Kara Roberson
RES.NET - Lake Forest, CA

That's crazy Carie! I'm glad you finally got your clothes back. Thankfully the only person that shares my name is my mom, so all that led to for me was some pre-opened mail that she assumed was hers when I lived with her. ;)

Apr 20, 2012 07:58 AM #40
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Res.net:  Yes ... it was crazy and I was glad to get all my stuff back too!  Thanks for stopping by!

Apr 21, 2012 12:48 AM #41
Paula McDonald, Ph.D.
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

So glad you got your stuff back.  I've received odd pieces of dry cleaning in my grouping before at past dry cleaners.  Our current dry cleaner goes by phone number, then asks your name before handing over the items.  Mistakes still can happen but they are at least proactive.  At the very least the dry cleaner should have immediately gone over and picked up your dry cleaning and delivered it to your doorstep.  They dropped the ball on customer service.

Apr 22, 2012 05:30 AM #42
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Paula:  I'm glad I got my stuff back too.  And yes, it was not a good situation at all!

Apr 22, 2012 09:29 AM #43
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