I admit it, I was SO wrong.
First, she was ready to admit her ignorance in things computers, and actually listened to me as I walked her through her trouble (she had accidentally stepped on the plug connected to the iBook, and it was being a bit touchy), until...
"You have the flu."
"Excuse me?" Was the best I could come up with for a response. For one thing, it wasn't a question, it was a statement of fact in a tone and manner that would have made me believe it even if I WEREN'T just getting over a cold from last week... and still having a touch of a cough from the slight drip that I had developed. Yet I should point out that I wasn't sniffing, I hadn't coughed in a few hours (though, sure enough, after she made her pronoucement I felt a sudden tickle in my throat... damn psychology!) and seemed otherwise perfectly healthy.
She went on... "I'm a doctor, and can smell it." Now I was completely non-plussed. SMELL it? My initial reaction was panic... had I been reeking all day and not know it? I usually could detect if I smelt bad, but then you had to wonder about people who had bad bo and didn't notice it. She re-assured me, saying that it was very unlikely that anyone else had noticed it. 40 years as a country doctor, in her words, had given her some interesting skills. This brought to mind Dr. Gross' uncanny detection of my extremely slight, and always overlooked, asthma. Which was prescient on my part, as she then proceeded to tell me that I should be careful, or my asthma would flare up.
I got her RAM upgraded and a new power adaptor solved her connector problem, and she slipped me a packet of sudafed, gave me some advice about vitamins, and her card... "If it doesn't clear up by tomorrow night, call me." Damn it, do they really make medical professionals like this any more?
Ah, but there's a punchline. I automatically looked at the card, and it read: "Patricia J Gray, DHS, PhD, FFAACS, Clinical Sexologist". I had to ask her if she knew Carol Queen, and she smiled at me as if I were a particularly bright pupil (which gave me this unreasonably happy glow) and said "Know her? Oh yes... in fact, I taught her everything she knows." Small world? Microscopic.
As if she weren't already one of the better customers of my day, she also paid me a compliment about my communication skills -- the same skills that seem to irretate the fuck out of so many others. This is the same day a customer actually sent me a copy of a letter she sent Apple and my Manager extolling my customer service virtues. Maybe I AM getting the hang of this.
Excuse me, I have to go take my vitamins now.