Today I learned a valuable lesson about why you should never judge a book by its cover.

It was a normal day

I was at my local supermarket. I needed to get some more pull up pants for my son who is being potty trained. As I approached the tills I did my usual split-second assessment, to work out which queue was the shortest and which checkout assistant looked the quickest. I picked a queue and joined it.

I was behind a female nurse who had filled the conveyor belt with groceries, and her her trolley was empty now. Good decision Paul. I had my headphones in and was catching up with the news on my phone, to pass the time. As the nurse was loading the scanned items back into her trolley, I was anticipating the inevitable text message from my wife saying "can you also get this for me please?" as she always does when I get to the front of any queue.

I noticed someone acting strange

I looked up from my phone screen to see how much the nurse had left to go and noticed a tall thin man walking along the path outside, about 30 feet away from the store.This man had a shaved head, tattoos on his neck and was wearing scruffy looking khaki clothes.

As he was walking along, he disappeared out of sight behind one of the posters on the shop window, and he didn't reappear on the other side of it. It was weird. I carried on looking and noticed his feet appearing below the poster, as he approached the short metal fence. This was strange and made me uneasy. He wasn't trying to get to the entrance because it was at the other side of the store.

I was getting worried

Next I saw him climbing over the fence, at this point I was getting quite worried. What was he doing there? Why had he made a bee-line for us? What did he want? He came up to the glass and started knocking on the window and looking at me. I just stared back at him not sure what to do or say. He kept tapping, trying to get the nurse's attention. I wondered if he knew her, was he her ex? Was he her patient? What did he want? The checkout assistant noticed him too and pointed him out to the nurse. She looked up at him and as she did, he pointed down at the floor.

She had dropped her purse and he had spotted it as he was walking past. She was very grateful and thanked him with a wave and said to the checkout assistant "what a sweetheart".

A valuable lesson

What a kind thing to do, to go out of his way and climb over a fence to let her know about her purse. It really does show you that you can't judge a book by its cover.

Paul Seal

Umbraco MVP and .NET Web Developer from Derby (UK) who specialises in building Content Management System (CMS) websites using MVC with Umbraco as a framework. Paul is passionate about web development and programming as a whole. Apart from when he's with his wife and son, if he's not writing code, he's thinking about it or listening to a podcast about it.

Proudly sponsored by


  • Moriyama build, support and deploy Umbraco, Azure and ASP.NET websites and applications.

  • CI/CD service for Windows, Linux and macOS
  • Build, test, deploy your apps faster, on any platform.

  • Custom stickers for startups, artists and brands.
  • Bespoke easy-apply, removable, custom brand stickers printed in the UK.

  • is the easy error logging and uptime monitoring service for .NET.
  • Take back control of your errors with support for all .NET web and logging frameworks.
uSync Complete

  • uSync.Complete gives you all the uSync packages, allowing you to completely control how your Umbraco settings, content and media is stored, transferred and managed across all your Umbraco Installations.

  • More than a theme for Umbraco CMS, take full control of your content and design with a feature-rich, award-nominated & content editor focused website platform.

  • Affordable, Geo-Redundant, Umbraco hosting which gives back to the community by sponsoring an Umbraco Open Source Developer with each hosting package sold.