I had planned a different submission, something that would explain my thoughts and beliefs about ghosts and other paranormal entities, but that will have to wait. I need to share this with you - it is almost real time because it happened today - 1/24/2018 from 3:15 PM until about 4:00 PM.
First I have to go back about 5 months. I am a certified warranty computer/laptop/printer/Scanner/Television ETC repair person. I went on site to a small town store to work on a printer that stopped printing from the network. The store is a national chain but very much individual franchisement. This store had been in business since the late fifties. TBH it looked like something time forgot and my first impression was... Y'all know that I can sometimes breathe in and know things about people who passed. Very rarely do I get impressions that are not recent. By recent I mean within weeks and a few months. Less common is a year. The first breath I took in there I felt an older, seventy or so man who felt... Determined. And irritated, and kind of... Crotchety? Unpleasantly surprised? If that makes sense at all? I absorbed the feeling, the knowing, but to my surprise I continued to feel like the man was still there. I actually kept looking around, expecting to see him.
However, I was there to do a job. I shelved all of that and got to work.
On initial assessment I noticed only an amber light, no blinking data light on the network card. The end user showed me to his switch (small 8 port, 2 rows of 4 upper and lower). It was covered with dust bunnies and a layer of brown dust so thick that I couldn't see the lights on it or even tell what color it - and the wires leading to it were. To say it hadn't been touched in a while is a mild understatement. I used canned air to blow the dust and bunnies away and saw that three of the cables were plugged in the lower row of switch ports with one - the 2nd one - plugged into the upper row. All of them except the one on the upper row were lit up and working. The cables and ports were unlabeled so I didn't have a clue which was which.
The person working in the store, let's call him Joe, said he didn't know anything about it, but nobody had been back in that closet for probably months, since the original owner had died. There was someone who worked in the mech shop, but he was not in the store for most of this interaction.
I did my local tests and the printer worked fine. Connected it to my personal router and laptop to mimic a local network - also worked fine. So, the upshot is, the printer was fine, which meant it had to be a network issue. Broken cable, bad/misconfigured switch port, something like that.
I assessed the dust covered area - no footprints in the dust on the floor, cables running along the floor covered in dust... No sign of a human having been in there for a very long time. But time and time again my eyes kept falling on the 2nd cable in the top row, the one that had no lights or data. With a shrug and a 'screw it' I pulled it and then put it into the second port on the lower row. In just a second the lights started flashing and in thirty seconds I heard the printer initialize and start printing. Joe called out "You did it!"
Eh, yeah no. I came out and told Joe about the wire and he just shook his head. "It's the ghost." Then he got this horrified look on his face and he flinched away from me. I have to explain, I am not a small woman, I am 5'8 and sturdy built with a deep chest and the ability to lift printers over 100 lbs with just my upper body strength. Joe is about 65, maybe 5'6 and I'd be surprised if he weighs in at over 125 lbs. His response was almost that of a child expecting a smack.
I just gave him a smile. "Was the owner wasn't he? Died unexpectedly. He's kind of crotchety though. Name started with a C I think."
Joe gaped at me like he had never seen a woman before. "You know about Charlie? How... You've been..."
I smiled and interrupted. "So was I right?"
He nodded really fast. "Yeah look." He took me to the other side of the shop where a small photo was tacked on the wall. A big blustery man older man, posed under a birthday banner as he glowered out from the picture. Written below it in black sharpie was "Charlie's 70." He died eight months later." He shrugged. "Everyone here thinks I'm crazy or that I'm doing it because stuff keeps disappearing and reappearing. Things work and then stop like the printer did." He looked really embarrassed. "I've seen and heard stuff all my life and I don't usually talk to people about it."
"Oh wow. He kind of looks crotchety. And don't worry, I don't think you're crazy. You can talk to me anytime you like. You have my phone number. Just call me okay?"
The guy who worked out in the mech shop, laughed from behind us. "Yeah Charlie was really grumpy." Then he made a remark about Joe picking me up and went back out to the mech shop.
Joe apologized and said he knew I was married (which is odd because I don't wear a wedding ring. It's too hazardous to work on electronics wearing any jewelry), and it wasn't like that and to ignore the idiot.
I could see he was upset, and I felt he needed to talk so I sat at the counter and just started to chat. The man completely lost it almost immediately. He started crying. A man that age in a small rural town where men were men and women were expected to conform? I wanted to just wrap him in a hug and tell him he was okay. I didn't, but I wanted to. I hate to think the stresses he's lived under. He talked about some of his experiences, about seeing and hearing people he knew were gone. He talked about the ridicule of his family, and he talked about how he'd lost friends because he was 'crazy.'
Over an hour later, he seemed calm and more relaxed. I could tell he was embarrassed by his melt down, so I very kindly told him I had to go to my next appointment, but not be a stranger and to call me and I went on my way.
I didn't hear from him. He never called me and I hadn't stopped in when I was in the area until today. Because of the storm and customer issues, I found my busy wednesday completely empty of calls. I decided to get some logistics (shipping and tracking) done. I went to my Mailbox Pro to drop off 3 packages and the clerk there asked if I wanted the package that arrived that morning.
