Stories from my Past: Is it possible to make monthly payments?

Macintosh Performa 6400 AV

Macintosh Performa 6400 AVI had a customer once who worked in a humble job in a restaurant. He was a person with special abilities, and probably it was the best job that he could get. He had a desire to learn and grow, however, and I really respected him for that.

Anyway, it was obvious that his income was limited, and that wasn’t going to change. He had managed to save enough for a small home and very humble things. I was impressed because even people with good jobs are not able to do this. He wasn’t dumb, and he generally made helpful decisions.

He came to my place of business one day when I was teaching him things, and he saw my Apple 6400. It is the computer on the left. It was love at first sight for him. He had never seen an Apple before, and he thought that the OS 9 interface and features were fantastic. I liked it too because, besides the Apple II, it was my first real Macintosh. Anyway, he asked me “Is it possible to make monthly payments to own it?”

The question kind of stunned me. I didn’t offer monthly payments for several reasons. One is that I couldn’t afford it, and second, I wasn’t ready to give up the 6400. I had only had it a short time and bought it for a steal from a friend. I felt lucky to have it myself. However, as much as I enjoyed it, it was clear that he would enjoy it more. I was being paid to help Apple users fix their computers so I often got to use a Mac. Since there were no Mac stores yet where we lived, if I didn’t sell him this, he probably would never get a chance to have one. I agreed to sell it to him for monthly payments.

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He kept his word and was one of my best customers. Best not in that I made money from him (I broke even on purpose), but that he learned the most from me. I really respect people who learn, and when you have a wish to learn you will find a way. There is an old saying I believe. When the student is ready, the teacher appears.