Eh, sure - I wasn't expecting anything but there have been issues of mis-routed packages showing up unexpectedly. To my surprise it was addressed correctly and praise be, the work order number was on the outside shipping label. I looked it up and found that the the work order was in back order status. According to HP they hadn't even shipped the part. Because our parts are shipped overnight, that kind of screw up is really unheard of.
I called the boss and told him I had the part, the call was in my territory, should I just run the call? Boss was ecstatic, seriously, the idea of making an SLA before it's even dispatched... All SLA's are averaged, and a NEGATIVE? One by DAYS? Our SLA times would shrink down by several points. *coughs I digress. So I got the call assigned to me and called the End User. He was so happy - he'd just gotten an email from HP saying it would be 2 to 3 days until service. *grins.
Now, even though I saw the address and the name of the business, in my mind, I was going back to that small store. It was almost a compulsion to go back. I used the work order to program my Siri to take me to my destination. IN MY MIND - I was going to the small store - but the address my company's system plugged in was for what was on the work order. Something on the South side of town, and the small store was on the north side. Not even close, no numbers the same in the address.
On my way out of town, I stopped and had my gas tank filled and my windows washed, then hit the road. The small town is just over 130 miles from my hometown. At mile 120 my check engine light lit up. Well crap. Because of the hundreds (1200-2100) of miles I drive a week, I keep an ODB2 reader in my car. I checked it and found it was an issue with the fuel pressurization. Because I'd just gotten gas I didn't worry about it. Figure the guy didn't click the gas cap all three times or something. I cleared the error and the light went out. I just kept chugging along, after all I was going to a mech shop/store. (in my mind - not according to the work order.)
I wasn't surprised to find myself following the directions to the little shop. As I pulled in, Siri, who had been saying, "Arrived." went silent, then started saying, "Make a U-Turn and Proceed to the Route."
Eh what? I pulled up the work order and looked - and SAW - that I really was in the wrong place. I was at the little shop, but I should be across town... Eh... WTF?
I flipped around and went to my site. I did the repair and left, customer and computer happy. By the time I'd finished the compulsion had faded and I was just going to go straight home. Then, when I started the car again, the check engine light came on again and when I checked, same error. I went back to check on the gas cap and bit back several choice words. The gas cap was gone. Well hello. Guess I will be going to the little store with the mech shop.
When I got there, the first thing I noticed was the presence was still there, strong as it had been months before. Second thing I noticed was Joe, who was busy with the first of three people ahead of me, looked like he was about to jump out of his skin. I wasn't the only one to see it either. The guy he was working with asked him twice if something was wrong. The mech, who was leaning against the counter, not helping anyone, said that he'd been jumpy for a couple days. Anyway, I browsed and waited my turn. I needed a gas cap.
The Mech, catching my eye, gave me a look that I don't even want to decipher, and went back to his shop. When the last person left, Joe asked, "What can I help you with?"
I explained I needed a gas cap. He went in the back and got me one. I actually thought he didn't recognize me or he forgot me or something. Then after I paid he said "Lady, I don't know what brought you here, but I am so glad to see you. I am about to lose my mind."
"Uh, gas cap." I nodded to the box in my hand.
He shook his head. "We both know better than that. I gotta... I saw a boy on the road the other day. He stood in front of my truck and looked right at me. Thing is, I knew him. He died last year in a car accident. Him and his mother, both died."
He had tears standing out in his eyes. I asked him what he'd done. He said he stood on his brakes and ended up in the ditch. He went on about the boy, 13 years old, and how he knew the boy's father. They both worked on the volunteer fire department. I let him talk, and as he spoke, he visibly calmed. When he wound down, I asked if he had talked to the boy.
He said no, the boy had disappeared. I explained that not being able to see them doesn't mean they can't see or hear you. If it happens again, if he feels safe, pull over and just talk to him. Tell him about what his dad is up to, about what the kids are up to around town. Just... Talk to him and maybe mention that he should move on.
He looked doubtful, but he promised he'd try to not end up in the ditch next time. I also gave him my number again and asked him to call me and I would try to help.
Okay readers, what I don't say in this and I hope Joe didn't pick up on it, is that I was quietly freaking out. The strange way I got the job, the way I felt compelled to go to that little shop, consciously thinking I was going there even though the words on the paper clearly said otherwise. Me hearing Siri tell me I had arrived even though I hadn't been at my programmed destination. My missing gas cap... That forced me to stop there. Joe's certainty that I was there for a reason - although I didn't tell him about anything - except needing a gas cap.
I don't know what to think about this, not at all. Joe and I are not related, nor had we met at any time previous to 5 months ago. I do know that The Creator moves in very mysterious, incomprehensible ways, and I know that I was returned here because I have much to do. I can't help but wondering if my role is evolving... Or devolving? Maybe we, Joe and I are nuts and birds of a feather flock together?
Anyway, forgive me if this account is too raw and not well structured. As I said, this happened just a few hours ago. A real time paranormal experience Almost. I am actively looking forward to your assessments, speculation and comments. I will answer any questions as completely as possible. I have typed this in about an hour, I've proofed it, but there may be some issues. If you see anything just let me know.